22 Feb
1

Five things I learned from partnering with TK Maxx

With 2018 in full swing now I have been taking a look at my blog from a business point of view, reviewing partnerships and successes of the past year and looking forward to the coming year and my direction.  There were some big changes for me last year, hey mama, and whilst I made a very conscious decision not to turn Thankfifi into one of those blogs, of course there has been a shift of some sort; I think part of that is growing older, and hopefully wiser, and there seems to be more now that I want to share than just fashion.  I want to include stories from my home and my life and my travels, and yes, still fashion.  TK Maxx was and still is one of my favourite fits because of the great range they offer and when I really thought about why that worked for me, I surprised myself with some of the things partnering with them and shopping there has taught me…

SOMETIMES THE BEST PLAN IS NO PLAN

I have rediscovered the lost art of browsing.  When was the last time you took the time to just wander aimlessly round the shops without a solid plan?  Flashback to when I was studying at art school and shopping was an actual activity, a social occasion with friends…  well, these days I find myself ordering so much online or making a mad dash to one store to pick up a very specific thing that the joy of browsing could easily become a distant memory.  Those tactics simply don’t work in TK Maxx.  What I discovered is that they have a huge and often random selection that changes weekly, they don’t always stock each piece in every size and once it’s gone, it’s gone.  So you go to the store and you browse.  And it is really, really nice.  This year alone I have come home with a ski helmet and chocolate covered cherries and I assure you, neither of those were part of any kind of plan.

GIVE UP ON PRESSURE TO BE CURRENT

As bloggers it is so easy to fall into the trap of shopping that ‘New in’ section.  We are inclined to focus on sharing pieces that you guys can click to buy but in doing that I think we lose a little of what blogging is about – style.  I started Thankfifi in 2011 (woah) and, back then, it was all about style – it might not be the style I have now, thank goodness, but it was about styling the same piece different ways and barely any of my clothes were current season.  Of course TK Maxx have an amazing selection of pieces that are on trend but barely any of those are things you guys can click to buy (see point 1 – you gotta go in and browse).  So I have learnt to shift my focus back to style and I hope this means I shop smarter.  I want to make purchases that will go the distance, not just the month.

HONE YOUR STYLE

And that brings me to my style.  I know my colours, I know what I like and I hope I know what suits me.  So when I browse the rails I am on the lookout for, you guessed it, mustard, haha.  But seriously, things that I know suit my shape and suit my life.  Flares might not be ‘on trend’ right now (or are they?  I can never keep up) but I got this pair in TK Maxx Glasgow, by one of my all time fav denim brands, back in July and guess what?  Still love them.  Probably always will.

SOMETIMES DESIGNER REALLY IS BETTER

Just not always for your bank balance…  Seriously though, I know the editorials in Vogue could destroy your savings in minutes but, it is true, there are certain things worth investing in and often designer truly is superior in the quality and fit stakes.  But you know what I am not a fan of?  Designer prices.  I am like a bee to honey with the Gold Label section and have had made some incredible savings in there – this silk sun dress was actually hiding in the clearance section reduced down to £24.99…  from an RRP of £245.  Mhmm.  So I try to invest, or rather, invest for less, whenever I find a gem.

SHOP HAPPY

Because is there any other reason to part with your pennies?  Did I really need another straw basket for my home?  No.  Does it make me happy?  One hundred percent yes.  I went browsing (see, it really is my new thing) to see what I could pick up for this post and happened across this handwoven pot which I knew would make the perfect home for my coconut palm and for £12.99 I did some quick happiness maths and determined that it was worth it.  And I picked up another candle because beautiful candles make me happy too.  But geez they can be expensive…  except in TK Maxx they are always around 60% off so that is another happiness sum where I come up smelling like roses.   I reckon if you truly love something then you should have it.  You will find a place for it and it will forever make you smile; two words – golden lobster.

jumper & jeans – TK Maxx
barrington armchair – Sofology
woven basket pot – TK Maxx   |   palm – Ikea
lamp, lobster & candles – TK Maxx
all that wine – definitely someone else’s…

With thanks to TK Maxx for supporting this post.

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20 Feb
6

Money well spent

In fact I had this post saved in the archives for a rainy day…  but you know how life is – just when you think you’re getting ahead, life laughs in your face.  With the past week spent stuffing my poor brown dog full of pills and four trips to the vet (seriously thank doG for Petplan, not an ad, really REALLY money well spent), you can forgive me for sharing this one right here, right now.  He is on the mend, or at least he will be soon, and I can breathe a big sigh of relief and sleep through the night again (worry had consumed me).

So yes, these are the same boots as in my last post.  But no, this is not the same hair – this was my hair pre Nioxin.  I can actually see such a difference.  If you want to try the treatment click over to this post and leave a comment to enter the Sassoon/Nioxin giveaway I am hosting.  And yes, this is my dream dress which I do definitely prefer with a big side serve of sunshine but between now and forever I will be dreaming up as many ways to wear her as possible…

jumper – TK Maxx   |   dress – Zimmermann   |   jeans – Joules
curve over knee boots – Duo Boots (ON SALE)
aviators – Ray-Ban   |   belt – Ted Baker
bag – Emporio Armani

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16 Feb
31

Post baby hair… before & after Nioxin – a giveaway with Sassoon

Turns out baby hair is a thing.  And I don’t mean that fine, fluffy, hair spun from dreams that magically kisses the top of your baby’s head… although in fact it is not entirely unlike that but, and this is the big thing, that is not the hair I want on my head thank you.  Hmm.  But that my friends, seven months post baby, is exactly what I got.  Even under that fringe of mine is a tiny, short, fuzzy, second fringe waiting in the wings.  Urgh.

In the chair at Sassoon Glasgow, I’m chatting with Sharz about Nioxin; he’s telling me how great it is for stressed hair, hair that has to deal with our harsh winter or hair that regularly gets pulled back into a pony (guilty).  A facial for the scalp, a professional in-salon service that is designed to regenerate and revitalise to ensure stronger hair growth and a less irritated scalp, a system tailored to your hair needs and formulated to give you thicker and fuller looking hair.  But he does not need to convince me.  I tell him I got the baby hair blues and bam, lightbulb, Sharz is excited.  This is perfect.

So I am truly delighted to host a giveaway and one of you lovely lot will be able to experience it all for yourself at the Glasgow salon.  Enter below and scroll down to see the before and after plus a whole heap more pics because, you know, I got that new hair feeling…

SASSOON SALON x NIOXIN GIVEAWAY

Win a complimentary haircut & Nioxin treatment at the Glasgow Sassoon Salon

TO ENTER

Leave a comment at the end of this post and tell me your hair woes…
(Giveaway closes 25th Feb)

I read a lot of reviews before heading into the salon and they were all good.  A few people said their head tingled pretty intensely but mine, in fact, did not.  The beauty of the in salon dermabrasion treatment is the massage.  I cannot tell a lie, I love the Sassoon head massage and this treatment came with an extra long one – eh, no complaints here.

My before pic is not great, I know.  My hair was pulled back because I just washed it (yep, I washed my hair right before going to the hairdresser – I’m not the only one right?) and my fringe was all out of shape, so long and straggly.  So maybe it is not the best comparison pic but let me use my words – my hair truly did feel fuller when we were done.  And so, so clean.  Like it is ready to grow.  And I am ready for it to grow, believe me.  I mean the cut obviously helps too, such a great foundation for healthy hair and I love that I don’t need to work on any intense styling to achieve the look, you know, I ain’t got time for that these days…

So I brought home the system and I am excited to see how this goes over the coming weeks and months.  At the very least a super clean scalp to encourage good strength and growth is guaranteed.  At best, a mane.  Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.

And a quick apology because I already know this post is turning out to be a looooong one BUT I just gotta tell you real quick about these boots.  They are amazing.  They are custom sized to my calf so they fit perfectly.  They are on sale.  Like actually a really, really good price for genuine suede over the knee boots.  And they work splendidly with this little polkadot mini which is just the right length, not too mini.  And then there’s that winter, afternoon light but I’ll do you a favour and not start rambling on about that too…

Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter.x

knit – Stefanel   |   skirt – Next
curve over knee boots – Duo Boots (ON SALE)
bleecker bag – Reiss

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With thanks to Sassoon for supporting this post.

Posted in fashion, finds | 31 Comments, go on leave another
13 Feb
4

Valentine’s Day… from my sofa

With the day of romance almost upon us I have big plans…  to stay in.  Because staying in is the new going out and, truth be told, we have never been ones for celebrating Valentine’s Day anywhere other than at home.  Somehow the thought of sitting amongst tables of other loving couples always seemed like it would detract from the sentiment of the day itself for me – so we stay in and we cook something wonderful and I am free to wear the prettiest of dresses, even when it’s snowing, without stepping outside…

The Sofology Barrington sofa forms the centrepiece of our open plan living space (you can see how it usually looks in this post) and for V Day I let my hopeless romantic run wild…  I mean if there is one day of the whole year the husband cannot complain about pink decor it is this day, right?  I went full on florals with that beautiful print from Bluebellgray and mixed up the textures (for snuggleability – that is definitely a word) with velvet and embroidered cushions and my super chunky throw.  And then I borrowed the linen canopy from the nursery to create that super romantic tented effect over the end of the sofa and I went nuts with flowers – crazy, big, pink flowers – these hydrangea and peonies are honestly amazing.  In lieu of a bar cart (definitely on my home wish list but why are those guys so darn expensive?), I created a drinks station for two with this gorgeous tray and the most beautiful pink gin liqueur from Edinburgh Gin.  I threw caution to the wind and actually lit my Jo Malone Red Roses candle…  for ten minutes for these pics…  hey it’s not Valentine’s quite yet.  Seriously though, even a full day later that scent is still floating around the room and it is hands down my favourite scent ever…

So the scene is set and this little romantic is looking forward to an evening snuggled up on the sofa with my four favourite boys (greedy, me?).  I truly had so much fun styling this post and I do hope you like it, I can’t seem to get interiors out of my head right now, nor do I want to – goes hand in hand with a new home I guess.  Happy Valentine’s lovers.x

barrington sofa – Sofology
(Full interior details listed at the end of the post)
jaimie dress – Free People   |   love necklace – Astley Clarke
gold bird hand chain & turquoise necklace – Ottoman Hands

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barrington sofa – Sofology
numero 74 canopy – Smallable   |   sanna print – Bluebellgray
medina cushion (from fabric), teddy cushion & sanday throw – Bluebellgray
lanterns – Next   |   rug – vintage (similar)   |   love balloon – Amazon
crewel work cushion – Niki Jones
rhubarb & ginger gin – Edinburgh Gin
faux hydrangeasdiamond tumblersfaux peonies & mirror tray – Next
red roses candle – Jo Malone   |   tall candles – Bluebellgray
woven basket pot – Bluebellgray   |   coconut palm – Ikea

With thanks to Sofology for supporting this post.

Posted in fashion, finds | 4 Comments, go on leave another
9 Feb
5

Few words Friday

A winter rainbow and a golden cloud.  It’s not rocket science but it is a feel good look (even if the jumper is kinda itchy but, boy, I love those happy stripes).  Happy Friday.x

coat – Jigsaw (ON SALE)   |   knit – H&M (keeps selling out)
leather leggings – Boden   |   sneakers – Mint Velvet
cloud bag – Cambridge Satchel Company
aviators – Ray-Ban

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8 Feb
4

Shop with me – 3 looks from TK Maxx Kirkcaldy

Last weekend we took a little day trip through to the East Coast to do some hunting in the newly made over TK Maxx Kirkcaldy store – I love it when a shopping trip turns into a ‘thing’ – I took Carrie (remember her?) with me as photography assistant; cue major girl chat catch up car journey fuelled by chocolate dipped cherries and hand cooked crisps we picked up in TK Maxx for the trip home, ha…

The store just had a huge makeover making it super simple to navigate and hunt down the best bits.  We started in knitwear and wound up in the bag section (always such great prices for leather bags) before taking a tour through footwear where I basically found the holy grail of designer booties…  let’s just say they were over sixty percent off the RRP and my feet cried tears of joy when I put them on.

So here are three of the looks I pulled together, two with those boots because, yeah, tears of joy like I said…

I’m loving layered knitwear right now and the beret was genuinely not something I was really searching for but as soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect with the other pieces…  how does this always end up happening to me in TK Maxx?

For the store relaunch Laura, the loveliest stylist, was on hand to help shoppers discover their ‘colours’ so we had a little sit down.  Drum roll…  I was officially deemed an autumn (thank goodness – I think we all know my wardrobe is permanently stuck on tans and ochres and khakis).

I thought this summer dress was just too cute to pass up so, surprise surprise, I layered it with jeans.  And the boots.  And the furniture section in this store was honestly ah-mazing so I sat my behind right there on that mustard velvet tub chair.  Obviously I was not there for the furniture but seriously, if you are in the market for some home bits, please go.  So much gorgeous velvet and sheepskin cushions in a rainbow of colours for under fifty quid, just saying.

Lastly the sportswear.  I actually snagged a ski helmet online for £27 a couple of weeks back (it was meant to be £130 so that was basically the deal of the century) and it reminded me just how amazing the sports section is in TK Maxx.  Knit sneakers and a lil’ designer hoodie for thirty quid and I am a happy (gym) bunny…

So if you’re in Kirkcaldy, or passing through, head in and see what you can find because there are deliveries several times a week and loads of one off gems for truly amazing prices.  Yeah, you’ll probably end up leaving with something you did not go in for but I am taking no responsibility for that…

Sidenote: how sweet are the pink fitting rooms?

With thanks to TK Maxx for supporting this post.

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6 Feb
2

Style hack – spring forward

When you really just can’t wait to wear your new spring dress but you’re still navigating highs of six degrees celsius…  well, you know me by now, I add layers…  of leather.

A full body base of black including these leather look leggings (truly the best I have found and under thirty bucks) and these boots which I bought years ago, genuinely unconvinced of their legitimacy as a sound purchase, but here they are, still going and still an undeniable favourite.  I tried to source a similar pair and the bad news is that this is what I came up with, oh boy are they beautiful and expensive.

In other news my fringe has officially qualified for boho status it’s so long and shaggy, my baby is teething (as far as I can tell without a confirmed sighting of a pearly white as yet) and I eventually made it to week three of my Jillian Michaels workout (five weeks in) before remembering the torture that is ‘bear crawls’…  #PrayForWendy

patterned dress – H&M   |   poloneck – Asos
leather look leggings – Next   |   boots – Mango
o ring bag – Karen Millen (ON SALE)
leather belt – Mango
love pendant – Astley Clarke   |   gold leaf necklace – Ottoman Hands

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2 Feb
2

Scottish mini-breaking – Kenmore

How is it even possible that we have been visiting Kenmore for eight years straight this same week and yet never have I ever shared a travel guide of any sort?  Well, let’s just right that wrong here and now.  Kenmore is an almost completely random little village, and when I say village that is perhaps even a grand assumption of its proportions, that we might never have discovered but, as you may very well guess (the clue is in the ‘visiting eight years straight’ bit), we like it a lot.

Sure, there are probably better times of year to visit when the weather might be slightly kinder and more things might be open but a few days away at the start of the year is such a wonderful antidote to those inevitable January blues.

So here are my, admittedly somewhat limited, tips on how to get there, where to stay, what to do, eat and drink because the most important thing is just to get there and then focus on doing a whole lotta not very much…

DRIVE

You really gotta drive for the scenery.  Up through the hills and the forests, skirting mountains and arriving to curl round the edge of Loch Tay – it is pretty special.  We routed ourselves via Pentland Land Rover, Edinburgh to pick up a new Range Rover for our epic three day test drive.  With two dogs and a baby (and all the luggage, aka cr*p, that goes along with that) plus a relatively challenging drive (snow, sleet and ice last week) the Land Rover Velar ticked all the boxes.  Aside from the obvious practicalities and its good looks, I would be remiss not to mention the things that set this car a level above for me…  three beautifully sleek built-in screens for every conceivable need – I particularly enjoyed selecting the sat nav on my dash (i.e. the one in front of the wheel) leaving the others available for media, climate control, driving modes – all the things your passenger (husband) will invariably be eager to play with whilst you focus on the main event – driving.  The speed limit coupled with your own speed can be subtly projected onto the windscreen, a nice feature too, but the icing on the cake for me was the massage.  Yeah seriously.  You can program this baby to deliver a nice wee massage at fifteen minute intervals if you are so inclined (yuhuh, you bet I was) which is the most lovely little treat on a long drive.  Did we also sit in the Velar occasionally just for the massage?  Maybe…

Discover more about the Range Rover Velar and book a massage, sorry test drive, here

STAY

There are a number of places to stay in Kenmore and we have always stayed at The Kenmore Club which clings to the very edge of the loch and I believe is in fact built in the walled garden of Taymouth Castle.  It has a pool and a restaurant and is a rather pretty spot which you can see a little of in my last post

DO

Walk.  Walk to the castle (pram friendly) or down the river or up to the Black Rock view point or my personal favourite, Kenmore Hill…  The views and the colours are incredible and, whilst the weather can be ‘special’, you will pretty much have the place to yourself and you can really, really breathe.

(Let’s just put a note here to say the Hot Box might be worth a look too.  I cannot personally recommend it as we have yet to go but it is on our list; it is a huge log fired sauna with a slide right into Loch Tay, it looks freaking awesome, has an alfresco bar and sits right next to The Crannog which is a pretty cool sight if nothing else.  If you have tried it please let me know.)

Then walk to the pub.  Sit by the log fires in Scotland’s oldest inn, the Kenmore Hotel, and order scones with cream and jam and something short with ice to warm your bones.  And relax…

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30 Jan
4

Winter with dogs – what’s really on my feet

So there might be a complete arsenal of heels and (mostly suede) footwear lining the shelves in my closet and I definitely do wear them…  for dates and meetings and any time I am outside without dogs.  But, and I’m gonna be honest here, at least once a day, often two or three times a day, I am out with the dogs.  And you know what’s really on my feet?  Waterproof sheepskin.  Aka no socks required, no laces or buckles needing doing, just super fluffy, warm, dry, cosy boots.  I switch between Emu Australia boots and slippers most of the day and right now they’re all on sale…  (I have all of these below and can attest to their comfort – if you’re between sizes, go up).

A few days away, up North, on the edge of Loch Tay in Kenmore with family and this sunset was just the perfect end to January…  travel diary in works.  My January blues are officially over (even two days in advance).

pagan weave coatigan – Great Plains (ON SALE)
knit – Stefanel   |   jeans – Zara
roadside boots – Emu Australia (ON SALE)
aviators – Ray-Ban

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26 Jan
6

Home tour – the unstagrammable rooms

Welcome.  This is my home.  The real, unedited, not quite there yet situation I live in.  You might as well grab a cuppa and retire your ‘Pin it’ finger right now.  So it’s not done but as my general approach to decorating turns out to be one of tackling every room at once and finishing none of those rooms anytime soon, I figured I would just go ahead and share where we’re at.

I did not tidy.  I think around the same time this ‘share it as it is’ blog concept was born it seemed everyone and their dog was doing an instagram poll with overwhelming ‘keep it real’ results and I really took that to heart.  However, the morning following this shoot the flooring guy dropped by to measure up in the nursery and I put shoes on shelves and tidied away boxes, mildly sweating at the prospect of a stranger seeing this mess.  And yet here we are – you and I – and me sharing this mess on the www.  But we’re pals right?

So come on in…

There is surely not too much to say about a hall.  I love the traditional tiles in the entryway and past that lies the general ‘receiving’ area of mail, coats and dogs usually strewn between that beautiful bench and the floor.  I maintain that this mirror is THE best, semi affordable xl circle mirror about, I have grand ideas of recreating Hilary Duff’s kilim rug stair runner and occasionally, on a Sunday, it does look more like this.

The living room is definitely a work in progress.  Those pink plaster walls are here to stay (much to the despair of in-laws and friends alike because they are literally ‘primed and perfect for painting or papering) but you know what?  I love them just exactly as they are with that warm pink hue and they are so tactile.  You just wanna touch them.  And I do.  And yeah, my Christmas lanterns are still up but the room is not even close to ‘done’ and the walls seemed so bare post Christmas tree that I couldn’t bear to take those down too…  The floor has been sanded (boy, was that a fun job to take on myself) and now I’m thinking of staining it dark (just like it was pre-sanding minus the grime, seriously) but we got this berber rug which I know half the instagram world is in on but it’s affordable and plush and it looks pretty good for the money (ok, and it’s 50% off right now so that’s a no brainer if you’re looking for a rug).  And this green velvet sofa is on order.  Only ten weeks to go…  geez, it’s like waiting for a baby.  A green velvet baby.  And we put up a ceiling rose (this one) which I really, really love.  And the light, oh that light.  I hunted and hunted for the perfect golden orb and this one from Cotterell & Co. fitted the bill perfectly.  If you happen to be in the market for lighting they have it ALL – definitely worth a look…  And I have visions of perfect mustard velvet armchairs and a drinks trolley too.  And we’ll get there some day.  But in the meantime I’ll be focussing my efforts on changing the water in the flower vase at the very least, that is a promise.

The kitchen is open plan with the only genuinely presentable room in the house (hence its exclusion from this post) – the family room.  You can take a look at it here in all its instagrammable glory…  The funny thing is this new kitchen of ours looks eerily similar to our old kitchen in the flat, pre-makeover.  Awesome.  So far all I’ve done here is hang up a driftwood stick and unpack my tea towels (and apparently all my booze).

Ladies and gentlemen (I know there’s at least a couple of you – hiya), climb up to the half landing and please step into my bathroom…  so far I added a pretty bathmat from H&M, and a pretty bathmat is harder to source than one might imagine, and a macrame hanging basket salvaged from my mum’s wheelie bin, for real.  The plant was a gift five months ago and now serves as a world record for the longest surviving plant in my care – it’s called el cashero should you be in the market for a plant that can withstand, at worst, severe neglect and, at best, general disregard, lack of light and very occasional, overcompensatory watering.  I also treated myself to a perfectly instagrammable bath tray which is occasionally ‘on the grid‘ but mostly just props up the baby bath – hey, you asked for real life…

At the top of the stairs you will find my desk space.  There are literally no words.  But I bought a diary so things are almost certainly on the cusp of becoming supremely organised.

Upstairs we have three bedrooms.  The nursery is the smallest and the one I have chosen not to share; only because it is almost compete and that’s a whole other post.  I mean it has been almost complete for eight weeks now but any day now, any day…

The guest bedroom currently houses a borrowed bed and a huge Ikea unit filled with shoes and bags.  I have a plan.  I am not sure what it is yet but I am certain it begins with this incredible leather wallhanging I just bagged in the Urban Outfitters sale (FYI a hidden gem for interior finds).

And lastly I welcome you to the master bedroom.  I did do you the courtesy of picking up dirty washing, hey, it was the least I could do.  It literally was the least I could do.  I.e. I did nothing else.

So far I unpacked (85% of our stuff), I found a vintage rug in my mum’s loft, I got laundry baskets from TK Maxx, I ordered a cowrie shell chandelier from the US and subsequently spent six weeks fighting for a refund because I never received it (I still have yet to find another – it looked a bit like this), I ordered various green paint samples for the walls about four months ago and have yet to test even one…  but I sleep here every single night, very well.

And we will get there.  So every corner is not instagrammable, barely any corner is pinnable, and there’s a long way to go but we live here and we love it and this is our forever home so I guess we have all the time in the world…

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IN SHORT

Fashion, travel and life with Mr K and Tux (they're the furry ones). By Wendy H Gilmour.

Contact: thankfifi@gmail.com

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