Monday, 10 April 2017

Beauty Under A Fiver: Good Things Coconut Oil Hydrating Hand Cream

I remember sometime last year reading a budget skincare post on one of the bigger blogs that I followed. I immediately thought thank goodness someone is finally talking about how you don't have to spend a fortune to keep yourself looking and feeling good! My elation soon turned to despair when among these budget favourites was a £50 face oil. Now, if that's something you have the budget for that's fantastic go ahead, I am not judging! But £50 to me could feed me and my husband for a good couple of weeks, go towards a holiday or buy me at least 10 items of clothing from a charity shop! I can't justify £50 on any kind of make-up or skincare. 

That is when my idea for this series came along. Every week I will be sharing with you a product that I am loving that has cost me under £5. I will also be collecting products that disappoint me and when I have a few gathered I will be sharing these too! All in the name of balance! Even if something is under a fiver I don't want you to be wasting your precious pennies!!

First up is this Good Things coconut oil hydrating hand cream which I picked up recently in TK Maxx for £2.99. The RRP is £3.99 and therefore it still comes in under £5! I have also found it online here for £4.99.

You may or may not know that in my night job (I would say day job but I work nights so ...) I am a health care assistant. I deal with all kinds of bodily fluids and this in turn leads to a lot of hand washing! Last year I suffered a nasty bout of dermatitis which left my poor hands cracked and bleeding and me unable to work while it cleared up. At the time I was prescribed a short term steroid cream and Hydromol to wash my hands with and I have had to be careful with hand creams ever since.

Anything heavily scented is a no go and this cream is fantastic. A little bit goes a long way and it sinks into your skin easily. It doesn't take long to dry which is fantastic if you are busy like I am and it doesn't leave a residue! I would definitely recommend it!

Charlotte Lucy

Monday, 3 April 2017

March Buyers Archive!

So March has been such a long month apparently. I have struggled to remember what I bought and next month I think I need to keep a log of things throughout the month rather than panicking right at the very end and trying to scrabble around finding the things that I bought! Ha ha. I think I had spring and holidays on my mind this month ...

Right at the beginning of the month (march 2nd to be exact) I had about 30 minutes to kill in Leicester and then about the same time to kill in Loughborough and managed to pick up 8 items ...

Firstly from my favourite charity shop (The Cancer research one in Leicester) I picked up these two dresses! The top one is a beautiful cord dress from Sea Salt Cornwall, for £3, which I have already worn in an outfit post (here) The second is this beautiful maxi dress originally from South, bought for £2. I also on this morning bought this tee from New Look but it seems to have disappeared completely off the face of the earth!

So on the afternoon we popped into Loughborough and my first stop was rainbows! I picked up this dress in a size 22 which is originally from TU and it is so lovely and floaty I can see myself throwing it on over my bikini on holiday (oh did I not mention I'm going on holiday to Ibiza in 4 weeks time?) This was £4.95. I also picked up a Marks and Spencer's cardigan brand new with tags for £5.95 but again I couldn't find that to take a photo! If I find these things I will add photos in later!

I then popped into the sense shop where everything is £1. I don't usually pick up much in here but loved this floaty over sized shirt (again to wear on holiday with bikinis and shorts!)

Apologies for the blurry photos here, but next I popped into Sue Ryder and picked up two further dresses (can you see spring was on my mind?) The first is just a strappy cotton dress, new with tags from George at asda which I paid £3.95 for. Second is this linen dress which my husband says makes me look like a hippie! I am more going for it makes me feel like an artist in a studio in France. I feel like i need to wear it with a big floppy beret! Either way I was more than happy to hand over £4.95 for it and I cant wait to style it!

My blogger pal Louisa had a sale over on her instagram this month and I honestly could have bought everything but limited myself to 3 items (the other two will be in Aprils post as I haven't received them as I write this) I couldn't help myself when I saw this Henry Holland dog print dress. I have a little bit of a collection of Henry Holland dresses and for £6 I couldn't say no to this!

The denim dress is a size 20 and I picked it up from the British Heart Foundation after seeing Stephanie style this one on her blog. Its not exactly the one I wanted but nontheless I have loved wearing it and you can see how I styled it on the blog here.  It was reduced to £4.49 and I am glad I picked it up!

We then found ourselves in Beeston one afternoon and I have totally fallen head over heels with it! I had never been before but there are LOADS of charity shops! Tom got loads of really great work shirts for about £2.99 a time and I picked up this floaty mustard top for £3.49 and this sunflower skirt for £3.

I bought two pairs of trousers this month and I am not someone who wears trousers a lot. However last summer I suffered from the chub rub and decided to invest in some floral trousers which meant no rubbing thighs! I picked up the top pair of light cotton trousers for 99p and paid slightly more for the bottom pair (£4.99) as I have a pair in another design and they are sooooo comfy! They are originally Mark's and Spencer's so I know they are good quality! I also bought some shorts from H+M Maternity for £9.99 which have a great stretch in the side for my belly!

On the subject of maternity clothing I bought this maternity tshirt for £1.49 to layer under some of my dresses while it is still not overly warm outside. In the same trip I also got this fox print scarf for £1.99 both from the Extra Care charity shop in Leicester.

The last two purchases were bikinis! Now I haven't worn a bikini in years and one of the things I was determined to do this year was to feel comfortable, as I am, In a bikini. I have tried to find one for weeks now, and tried and failed a number of times. Most provide tummy flattering to my size and forget that actually for some of us anything too structured on the tummy is painful! The top bikini was just £5 from Primark.

The second one I am totally blaming Janet for the second bikini! I saw the bottoms in her latest buyers archive and went straight to amazon to buy them! When I read the reviews for the whole bikini I read a lot of complaints that the top wasn't enough for big boobs - so I thought it would be perfect for my tiny little B cups! I was right and it fits perfectly although I did have to take out the horrible cups it comes with! That was £12.99 and you can get it here. for reference I bought an XL and I'm a 36B on top and a 16 on the bottom!

This Months Spend: £88.21
Total Years Spend: £201.44 
Average Monthly Spend: £67.15 

I spent quite a bit this month and I also have some things on order that haven't come yet so I expect April to be much the same! However I will be taking part in a 6 week no spend challenge when I am back from my holiday to try and get my credit card paid off within six weeks if I can!

Charlotte Lucy

Monday, 27 March 2017

#IntuSpringStyle event

After turning down numerous invites to events at Intu, last Saturday I was FINALLY able to attend one! Unfortunately with my job I tend to book shifts weeks in advance (but hopefully this will be changing in a few weeks time!) When I got the invite I practically jumped at the chance (cliche blogger phrase, I am aware!) and emailed back straight away!

Before meeting the girls at Cafe Rizzoli I had a look around the centre as it has been a while since I visited. For a while my IBS and Anxiety have been keeping me sticking to places I know (something I havent really mentioned on this blog) and I was worried to be out of my comfort zone. However, with a lot of breathing exercises my fears melted away when I met the other lovely bloggers! I found a beautiful shop, Sostrene Greene, and bought a few little pieces! The store in Nottingham is the first in the UK and it is a bloggers dream! Everything is very Hygge, Instagrammable and won't break the bank!

Anyway, we started off like I say in Cafe Rizzoli by meeting the owner of the family business, and drinking some Bellini's! I had a quick glance around at the other diners (you know I'm a foodie at heart) and it is somewhere that I will be taking Tom on our next visit to Nottingham!

We then headed to see the spring summer fashion ideas and I totally fell in love with this jumpsuit! I don't know if I shared with you that I have actually bought a really bright jumpsuit and as of yet I haven't been brave enough to wear it but the show really inspired me to get it out now we are heading into Spring and Summer!

I was impressed to see that they had included a plus size model, however I have to say I think they could improve on this next time! While the regular sized male and female models showed three or four outfits in the current trends, the plus size model only showed one that seemed to focus more on covering her all up rather than showing off how fabulous plus size fashion can be. As a size 16 myself I recognise I am an Inbetweenie and on the smaller side of plus size but I would have loved to see her in different outfits and showing off the trends! The other models also took their outfits from day to night and this would have been a lovely touch too.

We were then set a challenge. Armed with a £20 gift card kindly given to us by Intu Victoria Centre and a card with the name of one of the trends. When I picked mine I was a little unsure. The head to toe florals or nautical would have been fitting right into my comfort zone, but part of learning to live and be happy with my body is pushing the limits of that comfort zone and actually I really enjoyed the outfit I came out (there will be a full outfit post when its a bit warmer!)

I would never have thought of looking in Topshop but Ellie new exactly what would fit the theme but I was sceptical about budget! After finding a grey strappy dress with a mesh overlay and a white dress with sheer panelling (both £15, both too small!) I came across THIS one and it fit perfectly! I cant wait to wear it all summer long with different cami dresses underneath!

Sarah and I then headed to quiz and managed to find her perfect top too, again for £15. 

With £5 of my budget remaining I set my heart on finding a necklace of some kind to wear with it but thought I was pushing it a little bit. With 5 minutes left of the 30 minute challenge the girls wanted to head to river island, where I picked up this love necklace for just £3. I decided to make one last run to Superdrug next door and pick up this MUA Lipstick for just £1 to complete the look which Molly informs me is really good!

We then all met at Handmade Burger Co to regroup and share our purchases! I ordered the peanut butter and bacon burger which mostly people find weird but the combination of sweet and savoury is just my cup of tea! Despite a bit of a hiccup with the drinks (my coke had a big slosh of vodka in it which I gulped down because I was so thirsty!) the food was great and the company even better!

Thank you so much to the team at Intu for inviting me, I had such a fantastic time and can't wait to put together some outfits with all of the ideas that you gave me! If you are quick share your own #intuspringstyle on twitter or instagram to win a £50 intu giftcard! Competition ends the 30th April and you can see the full details here

Charlotte Lucy

Friday, 24 March 2017

Sea Salt Cornwall: Outfit under £10 from Cancer Research Uk

So sometimes I pick up clothes when I already know the brand, but this was a total shock to me!

My favourite charity shop in Leicester is the Cancer Research Uk shop where everything is £3 or less. I can get really carried away, but recently I tend to be very good (unless I am with Kirstie, she's a bad influence!)

However, on my wedding anniversary we had about an hour to kill and so I just popped in for a little browse and came out with two dresses. I was really good and even tried them on which has been one of my goals this year! When I got home I researched the brand Sea Salt Cornwall and found that not only are there clothes £45 + they are also recommended by a lot of ethical clothing bloggers so win win!

The dress is also a cordrouy kind of feel and has pockets! You can tell its really built to last and so it was a total steal at £3! Its comfy, and although theres no stretch in it, its big enough to cover an IBS bloat!

The biker jacket is another steal from there at £4 (yeah Im not sure why it was £4 as nothing else is over £3 but I would have paid a lot more for it!!) I had been after one for ages and I practically ran to the till with it!

The boots are Dorothy Perkins, but I won them in a twitter competition! So yeah the whole outfit is really under £10! I have to thank my husband Tom for only moaning a little bit when taking these photos! It was drizzling a bit and also my modelling skills need a lot of work!

Charlotte Lucy