Tag Archives: Budget

To Market, To Market

26 May

My first experience as a market trader is now in full swing. I’m currently selling my wears at the Farewell Fashion Souk at In Shops, Belfast.

The sun is shining just outside the door, there’s free Buck’s Fizz, a great buzz, plus some fab fashion bargains up for grabs.

Here’s a selection of pics from my own stall and also of some of my neighbours’ stalls.

Call by if you’re in the vicinity – we’re here ’til 4pm. 🙂

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Selling My Wears

25 May

ImageLosing weight is great, except for one thing. Some of your most-loved clothes – the dresses that made you feel a million dollars; the heels that turned your legs from stumpy to slinky (yes, even your feet shrink a little when you lose weight); and the waist cinching belts that are no longer made for your waistline – become redundant relics gathering dust in your wardrobe.

Your style and how you dress changes as you slim down. The style of clothes you opted for before suddenly don’t suit.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m happier and more confident in my own skin than I’ve ever been. However, having a wardrobe packed to the brim with clothes ranging from sizes 8 to 18 puts my wardrobe in the league of a small boutique. It also makes deciding what to wear each day a royal pain.

I’m a self-confessed hoarder. I take after my mother in that sense (though not quite to the extreme that I cover every available service in porcelain ducks. Thankfully.)

I have an emotional attachment to a lot of my clothes. It generally comes down to cash. I’ll sit and look at the Amanda Wakeley (still with label on) and John Lewis ball gowns hanging in my wardrobe (that are now three sizes too big) and think; “You two babies cost me the guts of £450, how can I part with you?” Then there’s the pretty but totally unpractical clutch bags I shelled out for and used once, and the stunning heels I simply can’t walk in.

Over the last few nights, I’ve finally gotten around to having a massive clear-out, in preparation for tomorrow’s fabulous Fashion Souk, where I will have a stall.

Founded three years ago by Alyson McElroy, The Fashion Souk has become a staple date in Belfast fashion lovers’ diaries, welcoming over 800 shoppers each month with its eclectic mix of traders selling pre-loved, vintage, locally made and fairly sourced clothing, accessories and homewares.

Tying in with my current ‘Budget Belle’ challenge, where I’m trying to get my finances back in check, this is an attempt to satisfy my inner shopaholic – if I make some moolah selling my old clothes, I can justify buying new things that fit.

Sadly, tomorrow will be the last Fashion Souk in its current home at In Shops (just off Church Lane, Belfast), so the organisers are throwing a bit of a shindig to see the Souk out in style. The special Farewell Boutique Souk market will bring back all of its favourite traders (plus little old me) and will offer shoppers bubbly and a live DJ throughout the day.

So, call down tomorrow, Saturday 26th May between 10am -4pm at In Shops, Belfast (Church Lane entrance), soak up the atmosphere, and feel free to call by my stall to see if anything takes your fancy! They say nothing in life is free, but entry is, so even better.

I’ll post a few pics later tonight of the types of things I’ll be selling but there will be dresses, gowns, shoes, bags, silk scarves, jewellery and all sorts! Check out the Fashion Souk website and Facebook and Twitter to see some pics of previous Souks and also to get a taste for the type of people that will be selling alongside me. And trust me, having shopped at the Souk myself, I can say with confidence that there will be some gorgeous fashion finds up for grabs!

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Getting Back on Track – The Budget Belle

15 May

So, it’s mid May. I turn 30 in six months and two days. After starting off with great gusto, I’ve somehow managed to get midway through my 29 Lives challenge having only achieved seven lives.

I’m not going to beat myself up about it (though I have been of late and a tweet received tonight congratulating me on my blog concept almost tipped me over the edge). Sometimes life gets in the way of the best laid plans.

Truth be told, I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. Work is going well, my social life seems to have taken on a life of its own and, after seven years as a self-confessed singleton, I have a boyfriend! I’d cheat and put that last one down as a tick off the 29 but I’d only be lying to myself if I pretended this was something I sought out in any kind of contrived fashion; happily, it happened when I least expected it.

But enough of the sentimental stuff, let’s get back to business. If I’m going to have a hope of hitting my 29 Lives target by November 17th, I need to get back on track.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my lifestyle and the changes I need to make to get where I want to be. I’m back to tracking what I eat with Weight Watchers after letting things slip a little of late and it got me to thinking – things are a lot harder to ignore when they’re there, staring back at you in black and white.

I’ve always been terrible with money. I’ll never be rich because I have my money spent before I get it. My mum says I’ve been like this since I was a child. I’ve never had the patience to plan and save – if I want something, I have to have it and I have to have it now. But that has to change.

As I approach the big 3-0 I think it’s time to man up, take charge and accept that life is not always about the here and now – there’s a little thing called the future that takes a bit of planning for. In the short-term, another of my goals before I turn 30 is to try living on my own. If I want to do that, I’ll need to tackle this ‘spend now, worry about it later’ attitude I seem to have adopted.

It’ll not be easy but first up, I’m challenging myself to document everything I spend over the next two weeks. After that I’m going to set myself a weekly budget and, crucially, try to stick to it. I’m not going to become a hermit or anything crazy like that but I am going to try – for the first time in my life – to take responsibility for my finances. It’s about time.

Any tips welcome!

P.S. How awesome is this piggy bank I spotted on homedesigndecorating.com ? Must resist temptation to buy it, or something similar…

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