Monday, 30 July 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

I have some ridiculously exciting news for you this week, something that makes me squee every time I think about it! :D But more about that later...

1. Sale bargains! There are lots of sales on just now and I was in town anyway so it'd be rude not to look! I got these ace high-waisted lilac jeans from Topshop which were reduced from £40 to £15 and feel really summery but comfy when on!

2. More sale bargains! I also got these rings in the sale at Topshop for a few pounds each. The glasses are part of a set of three rings, one with a nose and one with a mouth, but I only really bought them for the glasses! I love the loose eyes on the cartoony one!

3. I haven't been to the comic book shop for a good few weeks but it's right next to my hairdresser so I like to pop in when I'm in the area. I'm collecting the Avengers Vs X-Men series just now.

4. I also bought a few random Kidrobot things where the contents are a surprise until you open them. I got a Super Mini fireman keyring, a cool 100% wooden Jibibuts, a Yummy Breakfast pastry and a Smorkin Labbit. Probably the only one I'd buy again would be the Jibibuts cos they make nice ornaments too, but I've just spotted lots of funky stuff on the Kidrobot site...

5. Strawberry milkshakes at Tinderbox. It's my favourite place to get hot chocolate and caked in Aberdeen, but it closed down this week so we went in for a farewell drink :(

6. This is an all year round love but I had lots of cake this week! It was my sister's birthday on Monday and a colleague's birthday midweek, so he brought in these yummy, pretty cupcakes his son's girlfriend made!

7. Juicy watermelon in the sunshine!

8. Continued work on my secret project. This is a sneaky hint ;)

9. And finally, the squee-inducing news - I'M GOING TO JAPAN! This is a total dream holiday for me and I can't wait! I saw an offer on flights from my local airport and we only had a couple of days to decide so we just did it! My sister's coming with me for 10 days in November, and the plan is to spent most of the time in Tokyo but also travel a bit, probably to Kyoto and Osaka, but I need to do lots of research first.

If you've been to Japan and have any advice or recommendations let me know!  I'd love to hear from you!

Karen x

Monday, 23 July 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. My little brother's 30th birthday *sobs*. A friend of my Mum's made this ace cake of him at the gym! We had a lovely family meal the night before to celebrate.

2. I put money towards his new laptop as a present, but wanted to give him something to keep so got this Beano comic from the week of his birth.

3. I finally got round to watching My Neighbour Totoro and loved it! Such a sweet story and brilliantly animated.

4. I'm a Superhero! And you can be too courtesy of Marvel's Create Your Own Superhero game.

5. A triple hit of Batman this week! We went to a double bill of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in preparation for the The Dark Knight Rises at the weekend. Unfortunately I'd caught a spoiler which took the edge off of it, but it was still a great movie!

6. I dyed my hair using my usual hairdye because I've tried a couple of different ones lately and been disappointed so I went back to my trusty Castings by L'Oreal in Plum. I used Live XXL but it contains bleach and made my hair feel horrible, but this stuff make it feel soft and shiny and is a really good colour. Also it fades brilliantly! It goes a nice reddy-brown and people have said how nice that looks!

7. I ordered a load of stuff from the Next VIP Sale! I always order a ridiculous amount of clothes online in this sale then end up taking most of it back because you don't get much of a description, but it's great to try it all on at home at my leisure! I don't buy that much from Next usually, but their sales are great and I get some good work clothes and bikinis and if you're a VIP you can shop the sale before all the good stuff is gone!

8. I bought my first nail polish from Topshop and it's a transparent pink with multi-coloured glitter called Adrenalin. I've tried it on bare nails and it looks nice but I'll need to try it on a painted nail too.  The glitter has come off the white bit of my nail already but it'd might stay on better with a base.

9. I've been designing a new product which I am so excited about! The prototypes have come out better than expected and I'm hoping to release them this week!

Karen x

Monday, 16 July 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. I went to see The AMAZING Spider-Man. Twice.

2. My Granda's 75th birthday

3. Dr Bronner's Magic Soap. I have combination skin which is a bit oily and this stuff creates a harmonious balance and has cleared my skin right up. I only use 4 drops of citrus liquid soap each time on a face cloth so my 2oz bottle is lasting AGES.

4. I've booked my travel and hotel for BlytheCon so I will definitely be there!

5. Due to my new-found love of Andrew Garfield I watched Never Let Me Go this week and loved it.  I hadn't really appreciated what it was about before, so was surprised to find it so moving.

6. What can I say about Magic Mike?! It's not a great story, but it is what it is, and I liked it! We made a girls day out of it and had a few cocktails before, during and after!

7. Après-Magic Mike cocktails and Jenga with the girls

8. Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover. Put your finger in, twist it around, and it comes out nail polish free! It takes more than 1 second to be fair but not much more. It's pretty hassle-free for £4.99

9. This is Nails Inc Portobello Market which doesn't seem to be available anymore, but I tried it for the first time yesterday and it's a really cool slightly neon peachy-orange shade which will look ace with a tan!

Karen x

Monday, 9 July 2012

twentythreetwo's First Birthday!

I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started twentythreetwo!

I’ve always been a creative person. My Mum is a tailoress so we were always sewing and making things as I grew up. I was fascinated by how quickly she could knit!  But as I grew older my creativity wained and was replaced by school and boys and work!

I started screenprinting in February 2011 and had a fantastic time!  That's when the switch was flicked and the lightbulb went on and I remembered how much I loved making things!

In June last year I plucked up the courage and added my first screenprints to my Etsy shop, twentythreetwo. I started doing craft fairs and meeting lots of lovely new crafty people!

In May this year I launched twentythreetwo whimsy, a shop where I could share my love of vintage and nostalgia, with lots of fun and playful items!

Thank you to all my customers, friends, family, blog readers, followers and likers for your support! I've had a brilliant time!

For being so excellent over this last year, I'm giving you all 25% discount of all items in both of my shops! All you need to do is quote code 1YEAR at the checkout and your discount will automatically be applied!

Karen x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

What Are Your Dream Buys? My Top Tips For Designer Bargains

Every now and then I see something that is a luxury item which I would never normally buy but it's so special I'm prepared to forego other things to get it.

I'm not a big spender, in fact since I've been saving for a home of my own I've cut down dramatically on my spending, and I always try to get my dream buys at the lowest price possible. So when I visited Cheshire Oaks designer outlet village this weekend I took the opportunity to buy something I have long coveted: a Mulberry bag! And this is she:
She's a Mulberry Postman's Lock Camera Bag and, no, I don't know why it's a she!

This bag usually retails at £650, and at half the price it's still expensive, but if I have to have it very little will stop me! There's no way I would have paid full price for it, and if I had that kind of money it probably wouldn't feel as precious to me. To be honest, I've barely taken it out of the dustbag yet, but I saw a display one in the shop which was a bit beaten up and it actually looked better, so I can see this being my constant companion for a long time!

A week or so before I got another bag which I really like in the Harvey Nichols sale. This is another great place to get designers items at half price and I got this Marc By Marc Jacobs Natasha Petal To The Metal crossbody bag:

I had my eye on this bag for a long time too and that's really one of my top tips for designer discounts:
 Don't panic buy something that feels like a great idea at the time unless you can afford to, you'll end up resenting this amazing item you have and it won't give you that wonderful feeling that it should!

I'd hate to think I've spent all that money on a fake so I make sure I buy from trusted sources. I usually buy things from sales at Harvey Nichols, or discount sites The Outnet or Cocosa as these are shops that I have used and trust to provide me with the service and product I want.

And finally, timing is everything. You have to weigh up what you're prepared to spend versus how much you want it.  If you think it's something that you'd love but could bear to live without, it's often worth hanging on to see if it'll be reduced further.

The longer something is on sale, the cheaper it usually becomes, so my rule of thumb is this: If I'm not 100% convinced that it's the product I want, I'll hang fire and see if it sells out or becomes reduced further.  If I don't get it I'm often disappointed but I know that I obviously didn't want it that much or I would have bought it straight away.

What are your dream buys?  And do you have any tips for designer bargain hunting? It'd be great to hear from you!

Karen x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

My Mini-Adventure to Manchester

It's been a while since I've had a mini-adventure although I've been to London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Newcastle in the last 8-9 months!

We hired a car on Friday, collected a couple of friends and headed out in the sunshine to drive for about 6.5 hours covering 360 miles. After about 10 mins the sun turned to heavy rain and stayed that way for pretty much the entire journey!

We had a leisurely drive down and eventually arrived at about 8pm. We had dropped our friends off in Salford but we were staying in Altrincham. There was barely time to munch a Subway and take a couple of pics before we crashed out!  Here's the view from our hotel during the day and night:

On Saturday we headed to Cheshire Oaks, which is a designer outlet village, and it was lovely! It was a really nice and sunny day and I spotted Liam Gallagher popping into the Levi's store!

I also treated myself to something I've wanted for a long time - a Mulberry bag! It makes me squeal with excitement every time I think about it! I'll tell you all about it and my other recent buys in my next post, there's too much to post here!

We were almost all the way round, contemplating ice-cream from Thorntons, when the heavens opened again!  After a nice Italian at Minskii in Altrincham, we got wrapped up for the gig we'd driven all this way to see - The Stone Roses at Heaton Park!

Now it's very rare to get a good picture of me, and I'll warn you now, this isn't one of them! But I thought I'd show you my muddy festival outfit!

As you can see it's very practical! Berghaus jacket, chunky scarf, Thinsulate flatcap, fingerless gloves that turn into mittens and my new Däv Thatcher boots. I saw lots of girls in cool outfits, but I'm a cold tattie and I like to be warm and dry and comfy! I did see one girl going in with high-heeled boots on, I wonder if she still had them by the end of the night or if they'd got sucked into the ground!

The concert started at about 4:30pm but we didn't arrive until nearer 7pm so out of the support acts we only caught Liam Gallagher's band Beady Eye before The Stone Roses came on. I'm not a big fan of the Roses, never was really, but the concert was good and there were some tunes I could sing along to!

The next day, to prepare us for our big drive ahead, we headed to Oxford Road Cafe for a late breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, wilted spinach and mushrooms on granary toast and about four cups of tea! It was absolutely just what I needed, really tasty, substantial grub!

The drive home was better than the way down and I spotted these lovely things at the roadside:

The first one is a statue of a Grouse at Perth, and the second is the "Metal Mermaid" beside Glasgow, I love the way the light shines though her so it looks like she's shimmering!

And that was my weekend! Were you in Manchester (or the area) this weekend? What were your highlights?

Karen x
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