Vintage fair haul: Newcastle Vintage & Street Food Market

Vintage fairs are back for the autumn/winter!  There’s another one I’m planning to go to next month, by which point I may no longer be strong/warm enough to resist the lure of vintage ’80s jumpers.  I have plenty.  I still want more.

I was sensible today, though, and didn’t buy any jumpers for now.  Instead, I picked up two things I’d actually been visualising: a red blouse to go with one of this year’s Christmas outfits, and a jersey dress that will be nice and comfortable for ’round the house’ days, which, for a work-from-home type like me, is most days.

Vintage fair haul
The red material looks shiny here but it’s actually more kind of sheer.

It’s very satisfying to be able to add a piece here and there to my vintage collection.  Looking forward to wearing both of these!

Getting back to old habits

By the post title, I mean deliberately getting back into one, and trying not to get back into another!

The good one is reading.  As a child I was a voracious reader and the only time I didn’t have my nose in a book was when I was writing my own stories.  Then I grew up and the internet happened, and I went to university where I had to read nonfiction books for research all day long, and so my reading habits shifted from novels to blogs and forums, and my fiction-consuming habits shifted almost solely to TV shows and videogames.  I’ve never really fully got back into the habit of reading books, although I do make a concerted effort every few months – I’m fully aware that my own writing improves when I read actual published works rather than stuff on the internet, interesting as a lot of stuff on the internet is.  As such, for the last couple of weeks – ever since we got access to our books – I’ve been reading for an hour before bed.  Also, I got a Kindle for Christmas, and in the last week or so I’ve been filling it up with ebooks to read while I’m on holiday.  I’m looking forward to having some time for that again.

The bad habit – which I indulged in today but am not intending to repeat – is buying mounds of cheap clothing in Primark.  Since my wardrobe cull, it’s been very important to me that I don’t end up replacing the mounds of cheap and unwearable clothes with more mounds of cheap and unwearable clothes, and so the clothes I’ve been buying so far this year have been better quality investment pieces that I know will get lots of wear.  I realised that I don’t have enough lightweight summer clothes for my upcoming holiday though – in the UK climate you don’t usually need a lot of summer clothes, although the ones I do own have been seeing a lot of use during the heatwave we’ve been having for the last few weeks – and so I did break my Primark ban this morning.  I don’t expect the clothes will last long, but I know I’ll get a lot of use out of them this summer – and that I now have the de-hoarding mental strength to get rid of them when they do wear out, which is the important thing.

I’m nearly getting to the point where I have enough clothes again.  Not quite, but nearly!

(Books, on the other hand, I have far too many of – hence the Kindle, to make sure I don’t buy any more physical ones.)

Rediscovering jeans

One of the things on my (very long) list of stuff I wanted to buy when I reached my Slimming World target was a good, well-fitting pair of jeans.  In the last two weeks, I have bought four pairs, and have my eye on a few more.  I had forgotten how comfortable they are when they fit properly.

Jeans
My growing jeans collection.

I did have a couple of pairs of jeans when I was bigger, but they were always uncomfortable.  Because of my endless yo-yo dieting they were rarely the right side for me, and even when they were, they would still dig uncomfortably into my middle whenever I was sitting down, which was most of the time.  I think this was largely because up until a couple of years ago, jeans were still uniformly low-rise, and so they hit at a really uncomfortable place for me.

Burgundy jeans
That burgundy pair were cute but super uncomfortable. Yes, I am sitting on a beach ball, and no, I’m not going to explain why. The legs belong to my Thrills-loving mate Gemma.

The return of high-rise waists suits me a lot better, in terms of both comfort and style (they look more ’80s.  Everything is better when it looks more ’80s).

Blue jeans
Wearing blue jeans for the first time in about fifteen years. I only had black and burgundy ones when I was bigger. You can see the previous pair of blue jeans I owned, a ridiculous pair of ’00s baggies, in the picture for my review of Now! #56 from 2003.

I am now learning about all the different styles you can buy at the moment – skinny, super skinny, slim leg, straight leg, mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, the list goes on.  This is an exciting new world!  I am not about to let it get to the levels of my shoe obsession, but I am really glad to be done with the phase of my life that involved wearing leggings every single day.

It’s finally here!

I qualified for my parkrun 50 shirt back in October, but have had to wait for the milestone T-shirt due to a backlog and subsequent changeover in T-shirt company.  But no longer – it arrived today!

parkrun 50 shirt
50 Club member shirt!

Looking forward to wearing this out – I’m hoping to have time for a wee shakeout run this week before the next race, but if not, I’ll be wearing it at Perry Hall parkrun (my favourite parkrun I’ve tried so far) in a couple of weeks!

Vintage fair haul: Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair

It was so nice to get back to vintage fair trawling today!

I took a break from the drudgery of my all-encompassing project this afternoon to go to the Boiler Shop in central Newcastle, where I’ve been for different vintage fairs before.  Today it was hosting Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, which I’ve previously been to at different venues.  They all kind of chop and change about in that way.

Anyway, on with the haul:

Vintage fair haul
Left to right: grey leather jacket, silver silk blouse, purple/black/white chiffon blouse.

I’m really pleased with today’s purchases!  The jacket will do me perfectly for spring and autumn (and probably for the cooler bits of summer as well, let’s face it!).  The blouses, meanwhile, are to mitigate the fact that post-cull I’ve been lacking in pretty tops.  Probably my favourite vintage fair trip so far – I really feel like I’m learning to spot stuff that I really like, and not just buying things for the sake of it.

Retail therapy

I’ve been buying a lot of stuff the last few weeks.  At first it was all house stuff, but lately it’s been mostly treats for me.  New clothes for my almost-at-target figure!  New makeup for my new makeup storage unit!  New shoes (quite a lot of new shoes) for…uh, they’re not for anything in particular, I just love shoes.

I mentioned before that I always feel a bit guilty if I go on a spending spree, but I’ve found it difficult to resist these last few weeks.  It’s mainly because I’ve been carrying out a ruthless cull of my entire wardrobe and so the state of this particular collection is always on my mind at the moment.  Post-cull, the gaps in my wardrobe are far more apparent, and there are a few areas (underwear, jeans, skirts) where I genuinely do need to buy new things.

I’m not delusional enough to think that’s the case with the shoes, obviously.  But I did get rid of an awful lot in the cull, and shoes are pretty, and shoe shopping makes me feel better at the end of a difficult day.  I’m very aware that I’ll need to replace this habit with something less expensive soon.  Seeing as I can’t go back to binge-drinking now that I’m (sort of) healthy and slim, I imagine it’ll be baths, especially as the bath in our new house is so awesome.  I just have to hope I don’t develop a ‘luxury bathing products’ obsession instead, although in fairness it would be cheaper than shoes.  We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.

New shiny things

After a couple of days of dribs and drabs of small deliveries of house stuff, the big Ikea order arrived today!  Most of it (I’ve already assembled the replacement lamp) is still sitting in the middle of the living room, as there’s no space to assemble the units or put them in their eventual places yet.  And just when I thought I’d reclaimed that bit of living room floor.  Oh well.

I also finally finished the wardrobe cull.  It’s amazing how much stuff I realised I just didn’t like or want to wear, and in total I’ve probably got rid of about 75% of my clothes.  To be fair, I am now spending a lot of time online, fantasy shopping for replacements, but I’m trying to be good and only (mostly) buying things I actually need.

Now that the Ikea order is here, one thing I can do is start putting stuff into its proper storage boxes.  Hopefully I’ll have a properly functioning dressing room, at least, by the end of the week!

On with the cull

I spent today getting on with my wardrobe cull.  I got rid of a lot of dresses, underwear, scarves and hats, and a lot more shoes – I’ve now got the previous total down to 59 pairs.  That’s a pretty big drop, and it means my new shoe shelves will look really neat and uncluttered.

Well, at least until I replace all the thrown-out pairs with new ones!

No, I’m kidding.  Like with everything else in the house, I’ll be instituting a one-in one-out rule once my shelves are full, in order to avoid things getting back into the chaotic hoarding state that has made this house move so stressful.  Neither Geth nor I have ever been in the habit of throwing things away, but that has to change from now on, for my own sanity.

I’m quite looking forward to seeing what it’s like to live without mounds of stuff everywhere!

De-hoarding

Well, I didn’t want to start doing the mega wardrobe cull until I’d hit my Slimming World target, but after weeks of chaos upstairs with having to clamber over stuff and not being able to find anything, I admitted defeat and started putting stuff in binbags and donation bags today.

I’ve come a long way with my hoarding problem over the years, but I still find it hard to let go of stuff, especially clothes.  I think it’s partly because I was so broke for so many years post-graduation – during that time, even a £5 Primark top was a hard-earned purchase, and it feels almost disrespectful to my struggling younger self just to toss the item away, even if it’s old and full of holes.

I’ve been trying to mitigate this by using the digital hoarding method – taking a photo of each piece so that I still ‘have’ it.  I’ll probably never look at these photos again, but knowing they’re there makes getting rid of the physical stuff a lot easier.

I threw out a lot of shoes today.  My previous total of 91 pairs first went up to 95 pairs, because I found four pairs that I thought I’d previously thrown out but it turned out I hadn’t.  I’ve now got it down to 77 pairs, and I reckon I’ll be able to get it down further when I finish the cull job tomorrow.  It’s especially tough to get rid of shoes, because I love shoes, but I’m trying just to keep thinking about the lovely neat shoe shelves I’ll be able to have up in the dressing room (not to mention, I must confess, the shiny new pairs I’ll be able to buy).

The biggest motivation for all this de-hoarding is the fact that I can’t wait for the house to look nice and uncluttered, so that I can finally relax and properly feel like this is home.

Our new house…

…is gradually, very gradually, starting to feel like home.  Sort of.

I spent most of today dismantling the old Ikea Billy bookshelves that we don’t have space for anymore.  The plan is to make new ones out of them, but I’ll get my dad’s advice on that when he’s visiting later this week.  I also put one Billy up in the living room as temporary shelving next to the TV.  If I like the way it looks long-term it may get a reprieve.  It’s currently holding all our ornaments, which sounds frivolous but actually has the useful function of giving us some time to work out which ones we like looking at enough to keep.

Boxes are also getting unpacked a bit quicker than expected.  This is mainly because twice a day I realise that I need something, but don’t know which exact box it’s in, so I have to go through a few before I find the thing.  There’s not really anywhere for the stuff to go yet, but I am finding a lot of temporary solutions.

This week should be a real breakthrough, as once my parents have visited, we will have the walls painted upstairs, meaning that we can get the furniture finalised up there, meaning that I can get all our clothes and accessories put away.  Well, in my case, about 40% of them.  Dear God, I have far too many clothes.  The amount I’ve pulled out of boxes this week has been enough to send anyone screaming into the night.  The main reason I’m so impatient to get to my target weight is that I can’t wait for the giant trying-everything-on-and-then-getting-rid-of-most-of-it session that I’m not allowed to have until then.  You never know what might suddenly look awesome at target, so I’m not allowed to chuck anything out till then, no matter how old and scraggy it is.

(I realised yesterday that one of my current-rotation bras is about twenty years old, judging by the style of the M&S label.  Somehow, I don’t think it will survive the cull.)