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Thrifty Goodness (Even though officially I am banned from buying anything more…)

So, I’ve had three glorious weeks off work.  GLORIOUS.  Not because I have done anything exciting or life-changing, but because I JUST WASN’T AT WORK.  Which is pretty damn good to me.  But the time has gone dizzingly fast.  Depressingly so.  Like, where did the last two weeks go?  Where did the last 5 days go?  The last three hours?  I don’t know.  I am a terrible time-waster, one of those people who is always “busy doing something close to nothing” (Thank you, Prince).  I have so many things I want to do, I end up faffing about doing nothing.  Which is horrible and makes me very annoyed.  I don’t sit around doing nothing, I move around and never sit still, but at the same time doing nothing constructive.

I was supposed to get fit and lose weight on my holiday, but that hasn’t happened.  I have pretty much eaten my way from one end of Perth to the other.  Lots of lunches and breakfasts and dinners out.  A coffee break here, an afternoon tea there – it all adds up.  So, predictably, I gave up on the whole losing weight scenario.  That will have to wait until I am back at work (although the workplace is often THE WORST place for trying to stick to a diet).  But I have caught up with lots of friends and family, so I am not complaining really.  I can’t do up my pants, but I am not complaining.

Because I am looking at moving out soon, I have tried to limit the amount of shopping I do.  I need to declutter, not get more stuff.  I sorted through my wardrobe and culled a bunch of stuff that I no longer needed or fitted in to (giving up the dream of ever being skinny again any time soon).  I didn’t go op-shopping for a few weeks.  I stayed away from those havens of thrifty goodness because I don’t want to fill my wardrobe again.  And I thought it would be incentive to lose weight – the promise of new clothes down the track.

Well, that lasted all of about three weeks, which is actually pretty good for me.  Probably a record, in fact.  I even took stuff TO the op shop in order to donate it, and did not go inside “to have a quick look”.  I was a good girl.  For a little while.  Hey, an accomplishment is an accomplishment, no matter how small, right?  I will try and hold out for longer next time.

So, this last week, unable to stand the withdrawal symptoms any longer, I stopped into a couple of my “locals”, ie the op shops that get all my money.  I desperately needed a new pair of black boots for Winter – mine are getting very beaten up and scuffed because I wear them to death, and have done for several Winters – so I did actually have a goal and purpose.  I wasn’t just wandering aimlessly, as I would normally do. Most of the boots in “proper” shops are a.) too expensive and b.) too high in the heel for me.  I have trouble finding shoes in general, but finding boots I like is a nightmare.

Almost immediately, I came across these boots, which were nearly new and in great condition , and in my size (which doesn’t happen very often).  They fit really well and are comfortable so I popped them in my basket (whilst secretly doing a little happy dance).

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Next up, I found this cute little handbag.  My own bag (sorry about cruddy photo – half of these were taken on my rapidly ageing phone) is VERY ANNOYING because it just won’t stay on my shoulder, it sits funny and I am just over it!  This one was a perfect size, nearly new and a great colour (pewter goes with everything) so it too went into my basket. My old bag will be donated – I am trying to donate one thing for every other thing I bring in to the house.  That way, I don’t become an official hoarder.

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Was super pleased to find these little pots for only $1.00 each!  I got five in all different colours.  Perfect for my succulents 🙂

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Then, I found this denim jacket.  It fits really well (I’m not skinny but I am petite, and jackets are often too wide with ridiculously long arms!) and I like the distressed detail and zip-up front.  It’s fitted so isn’t too bulky on me, but will be nice and warm for the coming colder months (ugh!).

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Another jacket – this time a leather-look one.  I did have a nice faux leather one, but it has been worn to death and was starting to fall to pieces, as faux leather will do after a while.

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My cousin actually bought this top but ended up giving it to me.  I like grey, and the little zippered pocket is a nice detail.  It’s long enough to wear with leggings and will be nice with jeans too, if I am brave enough to wear skinny ones this year.  Which seems unlikely, but you never know…

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Yes, I did buy another faux leather jacket – don’t judge me!  This one was so cute and feminine, and super soft.  Brand new with tags on still, it only cost $4.50!  It’s a bit dressier than your run-of-the-mill jacket and I love the detailing on the back (see following photo).  Hard to take a picture of, so hopefully you can get an idea of what it looks like.  It feels like one of those lovely old leather gloves – so soft!

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My friend thrifted this dress (sorry about blurry photo – I am hopeless today) but decided to give it to me.  I’m not sure about the bright colours on me, but it fit well so will probably wear it with some opaque black tights and a cardigan, for work.

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I wore this one today – a comfy oversized top.  Good for this in-between weather that we are currently experiencing.  I like the faux suede on the shoulders and fake pocket area.  I don’t wear a lot of pink but I didn’t mind this one as it had the grey/black through it.

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A cute little knitted jumper.  Not my usual colours, but I kinda liked it and it fits well.  I generally wear a lot of dark things so this will make a nice change.  It is also very soft and cosy, without being bulky or heavy.

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Last, but not least, this jumper.  I am going to go ahead and call it the Muppet jumper.  Because it looks like someone skinned the Cookie Monster.  It is ridiculously soft (I have a thing for soft, apparently) and makes me want to cuddle myself.  It’s a bit more cropped than I would normally wear, but I’m sure with a high-waisted skirt or pants it will be fine.  The lady at the counter charged it as a kid’s knit, so I only paid like $2.00 or something crazy.  I love it.  Have no idea where I will wear it but maybe I will just wear it around the house and stroke myself a lot.  Which would be weird.  So maybe I won’t do that.

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So, that’s it for now.  I tend to get in a bit of a frenzy, where op shopping is concerned.  It’s a bit addictive so I have to pace myself and remind myself that I am supposed to be de-cluttering and culling.  But I have already worn several of these items so I know they weren’t frivolous purchases, and many of them were half price so they cost me less than $5.00 each.  Not gonna feel guilty about that.

Back to work next week.  I’m so sad my time off is over, but I have really needed it and feel somewhat human again after feeling like I was at risk of curling up into a ball under my desk and never coming out.  I may well feel like that on my first day back, but at least I will have new boots to help get me through.  Shoes are very powerful – just ask Dorothy!

May the thrifting Gods smile on you all today 🙂

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Op-Shopping to the Max

Op-Shopping to the Max

It is fair to say that op-shopping is one of my favourite things to do.  Without question.  I am always in the mood for it and will seek out op-shops wherever I go.  If I go somewhere and they are thrift-free, I am disappointed and sulky.  What kind of town doesn’t have an op-shop??? That’s just craziness and I don’t understand it.

These past couple of weeks, when I should have been saving money after the Christmas spend-up, I did a fair bit of op-shopping.  My Mum is my enabler in this.  She loves it as much as I do, although she is more restrained than me.  I get caught up in a bit of  frenzy and end up with bags of stuff that I have no room for in my wardrobe.  Which then necessitates a clear-out of said wardrobe, which then leads me to the op-shop again when I go to donate stuff.  It’s a bit of a vicious cycle.  Vicious, but oh so enjoyable.  Plus it isn’t costing me a fortune (I tell myself, too scared to actually add up what I am spending).  And it’s a form of recycling, right?  So I am being eco-friendly! 🙂

Here are some things I got recently.  I actually bought a ridiculous amount so I won’t bore you with all of it.  But I snagged a few bargains and some designer stuff as well as a few things I got for other people (because I really, really like the pieces but am too fat/short/stumpy/long-in-the-tooth to wear them myself).  Apologies for the crappy photos – I am yet to figure out how to take decent photos of clothes…I probably should have worn each of them for the photos, but a page full of pictures of me seemed cruel and unfair punishment to my readers.

  1. Pale Blue Linen Dress – I wasn’t sure about this one as it is very plain and I tend to prefer pattern or dark colours to hide any wobbly bits ha ha.  It is very cool though – great for Summer – and easy to wear and accessorise.  I’ll wear it with a belt I think to break the monotone-ness up a bit.

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  2. Review Office Dress – Very excited to see this on the rack as I can’t afford Review brand new.  Their clothes are very well cut and made and this fits really nicely.  I’m trying to be more professional-looking at work and I think this is a good start.

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  3. Simple Shift Dress – Again, I wasn’t sure about this one.  I ‘don’t tend to wear a lot of shapeless stuff – it makes me look lumpy and sad.  This dress is pretty shapeless, so I might wear it with a belt or just have it as a casual, bumming-around-the-house kind of dress.  I do like the print though – nice and bright and Summery.

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  4. Maxi Dress – I suppose this isn’t technically a maxi dress…but I am short and so it is maxi on me 🙂  It sits really nicely and drapes well – I don’t usually wear clingy materials but this is ok.  I liked the colours and pattern of the fabric.  I’m not sure where I think I will be wearing it – it is fancier than what I would normally get, but will be a good standby if I suddenly become sociable and get invited to lots of soirees 🙂

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  5. Plain Office Dress – Hard to take a photo of plain black items, but this dress fits nicely and, other than my pudgy arms, is slimming.  I will wear it with a coloured belt to break up the black and also to pretend I have a waist ha ha (I do, actually – it is the only part of my body I don’t complain about).

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  6. Sunny Girl Love Heart Dress – LOVE this dress!  It’s so cute!  I showed my friend last night and I had to wrench it out of her hands because she wanted it for herself.  I love the heart print and the style of the dress – the skirt sits just right and isn’t too short, and I think I am just on the cusp of being too old to wear this style but I am going to wear it anyway, so there!  I tried to find a similar one from Sunny Girl online last night but couldn’t…so my friend is out of luck ha ha.  I think this cost me $2.50 – such a bargain 🙂

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  7. Blue and White Tiered Dress – This dress is SO eighties but when I tried it on it actually looked nice and I thought I would give it a go.  The frills at the bottom actually hide my less-than-model-perfect thighs and backside and does a cute swirly thing if I jig about.  It is cool and I love the print.

  8. Print Dress – I REALLY liked this but it is way too small for me.  The top part fitted fine which surprised me as it is a size 6 and I am so NOT a size 6 normally.  But the bottom part – Jesus, I could barely get half a leg in it.  So disappointing.  I bought it anyway as I thought it would look great on my friend who is a size 6.  She tried it on last night and couldn’t get in to it either.  So I’m not sure what kind of woman-child hybrid person they think it is supposed to be worn by, but it made me feel better that maybe I’m not quite the heffalump I think I am.  Having a little, skinny friend not fit into something you’ve also tried and failed at is a comfort.  Anyway, I might see if I can make the dress in to a top as it fits fine there, and I have run out of tiny friends to offer it to. Please excuse car keys in the first photo – whoops…

  9. Ruby & Kit Floral Backpack – gotta say, I am a bit in love with this little bag.  It was brand new and un-used, plus I really like Ruby & Kit stuff.  It will be my new op-shopping bag now – hands-free shopping!  Could be dangerous actually…  This was $7.25 which is more than I would normally pay but I liked it and it was something I have wanted for a while.

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  10. Review Lace-Detail Wrap Dress – now this wasn’t something I purchased (a friend at work gave it to me) but it came in at the same time as the op-shopping haul so I have included it.  Love navy blue and the lace detail on the shoulders of this piece is so pretty.  I am always wary of wrap dresses – they always seem to gape and threaten to come undone at inappropriate moments with me… However, this seemed to look ok and fit really nicely and I certainly wouldn’t have bought it brand new (because I am a tight-wad).

So, that’s just a bit of the haul I ended up bringing home (with serious buyer’s remorse/guilt, seeing as how it was just after Christmas and I probably didn’t need any more stuff…).  I also got skirts and tops and narrowly avoided buying a clock…and a silver reindeer perfume bottle.  I am now in self-imposed op-shop exile…no more shopping for me for a while.  This is what I tell myself, anyway.  You can all be my witnesses 🙂

High Tea Fun(d)raiser

High Tea Fun(d)raiser

Happy Sunday all!  Boy the weeks are flying by – I can’t believe it will be Christmas again in just over four months!  We’ve been in our new place for 8 months now and soon will have to think about whether we want to continue with the lease or find somewhere else to rent.  I can’t bear the thought of moving again so I am trying to just not think about it at all!  I haven’t even unpacked all my packing boxes yet…

This week at work we had a High Tea fundraiser.  Each of our departments had a separate day to come up with a theme and organise food to go along with it (as reported in my post here) and our Client Services team decided to have a High Tea, complete with “vintage” stalls, raffles and “Best Dressed” competitions.  Cupcakes and thrift-shopping during work hours?  Don’t mind if I do!  Such a lot of work went into organising it and setting it all up on the day.  It all looked beautiful – the food was gorgeous and so pretty with everything from dainty cupcakes to scones, pastries and sandwiches, lots of different teas and champagne.  The ladies all did an amazing job and deserve a pat on the back.  Client Services is one of our busiest departments and I have no idea how they managed to find time to put together such a wonderful afternoon of treats and fun.

Here’s a few pics of the lovely goodies on offer…..

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Everything was so tempting…but I’ve been on a diet this week and trying desperately hard to be good and not eat naughty things.  I had a couple of tiny things – so delicious – and spent the rest of my time wandering about, taking photos and perusing the “vintage stalls”.  I picked up quite a few bargains (and only spent about $5!) and had to control myself in terms of spending or seeming a bit overexcited – you know me and shopping, especially anything that resembles op-shopping/thrifting.  There were some gorgeous items for sale – brand new pairs of shoes and lovely jewellery and accessories.  I bought a few necklaces that had nice beads on them…they’ve already been pulled apart and stored in my bead boxes to turn into other things later on.  I got this lovely bracelet, which I thought I would alter and make into a pendant:

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I also got a couple of rings – the paler one is way to big for me but I really liked it and so I got it anyway.  Maybe I can change it or make it into a brooch or something… I like the darker one – it looks kinda like marcasite (which I love) and is adjustable so I can make it fit my teeny fingers.  It does have a little stone missing but I’m sure I’ve got one I can just glue in there:

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I also got this bracelet (purely for the beads – I liked the stripey ones!):

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I picked out a pretty pink scarf for Mum…

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…and this “pearl” bracelet (again for the beads) for me:

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When all was said and done and packed up, the department raised about $1000 for Alzheimer’s Australia, which was pretty awesome.  They deserved to do well because they really went all out (and put the rest of our departments to shame – even though EVERYONE did a great job in their themes, this one really took the (cup)cake!).  At the end of the afternoon the ladies on the thrift stall said I could rummage through and have whatever I wanted for free, as they really didn’t want to pack it all up again.  I felt a bit weird about doing that so I offered to take it all to an op-shop for them instead.  That way I could get to go through it (great for me!) and also do them a favour and save them some work.  So that’s what I did yesterday.  Four boxes of stuff I had to go through!  Lots of jewellery has now been dissected and separated into nice beads, charms and findings.  There were some lovely shoes – brand new – but not in my size, so I had to let them go but I’ve got a couple of people in mind who might like them.  I also nabbed a couple of accessories for myself, such as…

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…this green brooch.  It looks sort of vintage although I’m quite sure it’s not.  I just liked the green colour.  I would definitely wear this.

This cuff bracelet – a bit chunkier than what I would normally wear…I always wear my plain silver bangle that my cousin gave me for my 30th.  It never comes off.  The only time I have taken it off is when I was in hospital – and then my cousin wore it for two months to keep it safe until I was discharged.  Anyway, I liked this cuff – it will go with a lot of things I wear…

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I also picked up this brooch which is definitely not vintage and probably not something I would wear (as it features gold and I never wear gold) but I like to have a few brooches on hand for tizzying up presents when I want some glam wrapping.  This will be perfect….

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I did get a few other bits and pieces, but I won’t bore you with everything.  Let’s just say I am a magpie and leave it at that (in other words, I collected lots of stuff).  There were a couple of pairs of very expensive shoes that I did contemplate putting on Ebay (I know, I’m dreadful) but then thought it would be better if I gave them to the op-shop.  Better that a charity get some money for them than my wallet!

Anyway, I’ve done NO CRAFTING this week due to a horrible, horrible neck and equally horrible stress and depression this week.  Haven’t been eating much at all so no cooking to show you either.  I’m an epic failure at blogging this week!  Hope my round up of “what I bought” suffices for this weekend’s post.  I am going out with friends for brunch today and so I’m hoping they lift my spirits and take my mind off things.  Friends are amazing that way 🙂

Hope your weekend is fun and fabulous!  Thanks for visiting 🙂