Thursday, 27 December 2012

No New Clothes Challenge - The End


So I've done it, I've actually gone a whole year without buying any new clothes. It wasn't difficult  it was quite liberating and it has probably changed my habits for ever. Looking at  cheap new clothes now seems a bit obscene and realising that I've far too many clothes anyway is a bit embarrassing.

Over the past year the times when I've felt I "needed" to buy something has been for smart nights out but I've come to realise that going shopping is actually the lazy option. Mainly I buy something new because it is easier than looking in my wardrobe. The other day when we were off a black tie event I was convinced I didn't have anything ..... ummmm yes I did. After going through my wardrobe I managed to find at least three things  that would do and ended up finding a dress belonging to my mum that I wore and was absolutely perfect for the occasion.

I suppose I have missed that lovely buzz of buying something new and sometimes you buy something that you wear and wear and wear but more often than not you don't realise it at the time. Little did I know the day I was made redundant and couldn't face going home just yet so went shopping and bought my blue silk dress from Planet in the sale that it would become my "default fall back I don't know what to wear attire". I love that dress and I've worn it so many times that it was worth every penny. But those purchases are few and far between. 

The only person who seems to have noticed  my lack of new clothes (and maybe been a bit scornful) is my friend Sarah who quite honestly admits she has a bit of a problem with shopping and couldn't go a month week day without buying something new. Maybe her scorn was justified though as the last time I saw her I was wearing a dress of hers that I seem to have borrowed and never quite given back to her ... oooops. She really notices what people wear and will tell me when the last time she saw me wear something and will remember when I bought it! But let's be honest she is unusual. Last week I went to a party and thought I couldn't wear this dress because I'd worn it with the same people not long ago, then I tried to remember what they were wearing .... no couldn't recall .... so decided that they wouldn't remember either and, if they did, they would be far too polite to say anything. I was right.

Which brings me onto another thought. Why do we buy new clothes? Is it to get that buying buzz, to impress others, to be fashionable or to not look scruffy? I think that I can cover all these things by just buying a couple of new things each year. I'm going to try not to be mesmerised by the price of clothes and perhaps spend a little bit more and go for quality rather than quantity.

I do need {yes need} a couple of pairs of jeans as when it warms up and I stop wearing leggings underneath my current jeans there will simply be a little too much flesh on show from the rips where they have worn out. I would like {not essential but would like} a couple more "not quite everyday but not quite going out" jumpers/cardigans/tunics as I'm getting a bit sick of wearing the same ones all the time. And that's it, I really don't feel the need for anything else.

I really hope I don't lapse back into my old ways

Friday, 21 December 2012

Carlotta's Chocolates

Have I mentioned before that I have the best customers ever? Well I don't care I shall mention it again. Look what arrived in the post for me from my favourite customer .... yes beautiful, delicious, decadent chocolates.

A Christmas present from the lovely Charlotte of Carlotta's Chocolates. Go "like" her on on the Facebook page and have a look at her new website and marvel at the combination of enticing chocolate and amazing photographs.

Carlotta's Chocolates look beautiful, taste even better and really are the most delicious thing ever. I can not recommend them highly enough and now it's easy to get them delivered straight to your door - just order some and I promise you will thank me when you do.

Charlotte makes these marvels in her chocolate kitchen in rural Angus, Scotland. To be honest I wasn't that sure where Brechin, Angus was (my mum, Scottish relations and sister who lived for a while in Aberdeenshire would be ashamed of me I know) but I do now because I looked on a map! 

I love the joys of the internet with me down way down south and Charlotte way up north that we have formed a friendship through her love of bunting and my love of chocolate.

Happy Christmas everyone and please help yourself to a virtual Carlotta's Chocolate from the box above .... they will have to be virtual in more ways than one as the box now looks like this. They were really really really yummy.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

And breathe ....

Whoooooo .... that is the sound of me exhaling air.

Personalised Initial Gift Tag

So I've been just a little bit busy! Actually I don't think I've ever worked as hard as I have done for the last couple of months. Working seven days a week from 7am to 1am has not been unusual and I've loved it .... mostly. 

The things I've not loved is that the house is a tip, all table manners have completely disappeared, I mislaid my patience weeks ago and my friends are all wondering if I will ever talk/see them again.

Things I've learnt over the last few weeks.

1. Some customers are lovely beyond belief and others are so annoying you'd like to tell them that you'd rather not fulfil their order and could they just go away. Wish people would realise that the nicer you are the more others will go out of their way to help you and the ruder you are the less you get ... simple.

2. People who can't read descriptions or fill in boxes or write the correct details are really annoying.

3. Dirt/mess/clutter in your house can be overlooked. I found walking around with eyes half closed is fine and as long as no-one apart from your family comes round it's OK.

4. A husband that can cook is a wonderful thing .... now if he can just get his timing sorted out so that we eat before 9 he would be amazing ♥

5. I could not have fulfilled my orders without the help of my husband, mother and children who have helped me when I really thought there was no way I could get everything done.

6. Asking for help is easier than I thought when you know you have absolutely no choice.

7. Royal Mail can't be relied upon to get first class mail to the intended recipient within 1-2 days at Christmas.

8. Having a few evenings out in the diary is essential. Book nights out but keep all days clear and do not commit to anything.

9. Not going to watch rugby on a Sunday is not OK and I've missed that more than anything else. 

10. Next year I should completely finish Christmas shopping in October. I have done all my Christmas shopping online this year with notonthehighstreet and John Lewis and although I had done a lot of it I still had a few people left - this is not a good idea and added to stress.

So now I can relax and reintegrate back into the family. I am beyond excited about a certain family flying in from Australia on Saturday and I can finally start to look forward to it. I CAN NOT WAIT FOR SATURDAY :-)

It is going to feel a bit weird not rushing, not mentally trying to work out how many extra orders I can do before the school run. I will miss seeing the lovely accounting totals each week but when I get that first lovely no alarm clock lie in (scheduled for Christmas Eve) even that will be fine as I drift off back to sleep instead of forcing myself to get up.

It's been great but exhausting, tiring, stressful and exhilarating and if I don't see another Personalised Initial Tag until the New Year I will be quite happy. I'm already thinking how I could improve it for next year ..... roll on 2013.