Summer Haul Part 2: A Bit of Everything – Boots, Matalan, Primark and TK Maxx

With our holiday a week away there were some bits I needed to get and some finishing touches I had planned for my room over a year ago now that I hadn’t bought so I decided to finish off both in one go. There’s a mix of home, beauty and fashion from TK Maxx, Matalan, Boots and Primark so there really is a bit of everything in this haul, or maybe that should be hauls.

All this holiday shopping has definitely got me feeling summery, even if it’s cold and wet here in the UK at the moment!

I’ve had my eye on the new Soap and Glory hair care products since I saw they were releasing them and after my no buy February I was getting low on a few supplies. I’ve decided to go blonder for the holidays so wanted to try their toner shampoo N-Ice and Bright Toning Shampoo (£7). The charcoal based Junk the Gunk Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo (£7.50) intrigued me as I tend to find charcoal products work well for my skin so thought I might help my scalp too. So far I’m happy and it’s definitely unusual using a pure black shampoo! I’ve also been on the lookout for a heat protecting product since my old favourite was discontinued so I got the Control Sleek Heat Activated Smoothing Cream (£9). I’ve heard good things about the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sun Cream Body Spray SPF50+ (£17.50) and as I get prickly heat and heat rash the first time I’m in the sun I thought I’d give it a try.

I have a bit of a weakness for bags and needed a carry on bag for the plane so couldn’t resist this Bright Stripe Weekend Bag (£12) from Matalan. It holds so much and the sides pop up so it expands, it held almost everything I bought from Matalan. I love the colours and the shoulder strap. I also ended up getting this Circle Lock Bucket Bag (£14) in pink as it’s so pretty and I wanted a small handbag that would work well for on holiday.

At the moment I have quite a few plastic plant pots in my windowsill and have had plans to plant them into something more permanent. I saw these three in Matalan and thought they’d look good and have room for everything I wanted. The Brass Planter (£16) has the height my pitcher plant needs as it’s hitting the windowsill at the moment. The second largest I got isn’t on the site any more but it’s like this Patterned Planter (£10) and will hold some of the smaller cacti I have. The small Metallic Ceramic Planter (£5) is the perfect size for a small cactus garden my parents bought me a few years ago and is available in several colours and I do love these planters with legs.

I’m never sure how long these things will be in stock in Primark but the Pale Yellow Brooklyn Jumper (£5) and I want to get one a couple of sizes too big as it’s so comfy and cosy for summer evenings and they have them in so many colours and patterns. I think the NASA Socks were £3 and I love the height of these, half way between trainer socks and full ankle socks. The striped Linen Blend Sleeveless Top in Oatmeal was £2.50 and the Whinnie the Pooh Striped Top was £5. I really should have kept the receipt so I could check these!

As with anything from TK Maxx these aren’t in stock any more but I found these Peach Slip on Converse for £29.99. I love flat ballet pumps but they never fit my feet right and these are the perfect shape for my feet. I also found this Copper Finish Caddy with four shelves for £32 from £50 on their site as it was on offer. This fits perfectly in the space and holds what I wanted it to. I find having these kinds of things in places I can see them means I use them more and I keep my stashes down more.

I did also get some bralettes (£10 for a pack of 3) and some knickers (£6 for a pack of 3) from Matalan but they’re not available any more. They are some of the most comfortable underwear I have ever worn though so I’ll be going back to get more.

I was planning on cutting back on haul posts, but I don’t think I’ll be doing actual reviews on the things in these posts so there will be one more. Though I was wondering if you guys like these longer haul combination posts or more of the smaller posts but more often if I get things I want to share but won’t review. I love shopping for home decor but never really do proper posts in them so want to include them somewhere. I have some DIY bits planned so maybe home things in general may be appearing more in the future.

No Buy February – Kind of Successful

The No Buy February title image. Behind the text is a photo of everything that was bought in the month

This is a bit late, it was meant to go up last week but apparently my scheduled post didn’t even save. Anyway, after the sales of January I decided to have a no buy February. We’re going on holiday in April, though it was originally going to be in February, and I bought a lot of things at the end of January for this so I wanted to save a bit for some spending money too.

I did set a few rules, the main one being this was for beauty and fashion except for the Red Nose Day t-shirts. I get one every time they release them and they were Disney this year so I had to get one. I did plan on buying a couple of things for my room, some final things for organising my wardrobe space and some plant pots that I’ve been meaning to get for over a year now, but I ended up getting none of them so I thought I’d do a post that has everything I bought in February, or rather everything that isn’t an essential thing that I bought in February, and I think I did pretty well!

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Next Outlet Clothes Haul

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After a recent declutter of my wardrobe I had a list of things I was looking for and I’ve got better at not buying things in sales just because they’re cheap but I did end up getting some things I didn’t have planned on a couple of recent trips to the McArthur Glen Outlet shopping centre in Bridgend. Everything I bought ended up being from the Next Outlet, they have had such good bargains recently, £2 for a good quality top or £10 for some jeans is such a good price if they’re what you want. For years I didn’t get that much from Next but it feels a bit like half of my go to wardrobe comes from there.

The Next Outlet stores often have extra reductions, which is what happened with most of the things I’ve bought, beyond the reductions in the normal sales. They also have older stock in lots of sizes sometimes as well as a range of clothes that are exclusive to the Outlet stores in the Special Purchase range. I know some people have said they aren’t the same quality as the standard line, they’re definitely cheaper than equivalents at full price, but I’ve bought quite a few things from them and they last just as well for me.

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A Bit of a Haul from Rushden Lakes


I wish I’d taken more photos, I’m still not that good at remembering to do that when out and about, as the shopping area was so nicely arranged, which sounds like an odd thing to say but not having aisles crammed in and there actually being space in all the shops was really nice. Add in the odd sky on Monday due to the storm in Ireland and the UK and I bet the lake would have looked great in them. With the five hours free parking and range of shops there I definitely recommend Rushden Lakes to anyone local as a place to spend an afternoon wandering and shopping. Though it does seem like most locals already know about it, I seem to have been slow on finding this.

Anyway, onto the shops themselves. Though I didn’t get what I originally planned to as there weren’t any of the long tops or tshirts that I liked in my size I did end up getting a few things. In the end I got things from Primark, Marks and Spencer, Holland and Barrett, Flying Tiger (a new favourite shop) and Boots, though it was fun wandering around the rest and I was very restrained when it came to the large beauty section in House of Fraser, I don’t think I’ve seen so much Urban Decay in person before!
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Primark Haul: Harry Potter, Unicorns and Masks

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When I went to Primark last weekend the plan was to check out the beauty section, maybe get a couple of vest tops and see if there was anything decent in the home section. The home section was forgotten about, I need to go back for that I think, and the vests I like weren’t there so I ended up wandering around with mum and seeing what they had. This did lead to a basket full of Harry Potter and Disney things which I did manage to get down to two before we wandered over to the pyjama section and found the unicorn in the haul.

Unfortunately their beauty section in our local isn’t the best stocked, though I was impressed by the range of other brands available that weren’t there the last time I checked, and most of the makeup had obviously been poked and prodded which always puts me off. The only things that seemed safe were eyeshadows, I already have too many, and the lip kits which were available in chocolate brown or fantasy glitter. I was tempted by the sparkles but the chocolate brown was too dark for me, I might have to pop in when we go to Vodafone over the weekend and see if they have other colours then. I get the feeling that it isn’t the most popular section of the store as I was the only one looking at it and it didn’t really make me want to stop and browse.

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Summer Haul: Asda and Tesco


With the recent heat wave here in the UK I wanted to get a new bikini for in the paddling pool in the garden. My old one is still doing ok but it’s ten years old so it felt like time for a new one! I may have ended up getting more than originally planned when I actually wandered around Tesco and Asda, we went to both because the fridge broke down in Tesco and some of the groceries we actually went shopping for weren’t available.

I ended up with shampoo, conditioner, a mini perfume spray and a bag alongside the bikini and dress I set out to get. None of it was overly expensive, it came to around £70 altogether. It sometimes find that’s one of the problems with shopping for these things in supermarkets; things are such great value that my trolley ends up much fuller than planned!
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It’s Spring Cleaning Time Again

This time of year I always get that Spring Clean, time to declutter everything, feeling and this year I finally decided that it was time to admit that my jewellery and clothes were in dire need or a sort out. Quite a few of my clothes haven’t fitted me that well for the past year, since a fun side effect of the medication I’m on made me gain quite a bit of weight around my middle, and oddly my feet too, and changed my body shape. It’s a bit like learning how to dress myself and what suits me all over again, but that’s a topic for another post. 

Anyway, I decided that I would try everything I own on and anything that doesn’t fit me but is still either new (I did a bit of an overhaul a week before I started the mads so haven’t worn some of it) or that I still loved got put in bags and is now stored under the bed in the spare room. It certainly feels better having a wardrobe full of clothes I can actually fit into rather than one bulging at the seems because it has two sizes of everything! 

My jewellery was mainly a case of having things I’ve loved for years but not worn them as they aren’t the style I go for any more, though I forgot to photograph what I got rid of annoyingly. Makeup will probably become a few posts, I always love reading and watching decluttering things other people do so they’ll go up when I finish that.

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Today’s Shopping Trip: Matalan, Boots and Pets at Home

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I went shopping today so I thought I’d do a post on the things I bought, though a few of the things from Boots are repurchasing old favourites that I have reviewed in the past I did find a few new things that I am really excited to try. I also went to Matalan and managed to keep it down to three things from there, I could have bought so much more and I found a jacket that I will definitely be buying online as they didn’t have my size in store. I did also go to Pets at Home so I’ve included the few gerbil things I got there too, I wouldn’t normally but I figured it’s not an extra post and it’s something different.

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June and July Favourites: Two for One


I realised, when working out what to include in this post, that I didn’t actually do one of these for June so this is going to be a bit of a two months in one. Also, it turns out that most things work on the new Windows 10 but edge does not like WordPress and my camera is not registering on there so this post is coming from my iPad including photos so may not be the best quality

I don’t know how many of you are in the UK and how many will have watched Robot Wars when it was first on, or on any of the repeats, but I love that show. As the new series has just started a lot of June and July I was watching the original series to get ready and I was surprised at how early I was watching it originally, it seems I started at series 2 with the original airing. So far I’m liking the new series though I do miss the rhymes from Craig Charles in the later series. Also some of my favourites aren’t in the new one but it was to be expected, I wonder how the original robots would have survived against the new ones. 
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April Favourites: Some Things I Finallly Tried and Loved

Sorry the external links won’t work for this post, this is the fourth time I have tried to post it and it’s crashed my computer each time. I’ll try to add them tomorrow but I just want to get this post up tonight so it’ll be link free for now.

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This month I have mainly been using new things, which is unusual as a lot of the time it seems like my monthly favourites are full of old things I have rediscovered. It’s another big mix of things though I think it’s mainly beauty and accessories and a couple of them probably won’t be surprises if you follow my blog given the reviews I’ve given them recently.

I don’t think there’s been much music that I’ve been listening to really this month, a bit mix of a lot of older albums I found on my old mp3 player that only works when it’s plugged in so it’s been quite a bit of 90s cheese you get at school discos and early 2000s pop punk. TV shows though I have been watching some new things for once, I loved the Night Manager, I thought that Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston were amazing in it and I really liked Tom Hollander too, he was a jerk but for some reason I liked him anyway. No spoilers so I won’t say any more. I also really loved the RSC Shakespeare Live thing that was on the BBC for the 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The ‘to be or not to be’ bit made me laugh and I just liked the range that was on there. I have ended up going back to some old favourites like Red Dwarf and NCIS but those two new ones stood out a lot.

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