Monday, 30 April 2012

*Frugal Purchase*

How much do I love my new sweater from H&M?! Great with jeans, pleated skirt or denim shorts.
Sweater, £34.99, H&M, Bag, Zara, Jeans, Topshop, Bracelets, Carolina Bucci and Samantha Lou, Sunglasses, Ray-Ban.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Get It Before It Goes....

An organisational fiend like me obviously loves Anya Hindmarch's 'Labelled' range. So when my sister bought me an Anya iPad case for my birthday, I was thrilled! Not only has it been on my lust-list for a while, I was also stunned to find she bought it from My case has sold out but they have this laptop case with 65% discount.....

Laptop case, £145, down to £50.75, Anya Hindmarch at The Outnet

Friday, 27 April 2012

Hen Weekends

Hen weekends are expensive habits...

But it only happens once, though, right? So here are my tips for a classy/thoughtful/inexpensive hen weekend...

Instead of Hotels, try and find private accommodation, especially if you have a group. I managed to find this flat in the centre of Edinburgh, £42 each a night (sleeps 9):

Personalised bunting, from £3, Not On The High Street
Found on
I don't do whistle-blowing, sash wearing, veil adorning hen nights/weekends. But I am a fan of thoughtful gifts and spoiling my friend. The biggest 'hen' reference were these badges:

£3.19, Flamingo Gifts

Friday night, we played 'hen' games. I took wigs and a polaroid camera - everyone drank and dressed up and we took polaroids for the bride's Hen Scrapbook, in which everyone wrote messages:
Scrapbook, £4.50, Muji
I wrote 'Cath's Hen Weekend Scrapbook' on the book with these stickers, £2, Accessorize
We stopped for Afternoon Tea at The Missoni Hotel, Edinburgh. Always ask for little 'extras' that places offer. We asked the hotel to write 'Cath's hen' in chocolate for a special treat:

Loved the Missoni kilt!

Luckily, the flat has a dvd player, so I took a silly, fun film to watch whilst nursing our hangovers:

£7.49, Play

Hen weekends are all about the little things that make the Bride feel special. If you're going out to dinner, or tea, try and see if you can go in early and decorate the table. Or organise a cake to be brought out. I decorated the table for the tea with crystal beads(£1.50 from John Lewis) and sequins. John Lewis have a great selection of accessories:
Why not dot silly photos around the place with these, £5

Personalised gifts for the Bride go down a treat (and don't have to cost the earth):
Cynthia garter - gorgeous AND something blue! £20, Agent Provocateur
 My super talented friend at Samantha Lou made this personalised bracelet with the date of the wedding! Email
Hen Games that worked:
  • Mr & Mrs quiz - an oldie but a goodie. I've been to some who have made videos of the fiance which have been hilarious.
  • Bodyparts - ask the fiance to send you pictures of his nose, eye, hands, feets etc and put them on individual boards mixed with photos of other people's bodyparts and see if they can guess which one.
  • Memories - this is just a nice one to do at dinner - make everyone write down a special memory of the bride, and she has to guess who matches which memory. I have also done this with gifts and also knickers - she has to guess who bought what.
The last day was a trip to the oldest pub in Scotland with delicious comfort food - it's good to have somewhere booked just in case, even if you need to cancel if everyone is too hungover!

I hope that has given you some ideas - email me at if you want anymore tips.

Myself with the Bride to be (she's the pretty one in pink!)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Caramelised Chicken

Via Red Online
This is so easy, and guaranteed to impress.

Serves: 2-4

  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes or chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 4 large red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 10 cherry tomatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C /400°F/ gas mark 6. Put all the marinade ingredients in a big sandwich bag, add the chicken and the onion wedges. Shake around so all the ingredients get well coated in the marinade.
  2. When you are ready to cook, put the chicken legs into a roasting dish with the marinade, onions and the tomatoes. Cook in the oven for 15–20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. The tomatoes should burst and the onions will go crispy around the edges. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in the microwave at 800W for eight minutes – you can pop them in the oven with the chicken when they are done to crisp up the skins.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Frugal, me?

You didn't think my blog was all just cheap stuff, did you?! It's also about investments and knowing good value when you come across it. My new favourite item:

Neon 'Twister' bracelet, £150, Carolina Bucci (available at Harrods), spiked elasticated bracelet, Freedom at Topshop

Now I know a bargain when I see will rarely see anything from Carolina Bucci for under £500, so this is a real accessibility point into the brand. They are cool, recogniseable, fun to wear and perfect for sunny days, or just brightening up the cloudy ones. 
This would be a great gift for a friend's big birthday if a group of you clubbed together (I am having the 'present' dilemma with a lot of my friends' 30th birthdays coming up).

iPad 3, Amazon
This was a huge indulgence for me but I blame Twitter! I've wanted/sort of needed one for a while and it worked out at around £100 cheaper in the US. It just made sense. Yes, I'll have to use an adapter to charge it, but I have a spare one from when I bought my camera out there too a couple of years ago. Financially, I have never looked back.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

24th April: National Stationery Day

As a stationery addict, I thought I'd pay homage to my new favourite event in the calendar (I'm sure it's not a coincidence that it's near my birthday!). Follow on Twitter @NatStatDay
I'd been meaning to do a stationery post for a while, so this proved the perfect opportunity. It is a huge part of my everyday life (I couldn't get through a day without post-it notes) and I am a big fan of the hand-written letter. Stationery and notebooks are a cheap, thoughtful and easy present, appreciated by most people. Although I also think receiving a card, rather than a present, on one's birthday is a far better gift. Here are some of my favourite objects/wesbites:

Boxed stamp kit, £12, Papermash
Notelets, £40 for set, Smythson
Notebook, £9.95, Liberty
Masking tape, £6.17, Object & Line
$20 for 8, Kate's Paperie (my FAVOURITE store in New York)
Archie Grand notebook, £9.95, Cult Pens

Sticky notes, £3, Paperchase
Card, £3.50, Karen Grout
Recipe cards, £8.95, Papermash
£60 for 25 menu cards, Hello Lucky 
Mousepad notepad, £14, Anthropologie
Card, £1, Marks & Spencer
£9 for 8 cards with 12 labels (eco cards: you can tear off the perforated front and re-use as a postcard!), by Paperbrat, buy online at Folksy
Map, £3, Herb Lester
Paper bags, from £2.25, Present & Correct

Friday, 20 April 2012

Store Of The Month: Dwell

Now I don’t condone buying everything for your home from Dwell, as you might end looking like the catalogue. But for the occasional well-made stylish product, it is great and when there are special offers on (especially on bank holidays), you could save a lot of money.

£399, Dwell
We bought this sideboard with a special offer £200 off, so cost us £199. I hate clutter, so we use it mainly to hide my partner’s immense CD collection...!

Items I am currently lusting over:

Desk for our study:
Reduced from £249 to £199
Chest of drawers for our bedroom:
The cove in our bedroom is an odd measurement (97cm??!), so we are amazed that this will actually fit!

Reduced from £249 to £199
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