Christmas : It’s kind of like marmite…

Christmas. The other, much dirtier ‘C’ word.

For many of us, it’s a time of year to get really excited about; Cosy fires, festive drinks, a haze of gluttony and food comas, carols, drinky-poos and of course, presents and Christmas day with your family all around you.

For others, those very same things can induce dread so debilitating it can cause a hernia. Aside from the fact that high-street stores can start off with festive window displays and carols as soon as Halloween is over (what about bonfire night? At least give some recovery time, please?!?!?) Christmas can be a financial strain for some, who tumble into a spiral of over commitment and debts in order to fulfill the happiness and gift giving quota that society seems to demand of us these days.

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My little tree!!!

I’m the first to coo over beautifully arranged Instagram photos of the PERFECTLY wrapped gifts, luxury brand gift bags, and impossibly beautiful living room Christmas trees. But in the back of my head there’s a tiny voice that scoffs and says, ‘well that’s all well and good if you want to sell off a kindey AND don’t have a day job. Or children. Or cats….’.

Christmas has become a commercial frenzy. We all know this. I thought I would list my top favourite things about this time of year that I cherish, that don’t really cost a penny, alongside the things I wish didn’t matter, and would banish.

Cherish

That feeling I get in the back of my throat when I hear Nat King Cole or Ella Fitzgerald croon out a big band classic Christmas song. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. I can’t help myself from welling up!

Banish

Gifts from Santa? NO! As a parent, you can still maintain the magic of Christmas and the legend of Ol’ Saint Nick, but still take credit for the gifts you spent hours in shops picking out (and hours at work to pay for them). Kids are bound to get a little present-crazy when Christmas morning comes, but it’s important for them to understand WHO they came from and HOW they came to be there – through hard work and through kindness and thought.

Cherish

Family traditions and rituals around Christmas time are the things money can’t buy. Whether it’s getting everyone together in early December to put up the tree with carols on in the background, or whether it’s going carol singing in your local church. Do you make sure you all sit around the table to breakfast together? Keep them. Trust me, they matter the most, especially when loved ones move away, or pass on.

Banish

Shops selling to us as early as October. I know it’s because people start their shopping that early, but if believes about how tall a gift pile needs to be weren’t perpetuated by marketing ploys, we’d all consider gifts by their merit and not their quantity. I can’t stand the “that’ll do” outlook some people have, but then I can’t blame them either. They’re conditioned to feel stressed.

Cherish

Snow! It falls so rarely around this time of year. Get wrapped up and get out there and make a snow man.

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Cherish

Cheesy Christmas movies are all about the Christmas spirit – being with your family, all warm and loved when it’s so cold outside.

Banish

you have to spend as much on gift wrap as the present itself, right? WRONG! my top tip – everytime you get a gift bag, keep it, and reuse it next time you had out a gift. Buy your cards and wrap on sale in Jan for the year after, taking all the stress away when you realise you don’t have any, and also dramatically reducing your spend.

 

Do you have pet hates at Christmas? What are your  treasured Christmas traditions? Leave me a comment below!

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Pre-Loved – My top tips for selling your clothes

Salt Clothing Co

Selling on some of your old/unworn clothes can be an excellent way to rake back a little extra money, while doing your bit for the environment (after all, it’s a bit like recycling, right?). However, you shouldn’t try to sell your clothes without reading through this post first. If you jump in the deep end without the basics, your items will sit there unsold and gathering dust!

Use the Right Platform

The first thing you need to know is that there are multiple platforms you can use to sell your old clothes. There’s eBay of course  but you probably already know there are easier and simpler fashion-focussed apps you can use. There’s Depop, which is fairly new on the scene and is a little bit like Instagram for selling clothes. There are sites for designer garments, too. My personal favourite is Vinted though, which is an online fashion marketplace, Think about what you’re selling and do your research on the most suitable platform to sell on.

Use Accurate and Enticing Descriptions for More Interest

When selling online, you need to write a description on the item. It isn’t compulsory, but you’ll only get asked a ton of annoying questions if you don’t succintly and accurately descrive what you’re selling – Include Size, colour, length and width measurements, and fabric type. Accuracy is important, otherwise the buyer has rights to expect a refund from you.

Use Good Quality images

High quality pictures showing off the cut and color of the item is very important. They can be taken with an iPhone or another bog standard camera, but you need to be sure the lighting isn’t misleading your viewers. Multiple pictures is always going to be a better idea than just one picture – Apps like Vinted have a great walkthrough for uploading your photos for an item – front, back, on and off the hanger. Also, don’t forget to include photos of any flaws (see above re accuracy!)

photography is important!

Styling is Important

Styling up the clothes might be an effort, but you’ll get so much more attention on your items, and increase you chances of selling. People will be able to see how they would wear the item(s) you’re selling, and this will make them more likely to buy. If the reason you’re selling is it doesn’t fit, you can always ask a friend to model, or style them on a mannequin from a place like http://my-mannequins.co.uk. It’s worth the extra effort you go through to get a little more money from selling on!

Customer Service Matters

Make sure any communication you have with an interested buyer is clear and quick. Concentrate on offering great customer service, even if this isn’t really a ‘business’ to you! People will be more likely to look again if you sell anything else, and feedback is very important. You don’t want to put people off buying from you if you take too long to reply, or worse, you’re snotty with them.

Be Realistic

You might want more than what you paid for an item, but this isn’t always realistic. Know that you probably won’t get as much as you want unless the item is very special. You can set a reserve price, but be cautious. This can put some buyers off.

Ready to make some extra cash on your old clothes? Use these tips and see what happens!

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Fossil Sydney Tote handbag

By rights I should totally avoid Cheshire Oaks Retail park because undoubtedly I will come home with something…

This time was no exception –  you might recall last time I went I came away with a Mulberry dress!

This time I popped into Fossil – I love their simple,  colourful and beautifully designed handbags. I’ve been hoping for a medium sized tote in a pretty colour to bring me into summer,  and this baby was right on the button, as well as being a complete bargain at £65.00!

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What’s in your handbag?

I absolutely loved it on sight – powder blue is such a versatile colour too. I couldn’t wait to get it home and style it for an instagram photo! I was really keen on the bright red tote but this one was not in the sale. They also had a lovely powdery lime colour.

Hope you’ve had a great restful weekend.

Fossil handbag baby blue

Fashion : pastel loveliness

I adore pale subtle colours, especially in spring. Recently I’ve been on  a bit of a pastel binge,  so I thought I’d share some with you!

Clarks handbag

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This is my adorable Clarks handbag. I decided to look for something paler as the summer was approaching and found this beauty.  It was 20% off £50 at the time,  too!

Barry M Speed dry collection

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Lap of honour

I couldn’t resist this collection. I always smudge my Polish because I am impatient and can’t wait for things to dry properly! This collection is so adorable,  with pastels through the spectrum.

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Facewash

Not exactly wearable but it’s cute and pink all the same!

I picked this up because although their tea tree stuff is amazing it has a tendency to tighten and dry if used too often. This baby is soft and gentle and just lovely,  I use it everyday.

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Hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried the Barry M speedy dry collection?

Xox

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