Thursday, 23 July 2015

a birthday and a bit of winchester














A few weeks ago it was Ali's 33rd (we might be in our thirties, but we were both saying the other day that we still feel like we're 24!) birthday, so we packed the kiddos off to their Grandparents and spent the morning wandering around Winchester on our own. We spend most weekends at the beach or the park, which I LOVE, but it's really nice to get out and go to places that you can't go with the littlies, and to eat lunch when you're hungry and not worry about leaky nappies. Aahhh, so relaxing!

We went to all our favourite shops (Consortium and The Hambledon - me, Games Workshop - him), pottered around the flower festival (which was too packed for any good photos), sat in the garden of tranquility and enjoyed the peace, and ate sandwiches lounging on the grass outside the Cathedral. Heavenly! (He had a birthday cake of course, but it came from Waitrose rather than the Kitchen of Vicky, so wasn't really worthy of a photo!)
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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

ethical summer bargains


Ali had some H&M vouchers for his birthday (most of which ended up being spent on the kiddos - you get so much more for your money when you're buying in miniature!), so last weekend we spent our Saturday in a real, live shopping centre. I usually buy everything second-hand, vintage or online, because I HATE the crowds, the pushing, the shoving and the whole disorganised chaos of high street shops - I'd much rather be in the garden with the plants or at the beach with the kiddos. Shopping is a much more enjoyable experience when you're sitting on your sofa in your pyjamas, with tea and biscuits to hand!

I did get to nip into Urban Outfitters though - I have a love / hate relationship with them as their ethical practises aren't great, but I do love their Urban Renewal range, which reinvents and upcycles old fabric and clothes into lovely, shiny new things. I found an amazing little kimono jacket for £25, and although I didn't buy it (I really have become such a penny pincher lately!), it made me think that perhaps it was time to do another ethical style post. People think that ethical and environmentally friendly clothes are either all beige hemp, or cost like £756232903846548 for a t-shirt, which is often true, but that's not always the case. Todays post is my roundup of the best ethical and vintage clothes and accessories for £50 and under. Bargain-tastic!

1. Reclaimed Denim Dress, £19, ASOS Reclaimed Vintage
2. Nadya Hazbunova Hand Pendant, £35, Lowie
3. Straw Bag, £22, Rokit
4. Vintage Boho Trim T-shirt, £25, Urban Renewal at Urban Outfitters
5. Lace-Up Glitter Shoes, £20, Monki (They have a really good CSR policy, you can read it here)
6. Pink Heart Sunglasses, £9, Rokit
7. Sari Kimono, £45, Urban Renewal at Urban Outfitters 
8. Straw Bag, £20, Rokit (I love how the handles look like upside-down hearts!)
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Monday, 20 July 2015

vintage chichester

I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post; it's not even the summer holidays yet (two days to go, eeeep!) but I just haven't had the time to edit any pictures or write anything down. When the sun comes out, I struggle to do the work that pays, never mind blog - I can't ever see a day where I'd say, 'lets not go to the beach / park / lake / woods / cafe because I need to sit on the laptop'! (There are evenings I guess, but they're for getting the kiddos to bed, then collapsing onto the sofa to binge watch Tattoo Fixers / Daredevil / Orange is the New Black / TOWIE - I've got a bit of a thing about TV, not very blogger-like, but still!)

A few weeks ago we spent the afternoon in Chichester; we don't go there very often because it's mostly shops and cafes, which equal bored, fractious and short-tempered kiddos. Not fun for anyone. But I've been wanting to make more of our local area for ages, and while I was searching online I discovered that not only was there a cathedral that we'd not been to, but also a botanical gardens! Right there in Chichester! Who knew?!








The cathedral and surrounding cottages are amazingly, breathtakingly beautiful; we're talking little meandering pathways, walled gardens, houses drenched in climbing roses and rows and rows of flowers. The best thing was that there was no traffic at all in this bit of Chichester, so we didn't have to worry about holding the littlies hands as tightly as usual - they definitely enjoyed exploring the hidden corners while we raced to keep up!
(Also - don't Ben and Daisy look EXACTLY the same in those pictures above? They both have the same expression when I whip the camera out!)








I had a bit of a battle to keep hold of my Lines and Current sunglasses, which have become a bit of a summer staple. They're ethically designed and made, and 10% of the profits go to charity, and were sent to me by the lovely Rebekkah - there's a post coming up with more information, but you can check them out here. (They also do the most beautiful jewellery!)


Bishops Palace Gardens are tucked behind the cathedral, and are literally an oasis in an otherwise bustling city. There's LOADS of space, and some great hills for rolling down (the kiddos, obviously.... ahem....) and the most amazing amount of flowers. We spent way too long smelling the wall of roses, and I definitely took too many photos (this is just a small selection!), but it was just glorious! You can walk along the tops of the walls as well, which lets you see across the whole garden and some of the city, depending on which direction you're facing at the time. Although Ben and Daisy were way more interested in running ahead and hiding behind bits of the wall. Obvously!








Before we left for home, I popped into the Vintage and Very Nice market; I've been to this before and bought all sorts of things from accessories and clothes to kids toys and books - it's an absolute goldmine, reasonably priced and full of amazing things. I spent ages pondering over some vintage balls of string this time, but left them behind - I did come home with a small basket bag for Daisy, some vintage games cards and a load of Ladybird books (hurrah!). Oh, and the basket at the top was £5 from an antique shop - it was just sitting outside, like it was waiting for me to come along and rescue it. £5! I still can't believe it, weeks later!

I've got loads more posts to come; a couple on the garden, some of other local trips and one or two about some changes we've been making in the house, but when they'll be up I can't say. I'd just like to say a quick thank you for all my lovely readers who keep coming back despite my sporadic posting tendencies! You're very patient and wonderful, mwah!

PS: I also wanted to say a big thank you for all the lovely comments that you guys left on the Solstice post - it's always heartening to read that other people have had similar troubles!
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