I’ve Opened A Vintage Treasure Store

Ok I haven’t gone and rented some flash expensive london shop space in order of opening some awesome vintage boutique… Seriously I cannot afford that! But I have gone and started up my own little vintage Etsy store, and guess what? It’s actually going kind of well! I’m getting to do what I love while actually earning some money. I wouldn’t call it a wage but being a mum of three, every penny helps.

The vintage store, which I’ve named Chic Collective by the way, is ideal for me. If you read this blog you will know I love vintage, I’m forever on the lookout for wonderful vintage finds and I’m a bit of bargain hunter/shopaholic. This means that what I buy can now become stock. I get all the pleasure of searching out that stock doing what I do best… Shopping and bargain hunting only this time on a guilt free basis!

What’s more I’m still busy refurbishing vintage furniture and other odds and ends. In all honesty the dinning room has been largely taken over with vintage pieces of furniture in need of tlc. The plan is that my little online store which is mainly selling beautiful vintage jewellery right now will also provide me with an outlet to share and sell my refurbishments. This will be news to my kids ears as they have commented that our home is starting to resemble a DIY/Furniture store.

So here’s a few off my favourites on sale over at Chic Collective right now.

20130813-121014.jpgSpode Tea Set, Powder Blue Miniature Tea Cup & Saucer, Queen Anne Milk Jug And Sugar Bowl, Lucite Clear Bangle & Translucent Rootbeer Bakerlite Bangle.

20130813-121957.jpg Doir Signed Bow Brooch, Two Early Plastic Bangles, Rare Candy Bakelite Bangle, Rare Wide Lucite Bangle.

20130813-122134.jpg Siam Sterling Brooch And Clip On Earrings, Green Marbled Bakelite Vanity Set, Set Of Two Thin Vintage Pink Pens, 1920s-1930s Finger Curl Clips.

I started the shop at the end of June and already have over 300 fantastic Vintage products on display with others being added daily. I’m even giving a free gift with every order to celebrate the opening of Chic Collective throughout August 2013.

What’s more I’m planning a competition right here on the blog for a voucher for my store so keep your eyes peeled on here and of course over on twitter.

So, if you love vintage then why not check out my Etsy Store Chic Collective I post world wide and have a fabulous selection and not not forgetting the Sale section that currently has offers 50% of or more.

Click Here To Visit Chick Collective

#Win 2 Tickets To The Dambuster Taking Place At The Peak District

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Are you an avid walker, or do you fancy trying your foot at it?

Maybe your looking for a way to raise money for a charity in need of funding… A sponsored hike could well be the way to do it.

Why not set yourselves a real change, let’s just say a 25 mile one?

Today I’m running a fantastic competition here on the blog. I’m offering one of our lucky readers the chance to win a Free registration package for 2 for the following event

Date: Sunday 28th April 2013

Location: Peak District, starting at Hope Sports Field

Time: 7.30 am

A little more about this exciting challenge. The Dambuster (25 mile* walk):

The Dambuster is a magnificent 25-mile* walk in the Peak District and forms the perfect backdrop for walkers looking for a challenge in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Incorporating a varied terrain and breath-taking views over the valleys, Ladybower Reservoir, Edale and Win Hill, you will be walking over stunning Jacob’s Ladder before returning along Mam Tor and Lose Hill. What more could you ask for from a charity event?

*Please note, distances are currently approximate and are subject to change. Walkers will need to complete the walk within a maximum of 11 hours although we estimate the vast majority of people will complete the walk between 6.5 and 9 hours.

It is recommended that walkers in this event are aged 16 and over (all participants under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian over 18 at all times).

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The prize includes

Registration from 6.30am
Personal walker number
Downloadable guide book containing detailed route information
Emergency pack including a whistle and foil blanket
Great send off at the official start at 7.30 am
Well marshalled course
Regular checkpoints including water points, first aid and toilet provision
Warm welcome back to the finish where you will receive a finisher’s souvenir and well deserved congratulations

This is a fantastic opportunity and by winning this prize it would mean that you won’t need to worry about covering the registration fees before raising funds for your chosen charity.

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So… How about it? A challenge of a lifetime set amongst an amazing backdrop of beauty.

To win just comment telling me why you want to win the prize? Are you planning to raise money for a specific charity or do you just love a good old hike.

For extra entries tweet…

“I want to win tickets to the Peak District’s The Dambuster walk with @Clairelouise82” adding the link to this post. Provide the link in a comment or your twitter handle.

Please leave an additional comment for both entries.

An email for contact reasons must be supplied.

Competition will close on the 10th April 2012 at 11.59pm

Please visit the event website for more information on this walk and others.

T&C apply: Open to those in the UK only, competition will close on the 10/04/2013 at 11.59pm, winner has 48hrs to confirm their prize or risk a redraw.

Review – Bblonde Jerome Russell Highlighting Kit

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Recently I was sent the Bblonde Jerome Russell Highlighting Kit to review.

The kit promises professional salon results for permanent lightening & controlled highlights. Its formulated with avocado oil & seaweed extract that together claim to protect and condition both hair and scalp.

The kit I was sent is recommended for light to dark brown hair. You see, I am actually a natural blonde yet you’ll never know it. Past hair dying experiments, age and that of pregnancy (3 of them) has actually turned my hair much darker over the years. I know this because now my roots almost look dark brown so I guess that this maybe the best colour choice for me.

Now I’ve used Jerome Russell products before, but not this kit! With my hair in desperate need of colour root touch ups, I’m going to give it ago.

Instead of worrying about highlights I’m going to use it first in an attempt to cover these awful roots.

Hair before application, check out them nasty roots

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Inside I found…

1 Sachet of powder bleach
1 Bottle of 40% Vol cream peroxide
1 Sachet of conditioning shampoo
1 Instruction leaflet
1 Application brush
1 Metal hook
1 Pair of plastic gloves
1 Mixing tray
1 Highlighting hat
1 Development hat

So, as you can see, the pack contains all I need apart from the little things I can find around the home, such as… A watch/timer, cotton wool buds, old towel, petroleum jelly, warm running water and a plastic spoon (or something else to stir the mixture).

The leaflet was very detailed, explaining all stages of the application and development process. Of course like all kits, you are advised to do a strand test 48hrs before full application. This always makes me laugh as it states that you need to wait 48hrs before full application of the bleach, yet at the same time we are advised to apply bleach immediately once it has both been opened and mixed!

On application I actually didn’t need to use the cap that was provided, which is kinda lucky as I’ve always found the whole hook and cap think long and sort of difficult to complete alone, preferring to work with foils instead.

As I was only touching up my roots ( I say touching up, though it was a little more than that) I just needed to use the brush to apply to the “Many” dark areas. I think over time my problem has been laziness, as I’d always just apply to the whole head just massaging everywhere for complete coverage. The problem with this is, that although roots are covered and become lighter, the rest of the hair that technically doesn’t need lightening, gets lighter too making the roots always appear that bit darker then the rest of the hair. This time I was adamant to do this properly!

The mixture, is a very powerful bleach that when ingredients have been mixed together, turns an almost frightening shade of purple. Its thick texture makes it easy to apply, avoiding any running or drips of bleach onto areas of hair you wish to avoid it. Despite its super strength, although the smell is a little strong it isn’t too overpowering and didn’t leave me with a headache like other brands have in the past.

Once all areas of the hair are covered in bleach there is a second cap (development cap) for you to wear. As mentioned my roots were rather bad and I was therefore a little unsure if the suggested development time of 15 minutes was really long enough.

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In actually fact, it was! Having washed this off I was happily surprised with how well the product had worked in the short space of time. When washing the bleach out of my hair, I used the included conditioning shampoo sachet that smelt very pleasing.

I do hate how awfully dry and brittle such a strong bleach can leave your hair feeling after application. I’ve used hair bleach many times and its felt as if my hair was in this dry state for weeks, even months after Initial application. I think it may have something to do with the conditioning shampoo found in this lightening kit, as it really did seem to restore some of the moisture back into the bleached hair. I did also apply some intensive conditioner following application of the shampoo but I do this for every brand I’ve used in the past and this one defiantly didn’t leave my hair as dry as others.

Saying this I would always recommend a good conditioning treatment application preferably preformed in a salon, within the first week of bleaching. I feel that by doing this I’ve actually saved myself money in the long run when I’m left trying to repair my dried out hair.

The final colour was very light and Immediately following application you like me, may think its a little bright. You could then use any toner which is something I nearly always do with any hair bleach.You can buy small sachets of toner from almost any beauty store, chemist or supermarket. Mine didn’t look brassy or yellow as it has done in the past, mine was just a tad bright. Given it was only a little I didn’t bother with a toner and looking at my hair now some 24hrs later, following a second wash, it doesn’t look to bright at all so I haven’t even needed to apply anything more to adjust the intensity of colour.

Results

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I’ve also had my hair cut short, this and the colour has left me feeling much more like me again

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The same morning I bleached my hair I had it cut at a professional salon. Discussing with the hairdresser how I’d only just bleached my hair some hours before, he commented that the John Russell bleach had done an awesome job on my roots (I guess he was pleased he didn’t have too)! It was here I’d opted for a deep conditioning treatment and I’m extremely pleased I did. For this reason I couldn’t possibly comment on the condition the dye left my hair in, in let’s say a week following application. However, I can comment that I was very pleased with the end results and will almost defiantly use the highlighting kit again.

A few weeks following application

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For more info on the Jerome Russell range visit their website or check them out on Facebook.

Plus I’ve just discovered that Jerome Russell are currently running a great competition to win a different range of hair products. Visit their site on the link above for more information on the competition.

Disclaimer: I haven’t been paid to write this review but did receive a free full size highlighting kit as to provide an opinion that is honest and that of my own.

#Win Yourself A Necklace Made From Recycled Skateboards

Yes, that’s right I did just say that you could win yourselves a necklace made from recycled skateboards!

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The person behind this funky idea is Nat and she own’s this unique brand called Thrashion. Nat takes a skateboard deck that has been ridden, treasured then thrashed and turns it into a totally funky unique one of a kind piece of jewellery.

Nat has been making Jewellery and Homewares from thrashed skateboards since 2007 and from what I can gather she’s a real one of a kind, As it seems that there is no other brand like her’s across the whole of Europe!

Nat’s designs feature the original graphics on the board, no paint is added whatsoever, just a clear coat of varnish to preserve the piece.

Thrashion obtains their skateboard decks from various sources, such as pro skaters, friends, skateparks, shops and various skate companies. Boards are donated in their original state and Thrashion do all they can to keep waste to a minimum while constantly coming up with new ideas and designs along the way.

Thrashion have received Donations from Pro skaters such as the likes of ‘Matt Pritchard’ in the past. He loves the brand so much that the man himself was even spotted wearing on of the brands dog tags in a interview posted on youtube…

I love how every piece is a one of a kind! There’s no chance you’re gonna bump into a friend and spot your necklace around their neck (that is unless they borrowed it and have failed to return it).

For me, this is not only a great environmentally friendly idea, that produces cool quirky fashion pieces, but also an art form in itself. Its my opinion that Nat is a very talented artist.

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I remember back in the 80’s and early 90’s when my little brother used to ride up and down our street on his skateboard. He actually had a few over the years that I can remember! These always displayed some really funky colourful design that never failed to make him look totally cool and impress all his friends. To think that those skate boards could now potentially be made into his big sisters pendent does make me smile. The fact I was never allowed to go near it let alone touch it, because I quote “I don’t understand Skateboards” admittedly makes me chuckle! Why? Because I may not “Understand Skateboards” but I do understand Jewellery!

I’ve actually never seen anything quite like Thrashion before. Its a great idea that takes upcycling to whole another level. I have to hold my hand up and say “Yes, I do rather like it!”

Thrashion has a site full off unique and interesting statement pieces of jewellery! I’m loving the little heart pendents with the skull graphics. These have to be my favourite! With no two pieces the same, and new skateboards being donated all the time, its a must to check back on their website from time to time for new and exciting pieces. Plus, if they don’t have what your looking for the option of a custom made piece is always an option.

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Orders come delivered packaged in cute little cupboard boxes, padded out with paper shreds. All packaging is again 100% recycled to keep the green element within the brand.

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The necklace I have to give away here on the blog today has a real funky pendent that is mostly made up of the colours greens, yellows and reds. This doughnut style pendent Has a beautiful shine and is totally smooth finish. Despite its size, it rather lightweight, making it really easy to wear. The pendent measures approximately 6 cms in diameter with a 3 cms opening,
and is supplied on a long length of military issue ball chain which can be cut to size if required.

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The prize is certain to make a huge fashion statement amongst friends, family and even work colleagues

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So if you want to win this little piece of art that was crafted in a little garage down in cornwall, then just do the following…

Compulsory Action….

Give me one of your greenest tips. It could be a great little upcycle project to that’s kept the land fields free from overload, or maybe a small change you’ve started to engage in to do your but for the environment! Whatever it is just leave a comment along with a valid email address or twitter handle (so, I can contact you if your the lucky winner).

Additional Entries

Additional entries can be gain by doing any of the following. Please not an additional comment must be left for each.

Tweet: “I want to win a Trashion necklace with @Clairelouise82 and @_Thrashion” then comment with the URL to your tweet or additionally your twitter handle.

Like the mummy of many talents new Facebook page. Comment to let me know who you are

Pin this competition on pinterest and then comment with your pins URL

Subscribe to this blog by email (button in located in the sidebar) comment to let me know you have with the same email add.

Competition will close on the 25th April 2012 at 11:59pm. Open to those in the UK only.

T&C… Winners will be drawn at random from all valid entries submitted. Competition open to all those in the UK only. Winners must leave either an email address or twitter handle with their comments so that I can easily contact them in the event that they win. Winners have 72 hours to respond to the winning notification or another winner will be drawn in their place.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

My Love For Shopping Won Me A £500 Groupon Voucher

This Valentines day I discovered a great competition on the net while googling for Valentines competitions.

The competition was for bloggers and was being run by Groupon in partnership with Bloglovin. The brief… To write a post showcasing what you’d love to receive or give another for Valentines day.

The prizes being offered were almighty generous… 1st prize £500 Groupon Credit, 2nd prize… £250 Groupon Credit, 3rd prize… £100 Groupon Credit.

Given I was actually having a pretty rubbish valentines day with the love of my life snoring on the sofa by 7pm, meant that I had no problems kicking back and creating an elaborate list covering things I knew I was never gonna get! Well, not this year, not next year… Not ever! It wasn’t a bunch of flowers I wanted after all, but a whole day of pampering like a princess! Shopping for shoes and raving in Greece or some other place hot were just a handful on my list.

Well, I opted for a video and text entry and was delighted in discovering that I had bagged the first prize of £500 Groupon credit. Actually… the word “Delighted” Seems a bit of an understatement! This lady was made up with excitement and couldn’t wait to start shopping.

As I’ve got the Groupon iPhone App downloaded, its made it pretty easy to check out the daily deals! I really don’t know how I haven’t spent the lot already given they have had some awesome offers on during February. Well, I’ve spent just over £150 and have a new shiny cupcake maker, two tickets for the Hobbycraft show at excel this April, lash extensions, Banksy tees, a love film subscription, 2 tickets for hairstyling for myself and a friend at a top salon, and a potable dvd player and family film package on the way. Not bad for £150 wouldn’t you agree?

I’m really looking forward to the craft show at Excel. I’ll be heading there on the 6th April (my birthday) the day after I return from a Butlins holiday with the kids.

We received the Cupcake maker yesterday and my daughter is delighted at how “Pink” this is. I’ll be sure to showcase some finished cupcakes in the coming weeks.

So watch this space!

Oh… And if you haven’t yet experienced Groupon I’d suggest you hop to it!

I’ve Got A Love For Shopping

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Ok, in all honesty Valentines day hasn’t been that dreamy! I’ve spent it washing, tidying and painting. Where’s my Valentine you ask? His snoring on the sofa! Looks like a date with Eastenders for me!

Well, at least I have my dreams and a Groupon competition I’ve discovered on the net has given me the perfect excuse to showcase them.

So… What was the challenge? All I had to do was pull together a blog post that describes my perfect Valentines day, with particular attention on the gifts I’d like to receive.

Now I know that this wish list of mine is likely to seem a tad far fetched, especially given its already gone 8pm and the one I call my valentine is snoring like Daddy pig from Peppa pig on the sofa! But hay… whats a girl without her hopes and dreams?

First check out the little trailer I created below then I’ll give a little more detail on just how well I’ve dreamt this all up!

So as you can see, being woken to a gift of stunning earrings & breakfast in bed would be much appreciated, as would the delivery of 12 beautiful red roses.

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There would be no time to sit around. starring longingly into one another’s eyes! First I’d be whisked off up town to London for a no limits shopping spree. I’d be able to engage my love for shoe shopping without protesting form the ‘other half’!

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We’d eat lunch at a smart little restaurant then I’d be taken to have a tattoo of any wild thing I wanted, before settling down and relaxing with a full body message.

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Suddenly, just when I think my already blissful day has reached its climax, I discover we are not heading home but instead to the airport.

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Totally speechless (and that’s a first for me) I discover my loved one, has packed my bags and arranged for them to be delivered to the airport. I then find myself boarding a plane that takes me to a magical place of peace and tranquillity.

The hotel is devine and the beach has wonderful fine white sand.

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The king size bed is a wash with gifts including that of beautiful delicious belgium chocolates. Having filled my tummy, I slip into a little black number and as it approaches the early hours of the following day I find myself partying to the sounds of old Skool garage and a little drum&base just like I used too.

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Filling a tad tired but extremely happy, myself and my valentine stroll along the peaceful beach as the sun begins to rise. Here I’m lavished in diamonds by way of a big fat diamond sparkler! For me? Oh, yes… it so is?

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And then…..

I wake up!

Yer… Ok, Maybe next year!

This is my entry into the Groupon ‘A love for shopping competition’

Love for shopping