Vintage/Retro Christmas gift ideas for under £5

Okay so some of these may tip the £5 limit with postage but all will make super gifts for those who love a bit of vintage/retro style in their stocking. It's also worth checking with cash back websites like Topcashback if you're shopping online so you can earn a bit back as you spend. 

First up - Dotcomgiftshop - I absolutely love this website, it is crammed with fantastic gifts for the home and family. Checkout the sale section for some pretty tree decorations from £1 and there's a whole section on gifts for £5 and under so visit that by clicking here

But here are some of my picks for under £5 from various places 
Dotcomgiftshop Book of 6 nail files £1

Dotcomgiftshop Coaster £2.95

Surprisingly this brand has only been around since the mid 80's, I thought it was one of those brands that had a long history. I love this brand, and this would be a great stocking filler for. There are other flavours (is that even the right word?) but this one I can tell you is divine!

Etsy is a great place for handmade and preloved items from small businesses and crafters

Junk Queen UK £2

Wake Up Little Susie - vintage 60s stockings £3

Curious Cat UK £5 

It's nearly here, if you're super organised and have already sorted out Christmas, maybe it's time to treat yourself!
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Accessories and little treats with #NewLook

How are your December's going? Personally I'm finding this month pretty tough. There's been some fantastic highs but some pretty terrible lows which I won't bore you with, but if you are also finding this month pretty hard going so far, just know that you are not alone! I'm beginning to feel quite 'done' with 2014 and ready for a nice shiny fresh new year. 

Fortunately there are little treats out there to cheer us up and to help boost that mojo. These don't always mean taking a hammer to that piggy bank and whilst all that glitters may not be gold of the 18ct variety, a bit of metallic glam is always good for the soul, yes?!

New Look got in touch to ask if I'd like to receive a mystery party bag from them which would contain some surprise treats - all I had to do was use the contents to dress up an outfit I already had. 
*bag, necklace & cosmetics c/o New Look


Party season is a great time to get experimental. I picked up this petticoat in a charity shop for 50p a month or so ago (yes 50p) and thought it would be good for future photoshoots but I loved it so much I actually decided to wear it as a skirt myself. 
It was a bit yellow through age, but instead of trying to clean it up, I decided to give a bath in tea and make it more beige/antique lace looking and I think it's worked pretty well. I've teamed it with a plain black tshirt and a biker jacket so it looks less ballerina and more Sex in the City.

I just can't get enough of 'messy chic' hair at the moment. I'm definitely a 'textured up and undone' kind of gal.

I love statement necklaces (and New Look have some knock out styles at the moment) - they are such a good way to transform a simple top. The chocolate coin shaped bag I am absolutely besotted with - you can't fit an awful lot in it, but a small flat purse, phone, a small set of keys and lippie is all you need...... I guess.... if I say it enough I may begin to stop carrying so much useless stuff with me on a daily basis.
As you can see from the first picture, the New Look lovelies also sent me some makeup to try as well. Have you tried makeup from New Look? 

I hadn't, and although I'd obviously seen it lurking near the tills when I've been in store, I'd never been tempted if I'm honest. There's lots of low priced make up that's good but also lots that isn't so great. Although I thought the items I was sent looked lovely, if I'm honest I wasn't sure if these would be something I'd fall in lust with. 

So I am very flippin excited about how good I actually found every single item I was sent, the prices are excellent and in my opinion, these compare very very well to other brands and not just those in the same price bracket either. 

All of the cosmetics sent to me were each £4.99 or under, making this a budget brand you really need to go in store and explore.

The eyeliner is going to take some getting used to as it's a a stiff sponge applicator and I'm used to using one with a thin bendy brush but crikey this New Look one is an amazing deep black and it's long wearing too. 

The Pure Colour lip gloss is super glossy but not sticky and it lasts pretty well for a gloss. At £3.99 I'll be checking out other colours in this range. 

The absolute star item though are the eyeshadows. This is the 'warm nudes' palette and at £4.99 I am really impressed with these. Sometimes budget eyeshadows can be really powdery and scatter colour all over your cheeks as you apply them to your lids, but so far so good with these. 

There's a fantastic shimmery champagne type colour that doubles up as a gorgeous highlighter and the coral/pink shade makes a good blusher - which means this is a perfect little palette for travelling with. 

It comes with a double ended applicator but I have my own brushes that I always use instead of the ones that come with these sets. 

You can see some of the New Look makeup range online but I really think the best way to see what you think of these is to go in store and play!

Are you doing your Christmas outfits on a budget this year? Now is a good time to have a good dig around in your wardrobe and remind yourself of exactly what you own, how you can mix & match things up and what little additions you could add to give something old that feeling of something new! 

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Party Dresses George at Asda

We may sing about diamonds being our best friend but Christmas is the perfect time to get your sparkle fix from sequins - which lets face it are a much more purse friendly option anyway. 

George at Asda got in touch to see if I'd like to try out one of their party dresses and before I even looked at the range I was confident it wasn't going to be an easy choice, because I know the George dresses well. I have several in my wardrobe, my favourite one being a blue strapless cocktail dress which I wore to a wedding and someone asked me if it was a Karen Millen. A nice compliment for a dress that cost me £6 in the sale! 

At the moment there are some amazing party dresses from George with many less than £30 and I say at the moment because they seem to be selling out really fast so if you see something you like be quick!

I chose this gold one (only available online)  which at £25 I think is an absolute bargain. This has already gone to limited stock so just in case this isn't in stock for your size I'm going to add some of my top picks from the rest later in the post so read on!

These are the websites pictures of the dress


How I wore it.... not the best picture, my husband is NOT the photographer in the family.... bless......

I'm really in to coloured tights at the moment and thought burgundy would go great with the gold,so managed to track some down in Primark- but I have to say there seems to be a distinct lack of coloured tights on the high street right now.

The dress is lined so it hangs well, I'd say perhaps try on a size down as the 14 was very generous even over my boobs (and that never happens!)

I was also sent some super cute earrings which at £4 are a great little gift or a stocking filler.

My top 3 picks from the rest of the party dress collection are...

If you're after a new little black number for some bombshell wiggle then at £18 this velvet one looks pretty good to me. I'd be teaming this with some killer heels, winged eyeliner, red lipstick and perhaps some hair flowers for a pin up look? 

You could go very 20s with this, personally I'd go for a modern 20s take on the hair by waving the front and creating a messy fishtail braid which I'd then pin up in to a side bun (I must do you a step by step guide for this look as it's so easy!) 

I think this dress is just so pretty, how would you ever stand still when there's so much to swoosh?

My final pick is this dress which has a 60s party vibe going on (who knows the scene in Mad Men where Megan sings to Don at their house party?)

60s style isn't just about beehives, but I'll always have a soft spot for them but of you're more of a hair down kind of girl some loose waves would look just as fabulous. This would be a one to wear with patterned or bright tights too I think. 

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Dinner and Cocktails at Las Iguanas Norwich

I don't know about you, but my idea of a good night out normally revolves around food and booze. Nights of wild dancing are few and far between as these these days noisy clubs are mainly replaced with dinner out a good bottle of vino. 

I have a few firm favourite places to eat in Norwich, we're lucky to have some incredible small independent restaurants along with many big chains so for a small city I genuinely feel we have lots to offer. 

Las Iguanas has arrived in  Norwich and they kindly invited me along to join them for dinner and cocktails. Now I've never heard of this restaurant before so I had to pop over to their website for a looksie at the menu to see what they were all about, and it's all about Latin food that's what. Oh and cocktails....

Red wine and cocktails is normally a risky combination but we fared well the next day which I can only put down to the fact the portions here are so generous so it all got well soaked up...

We started with the Nachos and the squid, both of which were amazing.

Now I am not a cocktail expert. I can't really offer any guidance of notes, flavour combinations etc. I like drinking them, and I know ones I like and ones I wouldn't have again... so all I can do is let you know I researched the list well and liked them all... 

The signature cocktail is the CAIPIRINHA 
Fresh lime wedges, muddled with sugar, folded with our
own Magnifica cacha├ža & crowned with crushed ice. So a little like a Mojito I think?

I can't remember what this one was but what I can tell you is that those delicious looking little strips are NOT pineapple. They are strips or RAW GINGER. I repeat it is not pineapple! What a shame there is no video footage of me biting down on what I thought was pineapple. This wasn't even my drink. That will teach me.  
 If you like your cocktails like puddings  the Crema Chido is for you - a blend of Mexican liqueurs. Xta, with honey & aniseed flavours, shaken with Kahlua, cream & almond syrup. 

So the food was great, the cocktails were delicious but what about the restaurant itself? I loved the decor! 

We had such a great evening, it was good to go somewhere we might otherwise have not visited and we would definitely go here again. The staff were really lovely and so friendly.  It's also worth mentioning that there's a good choice of vegetarian and gluten free options so fab for group evenings out. The vibe is very busy, loudish music and low light, potentially noisy diners and choruses of happy birthday - so not for a quiet romantic meal for me this one, but for a relaxed or fun packed evening out, then I will keep this one on my list! 

You can find Las Iguanas at Riverside which is just a few minutes walk from the train station, so handy if you want to come in to Norwich for an evening out and want to make the most of that cocktail list.....

If you're not in Norwich and are not planning a visit (why not? It's so nice!) then you can see a huge list of other restaurant locations here
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