Charity Shop Blog Hop

Long time no blog! Exams are going well, and I’m down to my last one. Unfortunately it’s maths, but I’m sure I can squeeze a wee half hour on here to join in the fun with Luluastics fabulous blog event!

I’ll be taking on the Glasgows west end side of things with a quick tour of the best places in the town for bargains. I’ve mentioned a few on here already, but today is the comprehensive run down. Tomorrow I’ll be heading back into the city to sort out security clearances for for my new job (Woo! Yay! etc) that will see me no doubt walking through this end of town a whole load more and spending my wages before I even make it home! So, tomorrow I shall get pictures of, and names of the anomalies to edit in then.

Byres Road. Nearest subway: Hillhead

For locals, we all know this place. The hub of the west end, the university, just off two fabulous parks, full of cafes, vintage boutiques and of course, there’s Ashton Lane to deal with too. Charity shops wise there’s 4 along here. From the top at the Oran Mor we have Cancer Research, then Oxfam and British Heart foundation.

Cancer Research

Price: £££

Retails: Mid-High end

Best for: Homewares, vintage cameras, obscure outwear

Oxfam

Price: ££££

Retails: Middle ground

Best for:  Craft supplies, needlework, recycled fashion, home made jewellery

British Heart Foundation

Price: ££

Retails: Mid-High

Best for: Homewares, designed shoes, and small sizes.

Great Western Road, Nearest Subway Hillhead/St Georges Cross

Great Western Road truly is a long old jaunt, but it’s a got a couple of gems at either end. I often find myself walking along from the city centre through to the west end and manage to pop into both Barnardos and Shelter.

Barnardos Furniture. (St Georges Cross)

Price: £

Retails: Middleground

Best for: cheap furniture. I cannot stress this enough. A designer look sofa bed for £100. Not piss-stained divan style double bed £80.

Shelter (Hillhead)

Price: £££

Retails: Vintage and DIY fashion, good selection of shoes, books and homewares.

Best for: Urban outfitters sale goods. I’ve seen sale items in OU being chucked into huge clear bin bags. I’ve seen the same bin bags then being emptied here. A few bits spill out into charity shops across town, but this is the mothership. Deena and Ozzy Boots still on the website at £80, £10 here. I’ve bought tons here. Under immense self restraint! Prices are slightly higher than charity shops, in reflection of the brand new goods. The actual charity stuff is more reasonably price.

Partick. Nearest Subway: Partick (And Rail)

Dumbarton Road in Partick is probably the best area for charity. While it’s goods are not quite up to the standard of those mentioned above, the amount of shops in close proximity is incredible, and you’re still destined for a bargain. For anyone who doesn’t know, Great Western Road, Byres Road and Dumbarton Road in Partick are linked in a wonderful S shape of roads so it’s easy to tackle all areas in one day.

Towards the rail station there’s about 8 or so. There’s a cancer research shop next to an Age Concern both stocking reasonably price high end goods, with a fabulous restaurant called Roastit Bubbly Jocks inbetween them! On the opposite side of the road, there’s the British Heart foundation furniture shop. The is the holy grail of all furniture shops. They sell new goods too, but they have such a huge range of everything and you won’t find 40 year old yellow microwaves here. They seem to filter out most of the crap. Woohoo!

Right next to the train station is a small shop which has the opposite issue to most west end charity places of massively underpricing goods. I was absolutely raging to have a wander though when I was completely skint the other day. My fella’s been after a leather jacket for a while. Real leather, small size, Tom Wolfe. £4. What a total bargain! There’s a few other smaller independent charity shops around this side that also price on the cheap side fo things, but quality can be a little poor sometimes.

On the other side of Partick near the second exit of the Subway towards the Western Infirmary, we have another bubble of charity shops. About 5 or 6 this time, separated by glorious vintage boutiques and dress agencies. Theses seem to have lower quality goods, and it can be a long time before you find a bargain. but when you do, they have no idea of the value and you get a complete and utter bargain! Like the Abercromie hoodie with $65 US tags on from the Barnardos shop I picked up while I was in uni last time for £3. Fabulous.

And leaving the best till  last with a full account we have

Salvation Army

Price: £

Retails: Low-mid range

Best bit: Decorating your house for less than the price of an Ikea sofabed.

This is incredible. You know when you read blogs from America where they drive to the Salvation Army and it’s bigger than tescos. While it’s certainly not in the middle of a retail park, it’s pretty warehouse like. The front window is the size of most charity shops, and is used to preview items to go on sale in the next few weeks. It’s changed every so often, and has a collection of similar goods to go out. Last time I went it was a baby event. Even the Octomum could furnish a house, cupbaords and wardrobes with the supplies they have – though this is of no interest to me.

What is of interest to tme though is the rest of the store. Most taken up by a warehouse is ridiculously cheap furniture. It’s got a mix of good and bad stuff, and sells quickly. But if you keep an eye on it, you’ll pick up a nice looking sofa for £40, side tables for a fiver, and probably the best DIY case I would have loved had I had a way to transport it home was a wall unit I saw last week. A few shelves missing, only one door on the cabinet, but a pure wood, easy paint and do-er-up-er. £5. Five. Whole. Pounds.

Of course they stock clothes too. Huge racks of them. It’s a little more disorganised, but they have a high volume of visitors and a lot of donations with not much space. Walls of shoes, baskets of scarves and tops, and huge amounts of other stuff. It can be difficult to filter out crap here sometimes, but if you’re after something specific you’re got more chance of finding it here. The disorganisation reflects in the prices, and you can pick up heels for a quid, and tops at 50p. But you could easily spend a fortune.

So for any bargain hunters out there, I would absolutely definately recommend giving Glasgow a look out. From someone who has lived and charity shopped in London, I can safely say the quality of goods is just as good in Glasgow, but sooooo much more affordable. The people are friendly, and the whole West End area is just fabulous for a day out. You only have to look through my blog to see what can be found. (Here, Here, here, here and here)

Finally, a massive thank you must be given to Luluastic for running the event. I can’t wait to get back to London to check out the hidden gems I never got round to finding while there!

Best of Beauty Products

Tonight I took a bit of a break from exams to catch up with some blogs, drink some wine and have a nice bath. I’m not much of a girly girl and really don’t do this often.

From l-r: VO5 Give me Moisture conditioner, Bathshed Vanilla and cookie scrub, Nivea Happy Time Shower Gel, Neutrogena 2-in-1 Face Mask, Clean and Clear Morning fresh Face Wash, Soap & Glory Glad Hair Day Shampoo.

The VO5 conditior I tried the other week as I simply needed a top up, but didn’t have much money to spare. It was on offer at 99p so I took the chance thinking it’ll do for a week till I can buy the good stuff. Wrong. This is the good stuff!

The body scrub looked sorta expensive but was a quid ina  charity shop a few weeks ago. I only really use it on important bits (boobs and bum for the fella, and elbows, feet adn knees for myself) and it’s not too bad. No idea where it’s from originally mind. never heard of Bathshed. Google tells me little too.

Happy Time Shower Gel: If you leave this blog to buy anything this would be it. When I started my nurse training there was a wee old lady who had this in her bathroom. She was always last to get washed as she was quite sedated and needed two people. But you could smell this stuff all down the corridor and we’d pretty much race our patients to get to wash her! I’ve used it ever since. It’s on offer all the time so I usually buy about 6 bottles a go to make sure we never run out.

The Neutorgena mask I’ve used since university. Only occasionally, but it really helps to clear my skin and is relatively cheap too.

I’ve recently swapped from my regular Garnier face scrub to this – only because Morrisons didn’t have my usual when I ran out last. This morning stuff smells great and does a good enough job. Not sure if I’m totally converted yet though!

Soap & Glory products look almost too good to use! This shampoo only really gets busted out when I’m all out of whatever redhead colour protect shampoo is on offer, but after seeing how good the V05 stuff is, I may well pick up the shampoo too.

Red candle – TK Maxx bargain, and tea light in a jar is a DIY project I made for valentines for Rory. Indian gift obv. Wine is a Californian Blosson Hill. Tasty. Om nom.

 

For when I’m out the bath I use

Benefit Bathina Body Lotion, or Hollister Laguna Beach Moisturiser.

The benefit body lotion is quite luxurious, though takes a long time to sink in which I hate. Due to its hefty pricetag I only really use it for special occasions. Which is bollocks really because I certainly don’t moisturise daily! (I know I know. Bad girl.)

The Hollister bottle I picked up for a quid in a charity shop in a posh London suburb. I bought it originally thinking I could stick it on eBay and make a few quid. It was simply an overpriced bottle with a logo on it that happened to smell nice. Too nice. Really fucking nice. And upon using it I was hooked. Such a surprise to find a clothes shop that sells great body lotions! It dries in quick, you can use it very sparingly, the scent is gorgeous and lasts for hours and it makes your skin soooooo soft. Long lasting too. Very impressed! I’ll be onto eBay to buy more when this runs out.

Bird clear glass jar was a fiver in M&S outlet. Wanted it for ages. Gunan fill it with sweets. The green square jar was originally from Urban Outfitters but turned up in piles in charity shops after it left the sale. Was £12 (!!) in UO. £1.50 in a chazza shop. My brushes sit in a jar that used to be filled with rock that I got at the seaside when I was about 9, and the LOVE lettering photo frame was a New Look sale item from around Christmas. Interestingly the picture is the first picture we ever took together on our first date after walking absolutely miles in deep snow around glasgow.

 

Skincare stuff for daily use sits along a shelf.

From l-r: Er, Soap Dispenser, Duck, Clinique Anti-Blemish Clarifying Lotion, Lancome Aqua Fusion Facial Moisturiser, Clinique Anit-Blemish Foaming soap, Nivea Eye Make Up Remover, Cotton buds, Fellas man moisturiser, No7 Evening Moisturiser, Pearl Drops Toothpaste, Botanics Gel Moisturiser, La Roche Posay freebie moisturiser and toothbrushes in a pot.

Clinique Anti Blemish lotion and soap – I’ve been using these for a few weeks now and I’ve seen a bit of an improvement. Not too huge though I would say that’s more down to me not bothering every day, but has a reasonable performance given its irregular use. I’ll need to invest in the soap bar and BB Cream to get full effects.

The Lancome moisturiser I found via a charity shop (seeing a pattern here!) Bought a trial pot for about £2 a while back, and it made such a difference. I’d been using No7 products before then and this was just something else. Unfortunately, I think they’d discontinued it as I hadn’t found this stuff anywhere other than eBay. And stocks are looking a bit thin there too. So when this pot gives out I’ll probably pop down to the counter and see what similar stuff they have on offer.

Eye make up remover is essential to me since I wear tons of eyeliner and mascara every day. I used L’oreal stuff before and found it to be a bit poor. Out of all the ones I’ve tried this Nivea one is gentle and removes it all, and only costs around £2.50. Bargain.

No7 evening moisturiser. I have the day cream to this as well, but there’s not room on that shelf for it. I don’t really use it anymore since the Lancome arrived, but there’s always a £5 off voucher/3 for 2 offer on so you can pick up the day/night moisturises and some other treat for around £7 each. they’re not bad but certainly nothing in comparison.

Botanics and La Roche Posay were both given to me. La Roche usually stays in my handbag and comes out for weekend away to save space. Botanics is oil free and get used occasionally to top up in the day if I need to. Nothing too brilliant or negative to say about either.

The duck I found on a wall in a pub in Crystal Palace. Toothbrush holder/Soap dispenser are M&S outlet (As is the bathmat and toilet brush that you can’t see – total bathroom cost about £15!) Cotton buds sit in a pot that was once an Air Wick Christmas candle that just happens to be a nice size.

I love that all my shelf products match my bathroom colours.

Does anyone use the same products? Or have a recommendation for a replacement Lancome?!

 

Present time II

Excuse the pathetic excuse for a post, but to me this is real exciting. A second present from the in-laws, was something far more useful than the pretty robots. My very first Dyson! This was a donation from the fellas Gran who found it too heavy to carry round, so got an upright instead. It was a bit dusty, but hardly used and cleaned up very well.

Honestly, if you recover my Bebo account from when I was 15 or so, it even says how much it would mean to have a Dyson. Because I’m a little obsessed with cleanliness and they’re like a Ferarri in terms of housewife tools. So yeah, pretty excited. The floor was rigorously swept before it arrived (First time the in-laws had visited our house, had to be immaculate!) so I was a bit gutted to not actually be able to use it straight away. I still feel like it’s a grown up ‘achievement unlocked’!

Present time.

Technically not presents, more gifts for our house because they currently sleep tucked away on top of a cupboard somewhere at his familys’ house – but today I was given these two robots. I think they’ll look fantastic on display and much better than beign tucked away.

The first is a toy Rory was bought when he was a child living in Hong Kong. He’s kept it throughout his childhood travels and bought it home to rest with us. It’s still got the $228 HKD price tag on the underside. (Though this didn’t photograph well!)

And I don’t think it’s ever actually been played with – so is in fantastic condition. A quick google tells me it’s relaly not worth that much, but it looks cute and is only for display.

The second robot isn’t quite as old though looks slightly vintage. It too originates from Hong Kong but is only a few years old and was a present from his sister who went out there. Everyone knows Bender, but the vintage style packaging keeps it from looking too nerdy. There’s plenty of that to come!

So it looks like another trip to IKEA, where I’ll be picking up a display cabinet. The fella has LOADS of boxed figures, and I’ll certainly be looking out for more robots to display. For now though, I think they look great on the bookcase.

Examzzzzzzz

Just a quick post to say that evidently, I will only be sporadically posting now and then as right now it is exam season! 3 down, 5 or so to go over the next month. They’re spread out yes, but we haven’t actually finished the course for 4 out of 5. So I’ll be away studying, no doubt returning to procrastinate. Wahey!

A Summer Time Wish List (Fashion)

I’m sure every girl has a wishlist tucked away of those dreamy items you see on celebrities, rich kids and the occasional blogs that just make you want them so bad. Well, I’ve decided I’m grown up enough to stop lusting and trying to find a rich man to spoil me, and to create a list of 5 key items that are well worth the money. I’ll be going to to London for most of summer, staying with my parents while I work. It could well be ambitious, but this is my summer to buy list. Somewhat generic and stuff that everybody wants, but these are genuine items I’ve thought about a lot and have really set my mind on buying. For myself. Like a little achievement, a gift to myself for working hard. Timeless pieces that will last and hopefully help with my professional look as I try to become a doctor.

 

1) Mulberry Alexa. Everyones wish list has this. If it doesn’t you probably already have one. To be honest though, it’s getting almost a little dated. The design is a few years old now, and I’m sure by the time I have enough to buy one there will be another it handbag. I’m nto sure though. Leather, should strap, big enough for a laptop and folder, with pockets for little crap. It’s got to have it.

2) Burberry Trench. The second most expensive purchase on the list is a classic British design that just looks so fabulous and classy. It’s expensive yes, but I’m sure it’ll last with proper care. It suits a million outfits and can be worn alone for spring and autumn, and still be roomy enough to wear over a jumper in winter. I don’t think this will ever go out of fashion either.

3) Michael Kors watch. A slightly more affordable piece, but I’e heard nothing but good things about these. They last well, look fabulous, and are easily recognisable. One slight downfall is the fact that after working in healthcare so long I’ve become incredibly used to ‘bare below the elbows’ so my current watch is stuck at the bottom of my handbag. As it has been for about 3 years as it’s looking a bit haggered. If I spend some decent money on a watch, I might just remember to wear it.

4) Links of London sweetie bracelet. Confession time. I feel sorta left out here. My parents spent a lot of money on uniforms, books, and petrol for the car to send me to a decent school. I didn’t have a summer holiday for years and never really had much for birthdays or Christmas as they tried to pay us through a decent education. So, at 22 years old – I don’t actually own any nice jewellery. A boyfriend when I was 18 bought me a nice silver bracelet once, but I managed to lose that at work. It wasn’t expensive anyway. So I’d really like something special. I’ll keep dropping hints for this one though.

5) Louboutins. Obvious ones really. If you work in London, power shoes are essential. Probably not great for shuffling the wards (Especially not psychiatric ones!!) but for special nights out it’s worth getting a decent pair. I have plenty of heels, but these are unmistakable. They’re renowned for being more comfortable to walk in and more fitted than cheap alternatives and would make a fantastic display piece in the house. I bet you’d feel incredible walking in them!

 

 

 

So, that’s a LOT of overtime needed. But working full time over summer, part time when I’m back and having a student loan to support myself. I reckon with controlled spending it could well be do-able. I can say goodbye to my weekends (extra pay!) but it’ll be so worth it when I’m dressed to kill.

May-Time Spends II

Nothing makes me happier than new stuff!!

Converse, £40 Office

Shu Uemera Eyelash Curlers, £20 House of Fraser

Clinique Anti-Blemish foaming soap £14 &

Clarifying Lotion £16.50 House of Fraser

Purse, £7 Alphabet Bags Via Urban Outfitters (sale) 

Clinique Stay Matte Powder Compact £21, House of Fraser

Something that wasn’t on the list, but I ended up buying anyway was this powder compact by Clinique. My last powder was running out and I’m becoming quite cautious to what i put on my skin as it’s so prone to breakouts, so I decided to give the Clinique powder a whirl. I use their foundation, and as you can see I’m trialling their skincare range so hopefully this will work just as well.

Very happy Dons. Except the purse got pen on it in my handbag yesterday so I’m raging already. I’ll do a review of the Clinique and curlers very soon. I’m not usually that fussed about make up, but they’re worth talking about if you’re spending that kind of money on them. No Ray Bans yet though. Had an eye test the other day as I’ll be needing prescription lenses, so they’ll wait until I’ve done some overtime I think. Though with the recent sunny weather we’ve been having I might just bite the bullet early!