14 things I'm looking forward to in May

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!


Diary of a Spendaholic 32

Topshop - £37
Boohoo - -£15
Holland & Barrett - £5.05
New Look - £5.26
Cheapsmells - £9.80
So I was good all week and then had a temporary blip in town.  I've been loving slouchy printed t-shirts at the moment so couldn't resist buying a Wildfox-esque one in the Topshop sale and also managed to track down this dress which I couldn't stop thinking about after seeing it in one of Stacie's instagram photos.  I think it was a little overpriced, but I tried buying a cheaper alternative from boohoo which I really tried hard to like, but in the end I decided to just return that and spend the money on the one that I really wanted.
I hot-footed it down to Holland & Barrett to get some charcoal capsules which are apparently a good remedy for bloating (if you saw this pic you'll know why I need them) and whilst I was there I nipped into New Look where I got 25% off a chunky necklace.  Which I also think I spotted on Stacie.  I'm a serious stalker when it comes to that girl.
Finally, I was given a little hair styling treat at a salon where they used a really nice salt spray on me that didn't make my hair feel crispy and didn't leave it in a matted mess.  I know, as if I need any more texturising products, but I'm weak.

TK Maxx - £66.98 (although £50 was a gift voucher....so £16.98)
I was given a voucher by TK Maxx as a gift for some blogging I'd done for them (more on that next week) and my instant reaction was to treat myself to a bag or some shoes.  But, I'm sure you'll have noticed, I've bought lots of bags and shoes lately, so decided I'd be good and buy something for Ed's birthday with it instead.  So this morning I woke up with the intention of going down there and picking up a photo I'd seen in there for him.  Only, it turns out I'd seen that weeks ago, and we all know what TK Maxx is like.  It was gone!  Instead, I treated myself to this which yes, is a little bit naughty, but something I'd seen a while ago online but would never spend £50 on.  Plus buying something for the house isn't too bad is it?  And to ease my guilt a little, I did manage to find something to buy for Ed's birthday too.

Total for the week: £74.09 but because I feel bad I'm deducting money I made from my blog sale (which is still running!) so £59.09And I'm ignoring the fact that Coco cost me a small fortune down the vets because, well, that was a necessary spend.  Thank God it's payday on Tuesday.


New things: Carvela Larissa pumps

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.


New Things: The Zara Basic Messenger Bag

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....


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 -


Diary of a Spendaholic 31

iTunes - £7.99
So we're back with the Diary and my attempts to be good.  I'm beginning to feel a bit worried; some of you guys have said through comments and Twitter that I make you feel better about your spending habits.  I don't think I'm that bad though??  I'm not one to fall for the latest hype and spend a shedload of money on cosmetics (any more).  It's very rare that I buy online without getting a deal of some sort, and I like to think I get  a lot for my money!
Anyway, tonight I finally got round to downloading Adele's album, 19, again.  One of the best albums ever, better than 21, it was the soundtrack to a glorious summer, full of great memories.  "Tired" is one of my favourite songs which sums up the way I felt for a long time.  If you don't have this album, you need it!

H&M - -£18.73
Zara - £45.98
Ed - -£15
Paypal - -£30
A bit of a confusing one today!  So I found myself in town doing some stuff for an exciting venture coming up on getreading.  Once we'd finished it would have been rude not to head into Zara, seeing as it's not particularly local to me and I don't get to go there too often.  Also, I had some shoes to take back to H&M which meant I had a large nude-coloured sandal-sized spot to fill in my shoe collection.
Long story short, these purchases are a lot less guilt-filled when you consider Ed gave me some money and I finally got around to transferring some money from my PayPal to my bank account.  In fact, I'm in the minus for the week now!

Total for the week: -£9.76 Could this be my best week yet?  I've bought stuff and still managed to be better off than I was last week!


New things: Topshop 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!


My shoe display

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?


Shopping in & Other Stories

& Other Stories has been creating quite a buzz recently, so when I went to London earlier in the month it was top of my list to visit.

Situated on Regent Street, just around the corner from Oxford Circus, the & Other Stories store felt like a little haven from all the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street.  Inside it's light, bright and airy.  We went from there to Topshop, and boy the difference in shopping atmospheres was insane.

One thing I couldn't quite get my head around was the prices.  As I'm sure you all know, & Other Stories is the latest brainchild of H&M, although it's prices are more like the expensive end of Zara.  That said, there are some really reasonably priced things to be found within their make up and jewellery sections (everything I bought cost under £25), it's just a case of checking all the prices to find them.  For instance, I picked up a ring and was baffled by its £17 price tag, but then when I found the one I bought for only £7.50 I couldn't believe my eyes.

And the make up section.  Woah.  Seriously beautiful, moisturising lipsticks and pigmented blushers caught my eye.  Not to mention their Fig Fiction skincare range.  If I could, I would have bought more.  I just wasn't too sure about paying near enough MAC prices for a new, high street range.

The only other downside is that now I want to buy more, but the £6 delivery charge is just not happening.  Luckily, as I was going through my receipts, I spotted that they tucked a free delivery code into the little pouch that my purchases were packaged in.  Now I just need to wait until I've got a bit more cash to splash.  And until I've actually figured out how to navigate the website properly (it's all a bit tumblr-ish, and whilst it looks good, it doesn't make for easy browsing). 

Have you visited yet?


Diary of a Spendaholic 30 / 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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!


New Things: New Look Leather Jacket

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?


Skip n' Whistle Crazy Cat Lady Jumper

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!!


What's in my bag?

A new bag is the perfect excuse to do an updated WIMB post, right?  You may notice a distinct lack of make up in my bag - I took this photo a couple of weeks ago when, thanks to a nasty eye infection coupled with eczema, I wasn't able to wear make up for a week, hence its disappearance from my bag!  Anyhow, the contents of my bag are thus:

hat & gloves 
iPhone 4S 
Lee Stafford Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray 
Fudge Urban 3 in 1 Miracle Moisture Stuff 
Batiste dry shampoo
Avene Thermal Water
Nivea Lip Butter
2 Creme Eggs
Nip + Fab Dry Hand Fix
Dr Organic Manuka Honey Rescue Cream
2 x prescription creams
a pen
Nails Inc nail varnish in Caramel

That looks like a lot all listed like this, but in actual fact the bag is so spacious and such a good shape that it hardly feels like anything when it's being lugged around!


Diary of a Spendaholic 29 / Beauty Blog Sale

Sooo I'm a little bit ashamed to admit how much I've let my hair down this week and treated myself.  This week's Diary of a Spendaholic comes as a way for me to ease my guilt and claw back some of the cash I've spent, by creating a blog sale for all the beauty goodies that sit unloved in my collection.

  • Blog sale is open to the UK only.
  • If you see anything you like, email me (tabithabluebell@gmail.com), tweet me (@scaredtoast) or leave me a comment with your email address and the item you'd like....first come first serve!
  • P&P is £2 for the first item, and an additional 50p per any extra item you buy.  Unless requested, it'll be by Royal Mail Second Class.  If you would like it to be sent recorded (for an additional 75p) then let me know, otherwise I accept no responsibility for items lost in the post.
  • Payment must be ASAP through Paypal.  Items will only be held for 24 hours.
  • All items will be sanitised before sending.
I am open to deals if you're buying more than one thing, so if you want a couple of bits....make me an offer!
- MUA Pro-Base Conceal & Brighten Kit in Porcelain - Beige : 50p (used once) -
- MAC Mineralize Satinfinish Foundation in NW25 : £3 (approximately 30% left.  Looks like more in the photo because it had been left on its side!) -
- MUA Pressed Powder in Shade 3 : 50p (used a handful of times) -
- GOSH Cream Blush in 004 Silky Rose : £2 (used once) -
- Lily Lolo Mineral Blush in Juicy Peach : £2.50 (never used) -
- MAC eyeshadow in Fountainbleu : £3 (has been used maybe twice, but has become a bit mangled in my make up bag!  Powder is a bit gouged, as shown) -
- Smashbox Cream Eyeliner Palette : £4 (three shades have been used.  Useage as shown) -
(Clockwise from top left)
- No.7 Anniversary Trio in Supreme 70s : £1 (used a handful of times) -
- No.7 Anniversary Trio in Feisty 90s : £1 (used a handful of times) -
- Look Beauty Statement Eyes in Twinset Shade 29 : £1 (never used) -
- Models Own Powder Eyeshadow in Metallic Lavender : 50p (swatched)
- Barry M Dazzle Dust in Shade 58 : 50p (75% left) -
- Maybelline Color Tattoo 24Hr in Eternal Gold : £2 (used once)
- Eyeko Skinny Liner in Plum : £1 (used once) -
- Origins Full Story Lush-Lash Mascara in Black : 50p (mini, never used) -
(Clockwise from top left) 
- Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 in 10 Air Kiss : 50p (mini, never used) -
Origins Liquid Lip Colour in Beaming Berry / You're Golden : 50p (mini, never used)
-  MaxFactor Max Effect Lip Gloss in Orange Smack : £1 (swatched) - 
- Rimmel Vinyl Gloss in 110 Keep a Secret : £1.50 (swatched) -
- The Body Shop Hi Shine Lip Treatment in Perfectly Pink : £1 (used once) -
- Du Wop Venom Gloss in Buttercup : 50p (mini, used once) -
- Stila Lip Enamel Luxe Gloss in 03 Giggle : £2 (used twice, but a little messy in the lid, as shown) -
- Sleek Pout Polish in Powder Pink : £1.50 (90-95% left) -
- Bobbi Brown Creamy Color Gloss in Dusk : £2 (only used a handful of times, but the bristles on the brush have become a little bit messy.  I've tried to show this, but can take additional photos on request!) -
(From back to front)
- elf Lip Stain in Red Carpet : £1 (used once, although colour did transfer into the clear gloss, as shown) - 
- Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling : £2 (used a handful of times)
- Collection 2000 Cream Puff in Angel Delight 4 : £1 (used a handful of times) - 
- Collection 2000 Cream Puff in Powder Puff 2 : £1 (used a handful of times) -
- Sleek Eau La La Liner in Melba : £1 (used a handful of times) -
(Left to right) 
- NYX Black Label Lipstick in 132 Fire : £1 (swatched)
- Collection 200 Lasting Extreme Lipstick in Playful : £1 (used once) - 
- Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 006 Pink Blush : £1 (used once) -
- Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in 16 Candy : £3 (used a handful of times, slight damage to the lipstick bullet.  More images available on request) -
- The Body Shop Colourglide Lip Colour in 64 : £1.50 (used a handful of times) -
- Avon Ultra Colour Riche Lipstick in Sparkling Nude : £1.50 (used once) -
- Johnson's Daily Essentials Hydrating 24 hour Day Cream with SPF15 for normal skin : £1.50 (95% left) -


6 of the Best: DesignerDesirables.com

On the face of it, I'm aware that this looks like the most bright and borderline-tacky selection I've made.  But wait!  Before you shut down this page, let me talk you through my picks...

So my love of that acid limey/yellowy/can'tquiteputmyfingeronit colour is well documented.  So when I spotted this shirt and dress I couldn't help but put them into my virtual basket.  I love the back detail on the shirt, and whilst I'm not sure I'd ever have the confidence to wear the dress I do think it could be dressed down or incorporated into an outfit to make it a bit more wearable.  Oh, and I also think it would look bangin' with a tan!  (Yes, I'm afraid I did just say that).  You'll notice that there's also touches of yellow in the playsuit, and I'm loving anything Aztec at the moment.  The Wildfox-esque jumper is pretty self-explanatory.  I love this style of knitwear.  I also love the more sophisticated dress, which I think has a really nice jungle-y vibe which will look great in Summer.  And finally....That Jacket.  No, I haven't lost my marbles.  The photo represents the blazer on its own, it's just unfortunate that the website paired it with the trousers and bralet.  I don't want to dress in head to toe leopard print, but I do however think there's space for yet another statement blazer in my wardrobe.

I hadn't heard of this website before, but actually they have some great designer women's clothing; some of the items I chose are from House of Dereon and L.A.M.B, and they also stock Minkpink, Evil Twin, AX Paris and TFNC.  And for all you TOWIE fans out there, they have ranges by Amy Childs, Jessica Wright, Lydia Rose Bright as well as the Lauren's Way tan and lashes.

In my opinion, the website and models don't showcase the clothes as well as they could, and at first this can feel a little off putting.  But if you're willing to have a real look through (or know which particular designer you're after) then there are some real gems to be had.  The prices are pretty good too!