29.4.13

14 things I'm looking forward to in May

italian-mastiff-cane-corso
1.  Ed's birthday.
2.  Warmer weather....it's got to happen soon, right?
3.  Making birthday wishlists.
4.  A month of no spending.  Nearly.  Pretty much.  I'm not actually looking forward to not buying any new things, but it'll be a relief to have a bit more money!
5. Getting use out of my multiple new bags.
6.  Maybe seeing this lovely lady again?
7.  ...And possibly Rosie and Samantha?
7.  Buying this.   And then no spending!
8.  Half term.
9.  Doing some more exciting stuff for GetReading.
10.  A roast dinner at the carvery.
11.  A half-termly catch up at Nando's.
12.  Seeing if all the tablets I've been buying from Holland & Barrett are actually having an effect.
13.  Making Ed's birthday cake.
14.  Finding out if my car insurance is cheaper this year.  From the quotes I've been getting, it should be!

Last month 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 happened.  We never got round to organising 4, Ed was working too much to fit in 6 and I was too lazy for 9!

26.4.13

New things: Carvela Larissa pumps

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rose-gold-detail-ballet-pumps-flats
carvella-nude-flats
My name's Tabitha and I have a problem.  I can't walk past a Kurt Geiger store (or section) without stopping to look.  Especially if there's a sale on.  In my defence, I usually don't make a purchase.  It just so happens that in the past few months I've made two cheeky buys...

The latest to my collection are the Larissas.  I'm sure I don't need to explain myself here; nude-coloured with rose gold detailing.  What's not to love?  The fact that they only had my size in store (rarely happens), were reduced to just over a third of the original price and are cushiony soft inside only sold them to me that little bit quicker.

I'm browsing the Kurt Geiger sale section as we speak, just hoping I'm strong enough to resist temptation.  Each year around Christmas we head up to the Harrods sale, and last year my friend bought two dreamy pairs of Kurt Geiger heels.  This year it's my dream to get my Christmas shopping done early and have enough money leftover to do the same.  Me, saving money?  Wish me luck.

24.4.13

New Things: The Zara Basic Messenger Bag

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zara-messenger-bag-roll-paper-bag-handbag
Remember when I mentioned I was lusting after this bag?  You'll notice I was good....I only bought one!

I'm so glad I opted for the red/pink version.  I love the colours together and from what I've seen, the black version has more of a shiny leather-look finish, whereas this is more of a texturised matte effect.

At £19.99 this is an absolute bargain and perfect for using at the weekends or on quick trips out.  This wouldn't really be practical for longer journeys as, when it's got more than just the bare essentials in it, it has a tendency to pop open on one side.  It rolls up and secures with magnets, but I tried using this for work the other day and it just wouldn't stay shut.

One annoying thing about Zara is that I find so many lovely bags online but rarely actually find them in store.  Good thing is, they offer free delivery to store though, so there's no excuse not to shop...and perhaps shop a little more when you go to collect....

22.4.13

9 Little Things: University

Image found via pinterest
  1. I studied Law at the University of Surrey.
  2. There were two times when I seriously considered quitting.
  3. Mine and my bestie (the one who frequented lavatories with me)'s friendship imploded.  I call this The Cold War and it lasted for nearly 2 years.
  4. I became a serious Party Machine with a seriously Fabulous Lady.  Adventures were had in our little Palace, and there was many a road trip.
  5. My beloved cat (and namesake) died of cancer.
  6. I went out in our Student Union less than 10 times throughout the whole of Uni.
  7. I celebrated my love for The Legendary Miss Britney Spears with a Britney themed 21st.  The girls came as different Britneys (I was VMA's Slave 4 U performance Britney, complete with snake) and the boys were either Justin or K-Fed.  The highlight was my Stepdad as JT and Mum as pink wig Britney.
  8. My other bestie was on a placement year, so back home for my final year of Uni.  We had the time of our lives and our pyjama-love reached its peak with a trip to Morrisons whilst wearing them.
  9. I chopped my bottle-blonde hair off and dyed it brunette.
- To read more of the 9 Little Things series about my life, click here -

19.4.13

New things: Topshop flippy tunic dress

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topshop-coral-orange-flippy-tunic-dress
I was immediately drawn to this dress when I saw it in Topshop; the vibrant colour is perfect for Summer, and looks great with the deeper tan I'm currently sporting.  At only £20 it's one of Topshop's bargain basics and will be really easy to dress up or down.

A couple of things though.  This dress is tighter than the similar, tiny-sleeved version that I was wearing back in Autumn.  Obviously it's different (this has the addition of seam detailing down the middle which I like), but I kinda figured it would sit the same?  No, this is far clingier so will need a few (ok, a lot of) ab workouts before I feel comfortable rocking it without tights holding me in.  Also, as my adjusting in the second photo demonstrates, it's got those funny-length arm holes that means my bra is exposed a lot.  I'm over it though.  I have a funny narrowness there (the lady in M&S told me), so if I find a sleeveless top that doesn't leave a portion of my bra showing it's a miracle.

What do you think of these dresses?  I've got my eye on the blue one next!

17.4.13

My shoe display

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nude-suede-wedge-heels
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ikea-ribba
If you remember my wardrobe post, you may have spotted that I store the majority of my flats and ankle boots on the bottom of the clothes rail in our bedroom.  When it came to storing my 'going out' shoes, I was at a loss.  Wedges are rather bulky, you see, and heels have a tendancy to fall through the gaps on my clothes rail shelf and just look messy.  I'm sad to say that in the past, my more dressy shoes have just been unceremoniously dumped in my boudoir.

But not anymore!  Enter, the Ikea Ribba.  I originally wanted the longer versions, but they only had two white ones left which were damaged, so I opted for the 55cm ones instead.  They were only £5.50 each, so all in all this display cost me around £20 after the nightmare I had fitting them to the wall.  (Note, the 3M Picture Hanging Strips claiming to hold up to 7.4kg in weight do not.  The whole thing fell off my wall with just one small shoe on and pulled the paint off.) 

I'm a firm believer that certain shoes are artwork, and while I wouldn't go as far as to say any of my pairs are masterpieces, they sure are easy on the eye.  This way I don't feel so guilty about not getting enough wear out of them, because I can look at them instead!   

How do you store your shoes?

14.4.13

30 ways to save £1 (or more)

Once again, I just can't face working out what I've spent this week. But that's allowed, it's the final week of the Easter holidays. Instead, behold, a money saving post!
MoneySupermarket sure know how to come up with a good challenge!  This time, in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the £1 coin taking place on the 21st of this month, we've been set the task of thinking of up to 30 ways to save £1 or more.  I've said it before, but blogging can become an expensive habit.  It's so easy to get caught up in the fuss over the latest "must have" product, that spending habits quickly spiral out of control.  Money saving tips are always welcome.  I've broken mine into categories, so without further adieu, here they are...

Fashion & Beauty
  • Always try and find a review before buying anything to make sure it'll live up to your expectations/suit your needs.
  • Shop with somebody who has student discount!
  • If you have a Boots Advantage card, always check the kiosk before buying anything.  You'll be able to print vouchers that'll give you more points and/or save you money on certain purchases.
  • Just because there's an offer on, doesn't mean you're getting a better deal!  It's so easy to walk into Boots and spend £15+ because things are on 3 for 2.  Stop and think.  Do you need that extra mascara and lipgloss?  You'll save more money by just buying what you went in for.
  • Visit places like Bicester Village and other outlets to get designer discounts.
  • There are lots of fantastic blogs out there which can inspire you to get crafty with your wardrobe.  I love checking out Gwen's blog for DIY tutorials on how to spruce up unloved items in my wardrobe and turn them into something much more current and fashionable.

Entertainment
  • Only take cash on a night out and leave your bank card at home to avoid getting carried away at the bar after a few drinks!
  • Sign up to restaurants' newsletters.  I'm always getting emails from Frankie & Bennys, Zizzi and Las Iguanas telling me about their latest deals or with a voucher to get money off a meal out.
  • Shop in charity shops for books.  They've usually only been read once and (depending on your shop) will cost you around 50p!
  • Alternatively, share books with family and friends rather than all buying the same.
  • Take advantage of Orange Wednesdays (if you can) to save on cinema tickets.
  • Cinema tickets are always much cheaper during the day.  So if it's an option, go to earlier screenings rather than peak time evening ones.
  • Sign up for magazine subscriptions.  I've got a 2 year InStyle subscription which works out at less than £1 an issue, rather than the £4ish they cost in shops each month.

Food
  • Plan meals for the week in advance and then buy ingredients that can be used in more than one to avoid wastage.
  • Don't go food shopping when you're hungry.  You'll end up buying far too many, unnecessary snacks.  I'm saving your waistline and your money with this one.
  • Alternatively, do your food shopping online.  That way you won't get sucked into buying extra items just because.
  • Shop around the supermarkets for branded items.  A lot of the time they'll be on offer, just rotated across different shops.  For example, Tesco one week and Sainsbury's the next.

Online shopping
  • Never hit the checkout for an online purchase without looking for a discount code.
  • Register with topcashback.
  • Avoid buying from brands such as River Island from their website.  Asos stocks them, so check if they have what you're looking for.  They regularly have discount codes and you'll get free delivery!
  • Look for things on eBay.  You'll find most stuff much cheaper on there.
  • The Google "Shopping" tab can be your best friend.  When I bought my Michael Kors watch, I spotted the one I wanted in store and then googled it to find a cheaper deal online.
  • Cheapsmells.com is a favourite of mine for perfume, hair and make up products at really low prices.
Being a grown up
  • I never pay full price for washing powder (have you seen how much that costs??)....always go to Lidl where it's far cheaper for a foreign alternative!
  • Lift share journeys to cut down on petrol useage.
  • Cut down on your gas bill by only using the heating when you have to.  I much prefer wrapping up in a blanket anyway!
  • Pay for your gas and electricity by Direct Debit.  I'm sure most people do this anyway, but by paying the same amount over a year you'll find yourself in credit because you use less gas (for example) in the Summer months, and this way you won't get a nasty bill every three months.
General
  • Take a set amount of money out of the bank for your "unnecessary" purchases for the month.  You'll probably be more reluctant to spend "proper" money.
  • Keep a spending diary (so this works most of the time for me)
  • If you can, book train tickets in advance to get a cheaper deal.
And the best part of this challenge?  Anyone with a blog can enter, and MoneySupermarket will give you £1 for each tip you come up with.  But wait, there's more!  The winner of the best list will win £1000, and if they receive over 1000 ways to save £1, then that figure gets doubled and the winner receives £2000!  To find out more, click here.

I'm always on the lookout for more ways to save money, so if you have a tip or two for me that I've missed, then please leave it below.  Alternatively, if you're giving this competition a go then leave me your link so I can go and check out your list!

12.4.13

New Things: New Look Leather Jacket

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black-leather-biker-jacket-silver
I've just realised how long this post has sat as a draft in my post list.  Ah well, it's still relatively new! I bought this jacket the other week when I decided that I needed another style of leather jacket.  Initially I tried on this one in Topshop and was all set to buy it after payday but then decided perhaps to keep my eye out for something a little cheaper.  I've got more than my money's worth out of my other Topshop jacket, but I didn't really want to spend the best part of £60 on something I wanted on a whim.

I never shop in New Look, but I was pleasantly surprised when my sister took me in there and I spotted this jacket on the hanger.  It fits as nicely as the Topshop one, and is a little more subtle without the big buckles that I wasn't that sold on to begin with.  And at £34.99 with a cheeky 10% off, it was a lot cheaper than Topshop's offering.

I'm not sure if I've found the exact on online or not, but this looks a lot like it with the exception that mine is definitely black and not navy.  But it's sold out.  Sorry about that.  Have a look in store though, and don't be put off by the strangely tight elbows.  They soon loosen up.  Or maybe I just got used to them?

10.4.13

Skip n' Whistle Crazy Cat Lady Jumper

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skip-n-whistle-grey-sweater
Was there ever a top more perfect for me?  You've only got to follow me on instagram to see how much of a crazy cat lady I am!

I was kindly gifted this jumper from Skip n' Whistle, and it's become my go-to for days when I don't really have the energy to think of an "outfit" to wear, but still want to look good and feel cosy.  On first impressions I thought the jumper looked a little short, but it's actually the perfect length and superduper soft.  These were quick photos taken by Ed, but you can see how I incorporated the top into a more interesting outfit here.  It's perfect to use as more of a neutral background with the bright splash of colour added by my bag.

These jumpers retail on skipnwhistle.com for $29, which works out to be £18.94.  A pretty bargainous buy, although with shipping it takes it up to £31 which actually, I still don't think is that bad when you consider Topshop prices.  If you ordered two of these (easily done, so many nice designs and available in a range of colours) it appears you'd qualify for free shipping too!  For reference, I'm a UK size 10....borderline 8, if I didn't have such big bazingas....and this Medium gives the perfect fit.

I've fallen in love with this jumper, and next on my list is this other cat-themed delight.  Another thing I'm impressed with is their custom printing service.  Can you imagine, I could have t-shirts with my actual cats printed on them!!

1.4.13

9 Little Things: Secondary School & College

Aaaah I remember going to the cinema to watch this for a friend's 12th birthday! Image found via pinterest.
  1. At the age of 12 I forgot how to do a forward roll and still can't do it.
  2. I developed a fear of going to the toilet alone.  Not literally in the cubicle, but my bestie would always have to accompany me and wait by the sinks.
  3. I never actually had a boyfriend at school.  I had crushes on people but was always too shy to tell them.
  4. I spent a lot of money at 6th Form buying 20p hash browns and put on a lot of weight.
  5. There was a hierarchy in our college canteen as to where people sat.  One day we decided to invade the booths (aka where the cool kids sat), which was fine during our free period, but as soon as lunch came the cool ones arrived, stared at us in disbelief and I instantly regretted it.  My friend refused to let us leave though and it was the most awkward lunchtime of my life.
  6. I passed my driving test first time, aged 17, with 4 minors.  My first car was a red Corsa which I saved up for.
  7. I frequently drove to places in my pyjamas.
  8. We went out clubbing a lot and always stayed in my friend's caravan in her back garden.  We nicknamed it The Caravan of Love (I have no idea...) and I always bagsied sleeping on the floor where there was an air vent, to try and minimise my hangover.
  9. I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday.

- To read more of the 9 Little Things series about my life, click here -