Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Shopping overdose

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If you haven't already guessed then at least it should not come as a surprise that shopping while on holidays is something that I always make time for. I have spent the last 14 years of my life, trying to put together the perfect wardrobe, and along the way, I have picked up a few tricks to getting as much bang for my buck as possible. Some of these tricks include:

1 - Knowing few ladies who happen to be the same size as I am for both clothes and shoes. We swap new clothes/shoes/accessories regularly every time we cull our wardrobes. It's like going shopping in someone else's wardrobe mall.

2 - I seldom buy anything full price, least of all here in Australia. Most of the time I wait for things to go on sale for 50% off, preferably 70%. 

3 - I wait for discount codes online or if I do end up paying full price, then I usually wait until I go overseas, where recommended retail prices are cheaper and I can claim tax back.

4 - The convenience of being able to dispose of my old clothes via Evil Bay and rounding up more spending money in the process.  

How about you? What tips/tricks do you use when you shop?

I got these 2 pairs of shoes, with trick #1 above. A while back I missed out on these Casadei shoes heavily discounted on The Outnet. I posted about my disappointment on my instagram and about a week later I got a message from A, one of my swap buddies asking me if I was interested in getting these in exchange for a couple of Miu Miu pumps of mine she had been coveting. It was a win win situation for everyone. I love love love these, and A can't get enough of her new shoes. 

I got this pair of Hermes twillies and this white Hermes enamel bracelet at their Lisbon boutique. I knew I would have to pay full price for these, no matter what, so I decided to buy them in Europe because they are cheaper over there compared to Australia retail prices, and I also got to claim an extra 15% back on VAT.

Because I like to mix high end with el cheapo, I also dropped by Zara and got these pants and shoes. They were significantly cheaper compared to what Zara charges us here in Australia!

At Galeries Lafayette I dropped by Balenciaga and went a bit nuts with the these. They had them in the small sizes, which I can never find in Australia.

And because turquoise is my favourite colour, I decided that this clutch had my name written all over it.

I was also on the market for a pink messenger bag, so this one also needed to come home with me.

The other shop I dropped by at Galeries Laffayete was Prada. I wanted to get these little messenger bags in both beige and black, unfortunately they had sold out of the beige one. 

I bought these in Spain discounted by between 30% and 50%. Each cost about €9 each and are so comfortable that I pretty much lived in these while on holidays.

I found these nude Pigalle 100 Louboutins in Harvey Nichols in Leeds. I have been looking for these for years and couldn't believe they actually had these in a size 34.

The final discounts at Net a Porter were also too hard to resist. These were the only items on my wishlist that were still available in my size when they did the final round of discounts.

These Pierre Hardy shoes were discounted by about 75%. They're very comfortable kitten heels.

And these Valentino rockstud flats were discounted by 60%. I love the little hints of fluoro yellow, not too crazy, but just enough to make them noticeable. 

I actually also found their 100mm high heel cousin, in fluoro pink in Harvey Nichols in Leeds, I got them for almost 70% off with the VAT discount.

And I leave you with 2 more gratuitous photos of my rockstud wheel. I would love to get myself the orange/nude rockstud heels. But that would just be greedy of me.

Hope you're all doing well.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


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Our holiday is well and truly over. Shame it just flew by. It is true what they say about time flying when you're having fun. Jet lag once we got back home was a pain to get over, specially when dealing with work and kiddies school and activities at the same time but I think we are now all as good as new.

I decided to cram as much of a my holiday as possible in this post so be warned, this is super long and photo heavy! I will have to do a separate post on what we got up to with the kids while on holiday because most of our holidays these days are all about doing things with the kids.

I should be used to it by now, but I was shocked at how cold it was in England when we arrived. I expected Summer, but the night after we arrived in the UK, the temperature dropped down to 9 degrees and the first few days there it was barely making it to the 20s. I felt a bit robbed. and kicked myself for not packing jackets. 

There is always a lot to do and see near and around where my in laws live, which was great for the Chubster who is now starting to notice his surroundings properly, and my Bubster who has a lot of fun comparing the way things look in Australia vs overseas. I took my Chubster for a walk here with my mother in law. This is in Flamborough.

This is North Bridlington beach, it was grey and gloomy for most of our first week there...

And this is Bridlington beach.

The kids love the big open space to run around at my in laws farm.

And this is Jack, my in laws' pony. He is only tiny as you can see, but he is a bastard of a pony. He consistently tries to kick me every time we stay at the farm. 

Here is the Chubster taking a stroll at Sewerby House. I am always amazed at how green things are in England, even during Summer.

And this was Dracula's keep at Whitby. I remeber bringing my youngest brother here when he was 10. He thought he was going to see a vampire's cript and was really disappointed when all he saw was ruins. 

I also ended up going on a shopping binge a lot earlier than predicted. This was because of how cold it was and the fact that I had not packed any jackets. So we ended up getting everyone, kids included, new jackets. I will do a separate post shortly on all of my favourite holiday purchases. 

The weather was Summer perfect in Spain and Portugal. My in laws have a holiday flat in a place called Isla Canela in Spain, right next to the border between Portugal and Spain and and ever since MrBB and I became parents, we always stay there a couple of weeks whenever we go to Europe. The flat is right next to the beach.

It is within close proximity of a lot of little villages and little castles which is always great for sightseeing, and there are lots of little cafes and restaurants there. The big plus though, is that the kids love being able to be at the beach as soon as we step out of the door.  

The kids loved being buried in the sand. I loved it too. It was my 20 minutes of peace and quiet until they decided they'd had enough of not being able to move.

Whenever we go on holidays I just about throw the kids schedule out the window and let them go to sleep at whatever time they want. Jet lag pretty much ensures my being able to correct sleep patterns when we get home anyway. So we took lots of late evening strolls along the beach in Spain. The above shots were taken at around 10.15pm. 

The tiles on this building were pretty. They changed colour depending on which angle you viewed them from.

My choice of drink in Spain was sangria. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it certainly is mine. Bottled Sangria is everywhere in Spain and my favourite one is Don Simon sangria. 

One of the many beautiful stained glass windows at the Catedral de Sevilla.

View from the top of the Cathedral.

Seville is always nice for a visit too. Can you see my frizzy hair on the right there? My 6 year old thinks he has been to Naboo because in the movies Star Wars II - Attack of the Clones, Senator Amidala and Anakin Skywalker are seen walking through Plaza de Espana. See?

We also dropped by a place called Roccio. It is a bizarre little religious town in the middle of the sticks with a gorgeous church. 

It was also in Spain that I decided to jump onto the espadrilles bandwagon. I know, I'm a bit late, but it is as they say, better later than never. They were so comfy and super cheap while on sale. I'm talking about 9 each. 

I spent a couple of days in Paris for work. Did nothing but work during the day, ate the best food and hung out with my boss after work and watched World Cup matches at the bar. 

I did manage to get a couple of hours at Galeries Lafayette to indulge in a bit of shopping before having to head over to the airport to fly back to Portugal.

This was the damage. I managed to tick a few Balenciaga bracelets and clutches as well as a Prada messenger back off my wishlist. More pics coming soon.

In Portugal I enjoyed eating at little cafes tucked away in side streets. I'm pretty sure I ate more than my own weight in pasteis de nata (Portuguese tarts) and bolas de berlim (Berliners)!

We also tried to teach my Bubster how to fish in Villa Real de Santo Antonio's docks. 

He sat there for a grand total of 3 minutes waiting for the fish to bite and then announced that he was bored.

This nice gentleman stopped to help me free my hook after it got stuck on the rocks. 

One of the things I miss about Portugal is the architecture. I never really noticed how pretty the buildings were until I left for Australia.

Lisbon is situated pretty high up so one need only climb this weird looking viewing tower to be able to see the entire city around it all the way to the water and the other side of the River Tejo.

I don't usually buy a lot of Zara here in Australia just because I hate paying their Australian inflated prices. But I made sure I dropped by Zara in Lisbon for a pair of pants and a pair of shoes I was keen to get because their price in euros was cheaptastic!

I also dropped by Hermes and bought myself another bracelet and a pair of twillies for the handles of my Bolide handbags.

We got back to England in time for the Tour de France. My husband is an avid cyclist, so annual leave and flight tickets were immediately booked as soon as he heard the Tour de France was kicking off from Leeds, his place of birth this year.  

The kids stayed at home with my in laws. Pepe, my mother in law's cockatiel became good mates with my kidlets. 

We arrived in Leeds at 8.00am.The main shopping strip was pretty quiet. Then we got the the starting point and it was already like a mosh pit.

We had to walk a few hundred metres down from the starting point to be able to get a spot right at the front next to the fence.

People!!! I waited for almost 3 hours to see the riders go past... It took all of about 30 seconds for all of them to go past. No biggie, except that I'm not even a fan of cycling. The look of excitement on MrBB's face was worth it for me and that was the most important thing.

This is Leeds arcade. MrBB returned the favour afterwards and showed me some shopping support. Except it took me a lot less than 3 hours to find myself a pair of Valentino shoes and a pair of Louboutin shoes I wanted!

The starting point in Leeds was still very very busy at 2pm. 

All in all, it was a fun holiday, considering we lost a couple of days at the beginning because my Chubster picked up a stomach bug and literally spewed his little guts out non stop. 

I also just realised that this is one of the first holiday blog posts I have ever put up. I don't know why, but we usually snap about 5,000 photos and then I cannot be bothered going over them until literally months later. So excuse the shocking quality of the pics in this post. They are from my phone as they are much easier to access and browse while I veg on the couch.

It's late and I think I'm rambling now, so I may as well put a stop to this post here.

Hope everyone's been well.
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