Archive of ‘Impulse Buy’ category

Impulse Buy: Toast Pyjamas

| Impulse Buy

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It is cold. Freeze-your-nipples-off, frostbitten-fingers-from-texting-outside, weeing-ice cold. I do not like it. I especially do not like it at night. I wear bed socks all year round. That heatwave we had this year? Bed socks. Travelling through Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore? Bed socks. I like layers. All the layers. And I love pyjamas. Not those bottoms and a vest top “sets”, which are pyjamas-lite, the low cal version of nightwear, no, I like to be covered. Insulated. Cosy. Full coverage is safe to answer the door in without flashing the postman. I like cotton pyjamas – softer, avoids night sweats. I don’t like masses of zips, fasteners or buckles – they dig into you and keep you awake at night. I like pockets – to keep your phone in when you’re carrying a stack of books and a glass of water upstairs. I like these pyjamas from Toast. Comfortable, warm, nice retro pattern, pretty collar and cuff detail, pockets. They are a little on the pricey side at £69, but I think they’re worth it. They’d make a great gift from Santa.

photo copy 2You can buy Toast pyjamas here.

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Impulse Buy: Umbra Waste Paper Bin

| Impulse Buy


In the late summer of 2002, I moved to that shiny capitalist hub, Canary Wharf. Among the list of general items I needed to make my flat a home – bottle opener, reading light, bottle of champagne – was a bin. The choices of bins I found summed up my continuing troublesome relationship with this piece of functional furniture.

First up I discovered some seamless, sculpted attractive bins, available in a range of colours, which I’d have been proud to have in my home. They cost £395 each. £395!! For something you put your junk mail and used teabags in. I’ve been known to splash out in my time, but if I’m spending hundreds on an item I at least want to wear it. (And, yes, thank you to the person that instantly thought: you could put it over your head! I am not in the habit of channelling an 8-year-old pretending to be a Dalek, as my fashion icon. Not yet, anyway.)

The other type of bin I could find? Garish, tacky, and cheap looking. And thus my eyes were opened to the world of two bins. A pattern that is repeated ad infinitum all over the retail world. Finding a bin that is visually pleasing, but doesn’t cost the same as a winter coat is endlessly trying.

I’ve been looking for one for my bedroom (which is styled in rich chocolate brown and gold, with art deco touches), and finally I’ve found it! Umbra’s waste paper bin in espresso brown. It’s a wood texture, dark on the outside, and golden warm wood on the inside, like a chocolate covered toffee. And it sits perfectly in my bedroom. At £19.99, it’s not the cheapest bin, but it’s certainly not hundreds either. Well worth the wait.

bed 1

Umbra Woodrow waste paper bin costs £19.99 and is available from here.

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Impulse Buy: Clarissa Hulse Double Duvet set from TK Maxx

| Impulse Buy, Uncategorized

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For years one of the stylists I represented worked with TK Maxx, and they were always so friendly and upbeat to deal with as a company. But that’s not the reason why I hold this store dear to my heart. Oh no. I love TK Maxx because it is a crazy-assed barmy bargain jumble of a store. I love their frenetic collection of stock – designer frocks, man’s socks, coat hangers, cheese graters, herbal tea, Cornish fudge! It’s like Willy Wonka came to life, took a load of LSD, and was put in charge of buying for a national store. Walking through it is like playing the conveyor belt on the Generation Game. Cuddly toy! You can have hours of fun in there. I popped in for some knickers today, and what caught my eye? A beautiful patchwork (and usually £65.00) Clarissa Hulse double duvet set for £34.99. 100% Cotton Sateen. Sod the panties, this is perfect for my spare room. TK Maxx-ed out my card again.


I bought my Clarissa Hulse Double Duvet set for £34.99 from TK Maxx.


Impulse Buy: Paperchase’s Giant Coin Purse Tote Bag

| Impulse Buy


photoI’m a sucker for undersized and oversized items. Tennis balls the size of footballs, hot water bottles that fit in the palm of your hand, pencils you could use as a rounders’ bat: I have to have them all. A clear case of Alice In Wonderland-itis. I’m so big! I’m so small! Curiouser and curiouser…

My Alice alarm sounded when I saw this giant coin purse tote bag in Paperchase. Yes, Paperchase, the shop you buy cards and wrapping paper from. At a bargain price of £25.00 and with a strap you can fit your arm through, this one’s definitely going to the Mad Hatter’s tea party with me. I’m wearing it now, and grinning like a Cheshire cat.

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With strap. Keys for scale.

Paperchase’s Secret Garden Tote costs £25.00 and is available to purchase here.


Impulse Buy: Limited Edition Givenchy Eye Shadow Compact Ecrin Du Soir

| Impulse Buy


IMG_5491When I was seventeen I bought my first “investment” (i.e. more than I could reasonably afford to spend at the time) beauty product: a limited edition Lancôme nail polish the colour of insect wings. I scraped that nail polish bottle dry. I’ve spent the last sixteen years hunting for a similar shade. Now I’m wary of limited edition slap, if I fall in love with a product I want to know I can stockpile it for some perceived make up drought. I’m more likely to run out of food, before I do Chanel mascara. BUT there was something about the weighty luxury of this textured Givenchy eye shadow compact that I couldn’t resist at Duty Free: it had me at Heathrow.


Inside are four shades that can be used separately, or in any combination (that’s how compacts work). The three matte shades will comfortably cover all your eye make up needs from a perky breakfast meeting (go for the fawn) to a candle lit dinner for two (smokey purple, you sexy minx, you). The final shimmery square of glitzy white delight will have you channelling Bianca Jagger at Studio 54 before you can say ‘hands up, this is a drugs bust!’.  According to Google translate the compact’s name, Ecrin Du Soir, translates to ‘bosky evening’. I have no idea what that means, but I’m in!

Givenchy’s Limited Edition Ecrin Du Soir costs £46.00 and is available to buy here.

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Impulse Buy: Clarks’ Mushroom Brogues

| Impulse Buy

Mushroom brogue

Shoe alert!! Shoe alert!! After 6 months of being confined to my trainers due to dodgy feet/knees/everything I am finally breaking free from the sportswear. And in true back to school style, I’ve been shopping at Clarks (old skool). My former designer-shoe-obsessed-self shed a little tear, but my feet breathed a sigh of relief. Because, this stylish pair of Hamble Oak Mushroom brogues are super comfy. They have a soft weave sole (read: they don’t rub or give you blisters), they’re sturdy and waterproof and I can fit my oh so sexy orthotics in them. Once my feet are in them you’ll never know they’re from Clarks (unless you read this blog). They look great with this season’s pink, and I love the name ‘Hamble’. I’ll be happily hambling around in these over the coming months.

Clarks’ Hamble Oak Mushroom brogues cost £54.99 and are available to purchase here.

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Impulse Buy: White Topshop Shoulder Embellished Jumper

| Impulse Buy


I’m currently in Canada on holiday (get me), and I snapped up this jumper as part of my vacation wardrobe. This is what I call a go-to jumper. You go-to dinner in it. You go-to a bar in it. The embellished shoulder detail (oh so flattering, draws your eye up and away from your maple pancake bloated tummy) elevates this top from day to eveningwear. I’m styling mine out with tailored black shorts and shiny black brogues – like a Chanel schoolboy (but with more pancakes). Canadian mountain chic. Sweet.

Jumper 2

Topshops‘ white embellished jumper cost £46.00.


Impulse Buy: V&A William Morris Writer’s Notebooks

| Impulse Buy

William Morris Pads

Despite no longer having anything to do with an academic institution, it seems I am pre-programmed to shop for the beginning of the new school year. Well, I’m glad my education led to something worthwhile. I’ve treated myself to these three gorgeous William Morris patterned lined notepads. These notebooks are so beautiful the to-do lists I write in them will undoubtedly be monumental. This stationery will change my life. It’ll also look great on my office desk, and when I whip it out at Tesco’s to look at my shopping list. Bread. Milk. Happiness. Tick. Tick. Tick.

V&A’s William Morris 3 writer’s notebooks set costs £8.99 and is available at Waterstones.

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Impulse Buy: Fresh White Dutch Hydrangeas

| Impulse Buy


It’s September. The kids have gone back to school. The sun has disappeared behind a cloud. I’m fearful summer is over. To perk my house and me up, I bought some beautiful white Dutch hydrangeas. Big blooms equals big impact, and a bit of flower power lifts my dining table and my mood.

The charming florist informed me hydrangeas are high maintenance. We have that in common. Their stalks need trimming every day or two, and if they do crumple into tissue softness, you can submerge the heads over night in cold water to revive them. Remeber: all the best things require a little bit of TLC.

My white Dutch hydrangeas cost £4.50 per stem from Flowers! Flowers! (Seasonal availability only). Link here.

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Impulse Buy: Tesco’s Orla Kiely Shopper for Cancer Research

| Impulse Buy

Tesco bag

Our eyes met across the checkout queue, and it was love at first sight. You know the story: girl goes out to buy cereal, girl comes back with a new bag. But oh my, what a bag.

I’ve always been a fan of Orla Kiely’s quirky print, and a fair few of her accessories have adorned my wardrobe over the years. Which is why I couldn’t resist this limited edition Orla Kiely print shopper (for Cancer Research Ltd – extra fashion brownie points) from Tesco. It cost four pounds. Let me repeat that: FOUR POUNDS. This may be the cheapest most beautiful thing I’ve bought in a decade. Go buy one now. Hurry!

Tesco’s limited edition Orla Kiely shopper for Cancer Research Ltd costs £4.00 and can be bought here:

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