Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spring Style: The Modern Mod

"People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around - the music and the ideas.” – Bob Dylan
I can’t stop wearing these block heels, they seem to go with everything. Paired with this shimmery bouclé coat, I feel like I should be strutting down Carnaby Street circa 1966! To give this look a more contemporary feel, I've abandoned a typical Mary Quant style miniskirt for denim hot pants and a thrifted blouse.
Coat – Asos
Shoes – Asos
Blouse – Charity shop
Shorts – Asos

Photos kindly taken by my friend Maggie

Friday, 21 March 2014

Thrifty Treat Of The Week: Tiger Stores Ireland

This week’s Thrifty Treat Of The Week is not a beauty product or a sales tip-off. No, it’s an entire shop! Tiger is a Danish chain of variety stores; it first landed on Irish shores in 2011 and there’s currently nine stores here. Tiger offers a wide range of products from household items to office supplies, toiletries to toys and everything in between. Do not liken Tiger to EuroGiant, Dealz or any other discount store; it’s so much more than that. Yes, the prices are low but there’s also a huge emphasis on quality. Stylish with a distinctive Scandinavian design, these products stand out from the "pound shop" crowd.
When I moved into the bare and bleak apartment I mentioned in this post, Tiger was my go-to shop for kitchen utensils. Not only did I stock up on wooden spoons and spatulas but I also bought wine glasses, a cupcake shaped cookie jar and a gorgeous tea caddy that attracted oohs and aahs from everyone who saw it, i.e., anyone who was lucky enough to get a cup of tea made for them!

During my most recent visit to Tiger I stood in awe before the arts and crafts section. Beads, wire, pliers, glitter glue, wool, invisible tape, felt and the most affordable canvases I’ve ever come across for you painter types – it’s DIY heaven! I picked up decorative flowers, cards and fabric tape (see photo below). I don’t have any definite plans for the flowers yet, they have an adhesive back so I’m thinking of creating a pretty headpiece by sticking them to a base comb or putting them on a plain handbag. The fabric tape was a brilliant find, it totally eliminates the need for glue in my Retro Ribbon Tealight Tutorial.
Fabric tape €3, Decorative flowers €3, Cards (pictured above) 50c each
Other delightful items I spotted included a diamante encrusted calculator, a notebook that looks like a slab of chocolate, jewelled mirrors, a selection of herbal teas, animal iPhone covers and a party section complete with wigs and fake moustaches. Tiger state on their website that nothing costs more than €30 but I found most things are well under a tenner. Practical items, quirky gifts, lovely crafty bits to spark your imagination - Tiger has it all.  
I was swooning over my friend’s new purse while we were out having lunch. Yes, it’s a panties purse! Currently in Tiger for €2
Store Locations
·         Whitewater Shopping Centre, Newbridge
·         Manor Mills Shopping Centre, Maynooth
·         GPO Arcade, Dublin 1
·         Nassau Street, Dublin 2
·         Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre, Dún Laoghaire
·         Pavillions Shopping Centre, Swords
·         Omni Park Shopping Centre, Santry
·         Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Donaghmede
·         St Patrick's Street, Cork City

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Spring Style: Mellow Yellow And The Vintage Bag


There’s no denying it, spring is here. The daffodils have pushed their cheery heads out of the cold ground and are proudly declaring the change of season. Daffodils are one of my favourite flowers and I can’t help but smile when I see them. Yellow equals happy and fun so it’s no wonder numerous designers turned to it in their spring collections. Pale yellow, lemon, canary, acid yellow or gold - anything goes. This sunny shade will have you beaming all season long.

Dress – Asos

Shoes – Asos

Bag – Vintage (circa 1950s) from Granny’s Attic Vintage

Belt – Penneys/Primark

Pearl collar worn as headpiece – Penneys/Primark


Photos kindly taken by my friend Maggie

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Spring Cleaning: How To Create Candle Holders Out Of Glass Bottles & Jars

Spring is my favourite season for many reasons; snowdrops and daffodils blooming, longer days, warmer weather, lambs leaping in the fields. Spring is also the season of new beginnings - out with the old, in with the new. You can embrace this concept literally by spring cleaning your home. It may seem daunting to tackle your entire house in a day or even a weekend; so instead, break it up by room or even by wardrobe/cupboard and finish one each day. I recently finished spring cleaning my wardrobe and I discovered some long-forgotten pieces that I can’t wait to restyle. My friends inherited my preloved shoes and bags, and whatever they cast off was dropped into the charity shop. So less clutter and smiles all round!

Storing empty glass bottles and jars for the bottle bank can also take up much needed space. I came up with the idea of making candle holders out of bottles and jars while I was living in a bare and bleak apartment. I had a small budget for decorating and wanted something a little different to adorn my mantelpiece and dressing table. Below are two candle holder tutorials; one for a long candle and the other for a tealight.

Bohemian Style Gold & Jewelled Candle Holder
You will need: a glass bottle, gold spray paint, stick-on gems (these are available in Penneys/Primark for €1.50), latex/rubber gloves, newspaper
1.  Remove the labels from the bottle. Wash with hot soapy water and dry.

2.  Cover your work surface with newspaper. Take one sheet of paper and scrunch into a ball – put aside.

3.  Put on your gloves (this is going to be messy!) and spray the bottle, turning it slowly as you spray.

4.  While the paint is still wet, take the scrunched up ball of newspaper and start to dab lightly. This will give the paint an old/distressed appearance.

5.  Leave to dry. You can repeat steps 3 and 4 a number of times until you reach your desired mottled effect.

6.  Once the paint is dry, apply the stick-on gems. If you can’t find these in Penneys/Primark use standard gems and secure to the bottle with a glue gun.

7.  Insert your candle and voilà – a striking and unique candle holder!


Retro Ribbon Tealight Holder

You will need: a glass jar, ribbon, scissors, glue gun
1.  Choose where you’re going to place the ribbon on the jar. Measure and cut, leaving 1cm extra.
2.  Apply the glue to the jar. You must place the ribbon on straight away as glue dries almost instantly when applied to glass.
3.  Take the extra piece of ribbon and glue down.
4.  Now you’re ready to pop in your tealight. Simple!  I think these would also look exceptionally pretty as table décor at a wedding.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spring Style: Pink, Grey & The Sheer Skirt


It wouldn’t be spring without pastel shades and some form of floral. I’m not a huge lover of pink but it’s hard to avoid this season, the shops are saturated with sugary hues. I think my ‘Is it a mini? Is it a pencil?’ skirt is a perfect way to wear pink. Sheer was an unexpected trend this spring/summer but a welcome one. Peekaboo panels allow you to show a little skin while the layering effect is weather appropriate. A lovely contradiction: ladylike and sexy.

Jumper – Penneys/Primark
Collar – A present from a friend
Skirt – Asos
Shoes – Asos (available online now)

Photos kindly taken by my friend Maggie


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Thrifty Treat Of The Week: Lacura ProRevive Hand Cream

Every time I discover a wonderful budget beauty product I want to shout it from the rooftops. I feel like I’m on a mission, a money-saving mission – PUT IT DOWN, PUT THAT OVERPRICED LOTION DOWN! I’m Eddie Hobbs but Eddie’s lost his Cork accent and stern expression and now has a love of lipstick and vintage clothing. Jesus, what an image! But on a serious note, I really love helping people save money be it 2 quid or 20. Yes, some budget beauty products are rubbish and full of nasty chemicals but there are hundreds that are far superior to their “luxury” counterparts.

One such products is Aldi’s Lacura ProRevive hand cream. This is the best hand cream I’ve ever used and believe me, I know my hand creams. A lovely combination of dry skin and dermatitis means I constantly have a hand cream nearby. I’ve tried so many and have been disappointed time and time again so I usually revert to E45. There’s three hand creams in the Lacura range, a hand & nail cream, a nourishing cream and an anti-ageing cream. I went for the anti-ageing cream, not because I’m worried about my hands ageing (although at times they've looked like they belong to a 70-year-old!) but because anti-ageing creams are always more moisturising. Lacura ProRevive hand cream is just that; it contains beeswax, glycerine and vitamin E. The cream itself is quite thick but it sinks in really quickly. That’s a major problem I have with E45, it’s so greasy that sometimes I have to wipe my hands in a tissue before I go about my daily business. However, I’ve no such problems with Lacura ProRevive - I can use my phone/laptop straight away.

I’ve noticed a huge improvement in the condition of my skin since using this. After just one use my hands looked younger and smoother, the cream seems to act like a silky veil blurring imperfections. Within a couple of days, my hands were softer and the skin around my nails wasn’t so dry and chapped.  The cream is lightly fragranced but it’s pleasant and hasn’t aggravated my dermatitis like fragranced products tend to do. The packaging isn’t the prettiest (it’s that great ugly barcode) but the tube itself is a generous 125ml and I like the fact that it has a flip top cap. Oh, have I mentioned that it’s 99c? Yes, this gorgeous rich hand cream is under a euro! A EURO!

Thrifty Treat Of The Week is a weekly series on The Retro Suitcase. Occasionally, the series will only appear on Facebook so keep an eye on the page for excellent bargains, tips and offers!