Friday, 24 April 2015

Charity shop find of the week #14

Cardigan £5 St Peters Hospice

My last charity shop post was back in February but I have scored some fab things from the chazzers since then; I've just not got around to posting them. Shamefully I still have some things in the washing basket from when I went back to Devon; a lot of the time charity shop things need to be hand washed and I've just not had the time to do it! Terrible I know!

Anyway, I hadn't been to my local chazzers for a little while and when I did go recently, I tried on loads of good stuff, but none of it was quite right, which was disappointing, until I got to this cardigan. It has a hole in the collar, a missing button, and no label to speak of but the fit of this was just perfection. Not too big or small, just a nice, easy style which looks great buttoned up or left undone. I've blogged a few jumpers and cardigans recently which seems a little odd as it's definitely more springlike, weatherwise at the moment, but a cardi like this will be great to have in my bag for evenings or if it's a little cooler. I just couldn't leave it behind for a fiver.

Hopefully I'll be able to wear this in an outfit post soon so I can show how nice it looks on, if, that is, I can be bothered to get around to washing it anytime soon! (I'm thinking it's probably going to be a hand wash, great!)

XO Amie

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

New in: Foundation holy grail

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation 

I haven't done a beauty post for a little while and although I shared a few thoughts on this Bourjois foundation in this empties post, I wanted to write a little more about why I like it so much; I've recently repurchased it and it's become my go-to foundation for everyday.

Made using a fruit therapy formula, this foundation provides an instant refreshing and revitalising effect. The scent of the product is lovely, it's a very light and fresh smell which remains quite natural and doesn't have any plastic-y or artificial undertones. I don't usually like scented products at all, especially on my face, but this one was completely bearable and actually quite pleasant!

Because the product is a gel foundation, it doesn't have any cakeyness or tendency to mask, but it still provides adequate coverage for everyday. It's almost like a level up from a BB cream; I don't like to pack on foundation day after day and whilst full coverage is great for an event or special occasion, if you are just looking to even out the skin tone, this will definitely provide that.

This foundation is anti-fatigue and it's also very long wearing. It claims to provide radiance to the skin for up to 16 hours and I would definitely credit it with keeping the coverage and finish flawless for that length of time; a pet peeve of mine is having to touch up my makeup at lunchtime so it's fantastic that I don't need to do that with this foundation. Transfer is minimal but it does happen so if you wear a lot of white, go easy when getting it near your face!

This foundation costs £10.99 and you can buy it here. I was such a die-hard fan of Estee Lauder's double wear foundation for several years but the £27 price tag made it rather unaffordable and I didn't like to use it everyday as I was always having to replace it! This is a great high street option and one that I will definitely buy time and time again.

XO Amie

Monday, 20 April 2015

Double Denim

Wearing: ASOS duster coat, bag and hat Vintage belt and shoes Whistles jeans Gap denim shirt

This look was actually snapped about a week ago before the weather really hot up, although I did get rather warm trudging around town in it! This ASOS duster is definitely becoming a favourite, and it's actually perfect for this time of year as it's so lightweight, and a good upgrade from my winter jackets. I really think this hat/coat/jean combo is my go-to look at the moment, and these jeans! They have appeared on the blog before, and they are just the perfect fit. I should have bought a few pairs as I am going to be so disappointed when I've worn these ones out!

I cracked out some of my vintage shoe collection this week, these loafers have barely been off my feet or if they have, the ballet pumps are back so they take their place. I have worn sandals a couple of times (in work) although I did consider wearing sandals today, it's definitely warm enough to do that now. I have said before I usually transition out of boots via loafers and then ballet pumps before hitting the sandals but it's been that summery I've been able to bypass the ballet pumps!

This ASOS duster has had so many compliments and unfortch it's sold out online, however there's a good dupe here. ASOS have some fab pieces online at the moment, I think their core collection is brilliant and you can keep up with all the discount codes available to treat yourself with here. I have also found a similar bag here, and if you want a pair of jeans like mine I definitely recommend the ASOS Lisbon jeans here for a great skinny fit pair. 

The belt and shoes are both vintage but there are some similar loafers to mine on the Topshop website here. I love the snaffle detail on these ones and the fact that they're brown as well-mixing brown and black is meant to be a fashion 'no-no' but I'm not one for following the 'fashion rules' which is probably why I look like an OAP in an 'oriental hat' as a drunk man told me the other day as he stumbled out of the pub. Sounds like the fashion police!

XO Amie

Sunday, 19 April 2015

More from Monki

Shirt here Dress here Blouse here

I posted here about a jumper that I bought from Monki recently, and I have to admit I spent rather more than I had intended to on their website! I picked up a few pieces, not all of which I've kept but I thought I'd show a selection here.

The first item I picked was this Pi blouse (still available in some sizes on the website) for £8. I loved the print of this and I also picked up a t shirt dress in the same print, sadly the fabric of the dress was not as nice as I had hoped so I have returned that. The blouse, however, is a keeper!

I had had my eye on this shirt dress for a little while; it's hard to see the detail on the hanger but you can see it more clearly here. It's now in the sale at £17.50 and it's such a cool dress, I know I'll get loads of wear from this over the summer with ballet pumps or sandals; I just love the styling. It's made from a very luxe crepe fabric and I think it looks so elegant and quirky.

I also picked up this Neah shirt (here) which I had high hopes for at £12, but unfortch the fabric is that horrible cheap-feeling polyester so back it goes. I have photographed it here because I really like the idea of it; I'm oft found in an oversized shirt so I thought this would be a safe bet for my wardrobe but I prefer natural fabrics like cotton or silk, and this polyester blend just didn't cut it.

A couple of other pieces missed the photocall; an incredible denim jumpsuit which I absolutely adored with a crazy £25 price tag (here) which was so cute and vintage looking I almost kept it; I just don't think I'd get enough wear from it to make it a worthwhile investment. I also bought another hat to add to the collection; I've rinsed my tan beret over the winter so I thought a grey version would be a sound purchase at just £3. I think it has now sold out but definitely keep an eye on the website as Monki accessories are notoriously inexpensive!

Lots of my friends hadn't heard of Monki before and I think it's a subsidiary of H&M, I know there are no stores near me but luckily the website is great and ASOS stock it too if you want to avoid the (expensive) postage costs!

XO Amie

Saturday, 18 April 2015

DIY shredded denim

Wearing: ASOS hat, belt and bag Vintage jeans and shoes Whistles jeans

I considered shooting this DIY for the blog but it was really far too simple to spend time explaining; I'd already DIYed a pair of jeans in the same manner a couple of years ago (see here) by simply hacking a foot or so from the leg and opening up a swathe of fabric at the knee on either side. I also went for a thigh rip on this pair and almost wish I hadn't now, as I feel it might be a bit much!

To wit: ripped denim. Perennially in style, and super easy to achieve; I used to spend a spectacular amount of time artfully distressing my jeans with a cheese grater but now I have to say my preferred method involves a set-to with a sharp pair of scissors. These jeans were always a bit (a lot) too long for me so to avoid the multiple ankle rolls, I measured them against a pair that fit nicely in the leg and chopped off the excess. Raw hems are so in, and I have just scored myself a pair for zero pence!

I am loving not wearing a coat, it's awfully liberating and add that to my sudden shift along the footwear scale from ankle boots to a peep toe, completely bypassing the ballerinas, and I'd almost say summer was here! I recently found these peep toe sandals in a pile of shoes to go to the cobblers; I think they were my grandmas but needed re-heeling and I've finally got around to getting them fixed. They are a really nice heel height for everyday and really comfortable, too. They are super grannyish I know, but the trashed jeans goes a way to make them a little more edgy; in my mind, anyway!

XO Amie

Friday, 17 April 2015

A Blogger's Guide #7

Original post here

For this episode of my 'Blogger's Guide' series I wanted to look a little more in depth at a couple of things that I've found integral as part of my blogging routine. I wouldn't say I came of age in the social media years; I joined Facebook in 2007 after several Myspace years and definitely used MSN Messenger over texting; I never had any credit anyway and I still remember the buzz I used to get when something glitched in the network and suddenly you got free texts! So for me, social media came later, after I'd got my head around the idea of blogging onto a web platform, in any case.

I didn't really grasp the importance of social media until later, and perhaps that is why my blog didn't garner the follower levels that some of my peers enjoyed; not until a little further down the track at least. I didn't really 'get' Twitter. I wasn't bothered about Facebook or Tumblr, and I had no idea what a Pinterest was. It wasn't until I realised how intrinsically all these platforms were linked together in terms of content sharing and really how impactful they could be on blog traffic, that I really got behind them.

Conversely, I dislike having my photograph taken, and I am a very private person, a definite contradiction in terms as a blogger, but because of this I really didn't feel the need to share all the minutiae of my day with my (limited) social following. I didn't use social media as a tool to improve my website, either; I just started using it and discovered that it was actually rather fun. And once I'd got on board with that, making it part of my armory in terms of promoting and sharing my website became much more second nature.

Here's the thing. Love it or loathe it, having interaction, and content, spread across several platforms automatically makes your website more accessible. I struggled with followers on my blog platform for a long time, as I used the old 'Google Friend Connect' option for people to follow, which many readers didn't realise they could use if they weren't on a Googlemail web address. Even now, I have really very few followers on that platform; but if you do use it, you can scroll right down to the page footer and click the button! 

Bloglovin was probably the platform that got me the most followers, and if you are a blogger, I would thoroughly recommend registering your blog there. It collates all the blogs you choose to follow across all platforms, and you can read them at leisure via computer or iPad, or even through an app on your smartphone. It is so useful as a blogger and as a blog reader; Credit Crunch Chic is listed here if you'd like to follow through there!

I am also active over Twitter and Instagram, which allow you to post bite-sized chunks of information but can be highly shared. Over on Twitter I post links to my blog and also my other social media channels, and I also post blog links to posts I've written. Tinyurl is a great website for shrinking long blog url's so they don't take up too much space in your tweet! You can also share images and I often do this either through Twitter, or I will screenshot a blog picture on my phone and share it to Instagram. My Instagram is linked to Twitter, too, so it will also post the picture there, reaching a much larger audience.

Building a Facebook page came also as almost an afterthought and it's still fairly new. I automatically post to this page after I publish a post, meaning my Facebook readership will get a heads up as to what I am writing about. I'll also use other images and write snippets of information over on the FB page to keep it interesting and updated for my readers there. There are also plenty of blogging Facebook groups that you can join for inspiration or to share content or make new contacts, and it's great also for personally interacting with brands, as is Twitter, of course.

Pinterest and Tumblr are sites that I use for my own interest, image sharing on Tumblr and creating, er, pinboards on Pinterest (really?!) but they have their value. Followers on these sites will be able to see your website if you provide a link, and chances are, if they enjoy your content there, they might click over to see your full site. It's all about getting your website out there, and the more that you can do that, and meet and make new contacts you can interact with, the better for your site.

A recent discovery that has helped my blog hugely has been Hootsuite. If you are a blogger you need to check this out; it's a one-stop social media platform that allows you to schedule posts through connected sites. I use it for my Twitter account, as I work full time so I would only be able to tweet before 9am and after 6pm otherwise. This way, I can schedule tweets to go live throughout the day; perfect for refreshing interest in a post, directing followers to other social media sites like Instagram or Pinterest, and basically ensuring there are no lapses in activity as this is an important element in keeping a readership engaged.

A final note I would make is that if you are starting a new blog and you want to create social media channels to run alongside it, it's so useful to keep them at the same handle. My Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest handles are all @amieisdancing, which is great, but completely irrelevant to my blog! I made them long before I actually considered linking them to my actual website, and if I'd thought about it I would have called them all @creditcrunchchic, so perhaps bare that in mind when thinking up your social media personas!

I hope some of this information has been useful and please make sure you share anything else that you might have found worked for you! If you'd like to, you can follow CCC over all of the social media below:

XO Amie

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

New In: Astrid & Miyu wishbone earrings

Rose gold wishbone earrings c/o Astrid & Miyu via JewelStreet

I was recently contacted by JewelStreet to see if I would like the opportunity to review an item on the blog, and of course I jumped at the chance. The designer they had in mind for me was a brand called Astrid & Miyu, and after  looking through the range on the website, I knew I would find it hard to choose as there was an amazing selection!

Jewel Street is an online marketplace for all things jewellery related. Hosting 300 boutique brands on one platform, it's really easy to navigate and you can quickly filter by product or price. You can even select the colour you prefer and filter by that! I absolutely love rose gold, so to make my choice a bit easier I looked through the Astrid & Miyu selection with that filter applied!

Astrid & Miyu is a London based brand created by two friends in 2011. Their selling point calls for 'timeless, classic and effortless style with a subtle twist' and this is reflected in their pieces, which they hope will bring subtle glamour to any look without overshadowing the wearer.

I eventually decided on a pair of earrings. I have my ears pierced 3 times but I rarely wear earrings as I have to wear only gold or silver; anything else irritates my sensitive skin. I have a couple of pairs of studs that I wear most often but I was attracted to the delicate 'wishbone' design of these earrings. If you don't like rose gold personally, you could also select them in silver or yellow gold; I did like every option, but as I have built up a little collection of rose gold pieces, I thought it would be nice to add to that.

The earrings come to you via Jewel Street and they are packaged beautifully in their little display box, making them a lovely gift or treat for yourself! I love the way they look when worn; they are very delicate and pretty and this is the sort of jewellery I like. I also love to wear statement pieces, but for a day to day pair of earrings, these ones are just lovely.

Jewel Street offers a huge selection of pieces from so many different brands and it's very easy to shop, you can check out the site here! If you like the earrings I chose, you can buy them here!

XO Amie