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CLOSED: GIVEAWAY: Bonbi Forest (Open Worldwide!)



CLOSED! 
The winner is...Ana!
Thank you everyone for participating. 


Hey everyone,

I come bearing treasures for another giveaway today - a pair of gold Glitter Disco Feather Earrings from Bonbi Forest, the brand of British artist and designer Lee May Foster-Wilson.


If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of anything glittery (especially gold glitter) so I thought these would be perfect! 
I love the feather design etched into the clear perspex. 

All pieces are wrapped in an organza bag, which is tucked inside the sweetest, printed origami pounch which would make a perfect gift, or just a cheeky treat for yourself!


The giveaway will be running for two weeks - ending at midnight on 4th August 2013 and open worldwide - hooray! 
As ever, there are plenty of ways in which you can gain extra entries:



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck, everyone!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla


PS: I have a new hairdo. If you follow me on Instagram you may have spotted it already! 


Currently Coveting...Reiss/John Lewis


Hey everyone,

The guys at John Lewis recently asked me to pick my favourites from their Reiss range.

Most of these pieces are currently in the sale, and while they only go up to size 16 - I am a big believer in "making it work" - i.e.: curvier girls needn't just shop in 'plus size' stores.
(Check out Gabi's post and video for hints and tips)








Some great pieces for summer - from hot brights (I'm currently loving orange!) to cool pastels.

I especially love the dresses for a special occasion - especially during this heat wave we're currently having in the UK. Garden party, anyone? 


I've also compiled some of my favourites from ranges which go up to 18 - and some up to 22:




3: Alexon Jacquard Bolero: £49.00 Also available in Pink! (up to size 22)





I'm starting to feel a little better, but the humidity really isn't helping. 
It sucks because usually I love hot weather and heat waves, but it's just horrendous when you're sick.

So I'm still a bit MIA from here and my social networks, however here are some bits and peices from my Instagram:







~ My glittery shoes and I went for a walk and were having a perfectly good time before I was attacked by pollen. Gahhh. 

~ I ordered this pretty pink dress in the Matalan sale for £15 - perfect for the next Swung Eight club night!

~ A cheeky Illamasqua sale order - a new cream foundation, illuminator/highlighter and eye pencil for £20.

~ Taffy Tabby from Callooh and Callay's new Super Saccharine collection. Expect it in an outfit post soon!

~ One of the better things in life: free samples of salted caramel brownies.

~ I love this collared t-shirt from Chicnova. It says 'Bon-Ton' on the front, but I didn't look at the product images properly and it says 'Bondage' on the back. Oh well. 



I do need to try and curb my shopping habit again though as I'm saving for a Nintendo 3DS! 
I still have my old 'brick' from back in 2006, so I think I'm in need of an upgrade. 


Muchos love,
MessyCarla

DISCLAIMER: Sponsored post. However all words and opinions are - as always - my own. You are very welcome to read my disclosure policy here.

Pops of Neon


Hey everyone,

I'd completely forgotten about this outfit I snapped before I got sick.

I originally didn't post it for two reasons:

1: It's quite similar to this.
and 2: it's one of those outfits that I thought looked better in person but couldn't get it to photograph the way I wanted to.

But looking back it ain't too bad, so I figured I'll share it with you guys!


(Long-time readers of this blog may remember these shoes as they use to be in EVERY SINGLE OUTFIT POST in 2010/11 before I convinced myself I lost them in Edinburgh train station after staying with my friend Jessie. HOWEVER they recently turned up during the great house renovation, so hooray!)

DRESS: H&M
T-SHIRT: Steel Wheels in Newcastle when I was about 16
BELT: Dorothy Perkins
NECKLACE: Borrowed from my sister
SHOES: Office

GET THE LOOK:



BRACELETS: Primark, Angel's Delights (as seen in this post) and Fairtrade.
NAILS: Green by Barry M (Limited Edition currently at Superdrug)


Last week really dragged - it's not much fun being so ill you can hardly leave the house.

However on Wednesday I was feeling a little bit better, so Daniel came round and we had an evening of playing board games with my sister and her friend Eleanor. 


As well as Cluedo (or 'Clue' in America) we also played Monopoly and Articulate! which is possibly my new favourite. 

Hopefully I'll be on the mend soon!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla

One (Wo)man's Trash...


Hey everyone,

After finding myself in debt after backpacking, my purse strings have been tightened to the extreme - so I've compiled a small list on ways I've made extra money over the past few years selling clothes and other bits and bobs on various websites.

Remember on Friends when Chandler and Joey offered to give away the "entertainment centre" eyesore and got a canoe in return...?

As they say, one (wo)man's trash...

CLOTHES:





Cash For Clothes unlike similar companies gives you a price per individual item instead of weight. Just enter the brand and type of garment into the valuation engine, and get a price instantly - simple!


eBay

Selling clothes on eBay is possibly the most popular way of selling unwanted clothes.

Presentation is key - iron your clothes, and either hang them up on a door or spread out on a plain background (laying a white sheet on the floor is perfect).

Be sure to take photos in a well lit room, with natural lighting as this will give the best representation of what you are selling.
If the photo is not looking 100% accurate (for example I find reds very hard to photograph and often find them coming out pink) note this on your listing, and offer more pictures on request.

Also use common sense as to when is best to sell things.
For example: dresses, and beachwear sell best in late Spring/early Summer, whereas coats, jackets and jumpers sell best in Autumn/Winter.

However this is not an exact science, so if you aren't sure - it doesn't hurt to have a quick search for something similar as to what you are selling to see how they are doing.


Selling Blogs

Selling blogs were my Mecca as a broke teenager.
ThriftStoreUK on Livejournal was one of my daily haunts whether it was selling my unwanted clothes, or requesting items (This was when I was an 'electrokid', so I was probably requesting lots of neon clothes and accessories made out of vintage game cartridges. Trendy!).
You can also search the tags by type of item or garment, brands and size.

However with the blogging boom, hundreds of bloggers now have a selling blog - whether it be a part of their main blog or an off-set. Have a look through your favourite bloggers to see if they have a selling page, or simply Google (for example "blog sale size 16" "blog sale vintage dresses") - you never know what you might find, and without the added commission you find on auction websites!


Electronics:


Don't let your unwanted electronics end up as unnecessary landfill. 
Be kind to the trees and pocket some pennies in doing so...


Music Magpie 

For a quick check on CDs, DVDs and other tech, simply write the barcode or make and model and get a price instantly.
With CDs and DVDs usually being marked down to under £10 instore and online these days, it's harder to sell items like this on selling/auction websites - so Music Magpie is probably your best bet!


Mobile Phone Recycling

Websites such as MazumaMobile and Envirophone have a similar system to Music Magpie. Simply type in your make and mobile and you'll get an instant quote. The prices can fluctuate quite a bit so it's best to have a shop around these various websites to find the best deal.

Alternatively, carriers such as O2 have a recycling programme which could be worth checking out.



I find that Gumtree is your best bet if your phone or tech is damaged or broken as it can be sold on for parts or spares. Be sure that you list in your description very clearly of the condition.

You'll be surprised how many people are willing to take it off your hands - when I was leaving Sydney I just wanted to get rid of my broken netbook and Blackberry simply for space in my backpack and ended up with $60 for the two which funded my flight to Melbourne. Score!


Recycling/Giving Away:


Sometimes selling just isn't an option for some items - but don't throw them away!
Here are a few options to make sure your 'trash' goes to a good home:


Charity Shops



Charity shops (as we call them in the UK - 'thrift shops' elsewhere) are no longer fusty purgatories where sad one-peice-missing jigsaw puzzles and Sega Megadrive games go to rest.

Instead many have cashed in on the vintage trend, and are happier than ever to find homes for your unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories.
In fact several charity shops in Newcastle have beautifully dressed shop windows, and a special 'vintage' section at the back where prices are slightly higher than the rest of the store.

Be sure to keep an eye out for charity shops which perhaps look a little lacklustre in stock, or by all means donate to the shop which supports your favourite charity.



Does anyone else have a bunch of unused toiletries packed into a back cupboard somewhere?
Perhaps they were a holiday or birthday present you keep forgetting to open.

Instead of throwing them away, consider donating to the fantastic charity Give and Makeup, which sends donated toiletries and essentials to women's refuges all around the country. Accepting products either in brand new or lightly used (Give and Makeup suggests "If you would give it to a friend, we'll take it!") conditions.
Travel and sample sizes (anything you didn't like in a GlossyBox? Bring it!) are also accepted.

Check the website for local drop off points, as well as shipping addresses.

(Please note: The cause is currently in danger of closing down - if you are part of or know of a company that can help with space to take parcel and communication between shelters, please get in touch)


Freecycle is exactly what it says on the tin - if you're willing to give something away for free, get it listed!
Who knows, you may find something there for yourself while browsing!



Swap Parties!


When all else fails, turn lemons into margaritas and throw a swap party!

I thoroughly enjoyed the swap party at PSFWA and have wanted to host one myself - despite my friends being of different shapes and sizes, it really doesn't matter that much (hello, make it work?).

Ask each guest to bring new or lightly used items (set a maximum of about ten items per person, not including shoes, accessories etc.), arrange them in the room and let the elbow sharpening commence. Use the opportunity to try on things you ordinarily wouldn't, perhaps you'll find that you really do suits something after all.

(Also: An abundance of cocktails and cupcakes are not necessary - but definitely recommended for such an occasion!)


I hope this has been somewhat useful!
How do you guys 'let go' of your old treasures to make room for new favourites?


Muchos love,
MessyCarla


DISCLAIMER: Sponsored post. However all words and opinions are - as always - my own. You are very welcome to read my disclosure policy here


Currently Coveting: New Look Inspire


Hey everyone,

I think New Look are having a very strong season; all of their clothes are bang on trend and very affordable.

I was recently asked to put some looks together from their Inspire range, which has lots of lovely peices in including plus size maxi dresses. So here's what I've come up with:


Greased Lightning









I absolutely love this 1950s inspired dress, and with the pink and black piping it reminded me of The Pink Ladies from Grease. 
Together with cat eye sunglasses (spot the itty bitty bow!), pearls, two-tone brogues and the cutest, kitschiest cage bag it makes the perfect outfit to go and bag yourself a T-Bird



Nude & Green


1: Inspire Light Pink Roll Sleeve Jersey Blazer: £24.99 (also available in coral and red)

2: Lovedrobe Green Crotchet Collar Dress: £32.00 (also available in cream)






This is a look I think could easily be dressed up or down. Without the blazer it's very casual, and almost mod with with pops of white accessories. 
However throw the blazer on (a staple I still haven't got around to buying...this will have to be rectified soon!) and it's perfect for a summer picnic or drinks with the girls on an evening. 

If you're not sure about wedges, it'll look adorable with a pair of cute ballet pumps, sandals or loafers.


Casually Grunge








I love this outfit, not only because it's bang on trend right now - but because it's pretty much how my sister, (who is a size 10) dresses. I'm always so jealous she can just throw on a midi dress and boots and look so effortless stylish. 
So I love that pieces like this have finally come into play for bigger girls too. 

This would also be great if you're going to any festivals over the summer, whether it be one of the big boys like Reading/Leeds or Bestival - or just one of the local festivals in your area. 
(FYI: I've only been to one 'big' festival in my life - the Radio 1 Big Weekend in 2005 when it came to Sunderland - but I go to Northern Pride every year with my friends!)


SHOP THE LOOKS:



Right, that's me for now!

Please note that there may be wordier posts like this for a little while as I am currently ill with sinusitis.
But don't worry - usual outfit posts will resume soon when I have finished resembling a green monster. Eugh.


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.


DISCLAIMER: Sponsored post. However all words and opinions are - as always - my own. You are very welcome to read my disclosure policy here