17 March 2013

A Totally Selfless Day

Mornin' all

Happy Sunday to you. I hope you've got lots of lovely plans to spend it with your nearest and dearest/at the pub with some mates/on the sofa catching up on your TV shows and eating as many flavours of Pop Tart as one human being can safely consume in the same day (it's 6, by the way). 

I spent yesterday doing lots of totally selfless and righteous things, like a slightly less wrinkly Mother Theresa. Wait- do you think good deeds is secretly the reason people get wrinkles? If so, I want to end my life looking like this:

Ok, maybe they weren't completely virtuous activities- one involved Free Cake, and the other involved shopping; but they were still both for charity, dammit! I spent the afternoon with my friend Holly at Sew In Brighton's charity bunting-sewing session for Red Nose Day where we chatted with inspiring fellow crafty folks, sampled the complimentary cakes, and made a bit o' bunting. It was nice to do something a bit different for charity- I'm definitely not a marathon kind of girl (with the exception of Snickers, obviously*)

First flag - front
First flag - back

I didn't take any more photos after these because I was too busy scoffing Swiss Roll doing lots of sewing for charity. 

When all the lemon curd tarts were gone we'd made a good stack of flags, Holly and I headed out to scour all the brilliant charity shops around George Street in Hove. 

I ruddy love charity shopping. It was ingrained in me from a very young age that second hand doesn't have to mean lower quality- it just means cheaper. And "cheaper" is my second favourite price in the world, only to be beaten by "free". Because, kids, as we all know: if things are cheaper that means you can buy MORE of them for the same amount of money. Or buy less, and have money left over to spend on essential things like shampoo, bus tickets, and Mini Cheddars. 

Obviously, I also love charity shopping because it's helping out other people who need some support. It's basically just donating money to a good cause and they then happen to give you a cardigan in return. 

I picked up a couple of real bargains yesterday too, which gives a buzz that no other experience can equal. Some people don't believe me that finding a scarcely-worn River Island wrap dress delivers a much greater high than injecting crack cocaine into your eyelids**, and at half the cost. Ah well; all the more wrap dresses for me!

I grabbed myself an older version of this storage box from Habitat which I'd been admiring online last year for a bargainous £4.99 (RRP £30!) It's a bit scuffed, but I figured I can always paint it a different colour. I'm using it to store ribbon, and may possibly stick this picture of a kitten on the front too if I feel the need to make it even more twee. Probably going to happen. 

I also spotted a non-stick coated, loose-bottom cake tin in the "general tat" section of another shop, which the lovely lady gave me for an unbelieveably reasonable £1; because I'd inadvertently given her a tip about what to do with her leftover "Brighton" wallpaper that had been used to decorate the changing room. When I got it home, I found it had a spare base in it too! Woop!

My final bargain of the day was a very Easter-coloured cardigan***, originally from Primark, from the sale section of a charity shop. If heaven is personalised, mine is going to be one big charity shop sale section (assuming I can keep up the wrinkle-inducing good deeds, obviously!). I can't show you a picture, because it's in the wash- so imagine a long blue, purple and yellow striped cardigan with pockets. It's that. 

We refuelled at the taste sensation that is Ethel's Kitchen. I really can't recommend this place enough. The hot chocolate is to die for, they have stacks of freshly made cakes teetering on the counter at all times, and their mezze is one of the best I've ever tasted (and I've tasted a LOT of mezze).

Your eyes do not deceive you.
Those ARE giant chocolate buttons sticking out of my hot chocolate.
I told you Ethel's was brilliant. 

Each table at Ethel's has a different salt and pepper set (all equally kitsch and awesome). Yesterday we got the one with the kangaroo, evidenced below. This was also a totally selfless act, because we were supporting an independent business instead of going to Costa. Although Ethel's is cheaper, tastier, more atmospheric, and just generally ruddy nicer than Costa. But still. Selfless. 

Katie xxx

* I've just found out that Snickers are apparently named after the Mars family's horse. Definitely storing that one away for my stint on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (which I'm totally going on once they promise me all the questions will be about chocolate)

** My education in the drugs arena is based entirely on gritty teen novels about "skag heads"; I am therefore assuming this is what people do with crack cocaine. 

*** In case you were wondering, the colours of Easter are golden-yellow and purple. Fact. Sort of. 


  1. Ethels sounds great, love the kangaroo salt & pepper pots! Im starting to realise that you can tell whether a cafe is run by a male or female based on things like condiment pots. Now ruun it for me & tell me Ethels is run by a man!

  2. I feel so incredibly lucky to live about a minutes walk from Ethels,because if I didn't,I fear I never wouldve found it!I always try to go to different independent cafes when meeting for tea based occasions but im always drawn back to Ethels as it is so good!The s and p kitschness is always a highlight of my visit!!plus,the breakfasts are HUGGGE!sounds like you had the perfect sort of day!thats how Saturdays should be spent!I loveee George street charity shops,I've had so much success there!Altho I hope you're not poaching the good stuff!!!I know exactly what u mean re the getting a rush from it!I had this,one particular time,when I decided to make a,list for the shopping,the rush hit its peak when I noted scrabble in a window after the shop had closed.I rang the shop number and they opened up specially for me to buy it!!xxx

    1. Sounds like I definitely need to head there for breakfast :) Saturdays are all about shopping, cake, and craft! I promise I'm not taking everything- there was a very sweet single-cup teapot in the window of one that I ummed and aahed about. But I left it (for you, obviously!) That's some very impressive bargain-grabbing; how sweet of them to open up for you! xxx

  3. Oh my! All that cream AND chocolate buttons! (I have to remind myself though, whenever I have hot chocolate I MUST NOT have cake- because then I feel sick! Must have something savoury or a toasted teacake!
    That button box is adorable and I love the bunting- go you!
    Oh and looking forward to seeing the Easter cardie (I'm with you on the colours! Purple is the colour of Lent!)

    1. I know! Rather indulgent. Good thing I hadn't spent the earlier part of the day eating slices of Swiss roll *ahem* In my defence, the slice of cake belonged to Holly and I even refused to try some. Almost felt like recording my refusal so Tom would believe me :p xx

    2. I verify this is true. I was the greedy cake eating, hot chocolate drinking one!

  4. Sounds like my perfect kind of day! If you are ever in Cambridge lets meet for a crafty sesh and a charity shop scour.

    The button tin is awesomes.

    1. that sounds like an excellent idea! I will most certainly let you know :)

  5. That sounds like an amazing day! And I'm jealous of that amazing hot chocolate! And the bunting is adorable! And you got some amazing steals!

    1. The hot chocolate was pretty incredible! I definitely need to up my game when I make it at home. Although giant chocolate buttons would never last long enough to make it onto a drink in our house :p xx

  6. What a great post. Sounds like a fantastic day. I'm all for guilt free shopping! x

  7. Hi there. I've just seen your button tin. Does it say where it originally came from? Really need one :)

    1. It's from habitat http://m.habitat.co.uk/home-office/accessories/fcp-category/list xxx