Progress Report ~ May

Another month has come and gone, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for me to apprise you of my progress with all my many lists!

See 52 New Films

A slightly better month than April, I managed to see five new films in June. I built up quite a head of steam in the first couple of months of the year with new films, so I’m still ahead of myself. I have now watched 34 films, and we are only at week 22. Just 18 more films to watch to hit my target!

I really enjoyed four of the five films that I watched this month. Two Oscar winners (Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart and Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network), and two Marvel films (Thor and Avengers Assemble). The only film that I didn’t enjoy all that much was Things to do Before You’re 30. I only watched it because it was on iPlayer and I was bored. It was pretty bad!

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Read 75 Books

Another slow-ish month for books, but in my defence, I have read a couple of really thick books again! Both A Game of Thrones and 22-11-1963 were really thick, and took me a while to get through. Both really good, however, and I am currently reading the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings, and I’m well and truly hooked. As for 22-11-1963, it was the first Stephen King book that I had read, not being a huge horror fan, and I absolutely loved it. Combining the story of John F. Kennedy’s assassination with time travel is a match made in heaven for me!

I read the Titanic book for my book group, and as it was only a quick read it only took me about an hour and a half! And I’m a very new Sophie Hannah fan – as you can see I read two of her books last month, and one of them I finished in a day!

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Project 366

Confession time: Project 366 is over! I lost my way and it got to the point of no return. I toyed with the idea of starting again and going for a year from when I start, but I decided against it! I may try again next year, but honestly I don’t think I am cut out for committing to something like that for so long!

30 Before 30

No cakes this month; I do have one in the offing though I haven’t had a chance to actually make it yet. I will probably do it this weekend, so it will be in June’s report. I did manage to get one item crossed off though, my first one!

Think of a New Blog Name

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As you are probably aware by now, I managed to both think of a new blog name (though honestly, I had thought of it quite some time ago), and actually change it and redesign my blog. I am still completely in love with it!

So this month has been fine in terms of books and films, but not so great for anything else! I really need to step up the 30 Before 30, otherwise I’m going to be embarrassed by the lack of action again this year!

Adventures in Fancy Dress

It occurred to me the other day, when I was jotting down ideas for blog posts, that I hadn’t shared any photos of my latest fancy dress adventures. As I think I and my friends looked totally amazing, it would be remiss of me not to share some!

The occasion was my friend Vicky’s mum’s birthday, and it was a surprise party with a 70s/80s disco theme. Now I like fancy dress at the best of times, but when it gives me an excuse to wear legwarmers and excessive make up, and crimp my hair, I LOVE it! I managed to put an outfit together on a budget – a black and white stripey top that looked totally 80s from a charity shop (£2.99), and the rest of the outfit was made up of things I already owned. I borrowed a pair of shoes from Vicky and I was good to go! Luckily I own an excessive amount of legwarmers and beaded necklaces, and a fairly awesome pair of lace gloves from a previous 80s party I went to.

So here are some of the photos that I took. I’ve had a play around with them with various different photo editing websites, just to make them a bit more interesting!

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Me all Eighties-d up!

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My bestest friends and me

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Even the boys joined in with the dressing up!

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Notice Rob’s t-shirt, the word ‘Choose’ is round the wrong way. There’s a long, hilarious story behind it, but the short version is that Anna ironed it on the wrong way round!

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Another great face from Rob_phixr

Rob dressed as George Michael, complete with wig!

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Beautiful girls!

I’ve got over-the-top 80s fancy dress down to a fine art now, I need another fancy dress party to go to!

Thrifty Finds #1

As I mentioned the other day, in a bid to really establish my blog as something that I love writing, I’m going to be introducing some new series of posts. The first one that I am going to be bringing to you is Thrifty Finds, which will round up all of my latest thrifty purchases! That will include charity shop, boot sale and eBay buys!

I recently read a post by A Thrifty Mrs about charity shops, and she made some really good points about the cost of items in charity shops, and whether or not it is uncharitable to feel a bit hard done by when prices are increasing for items that don’t necessarily warrant it. I have to agree with her, I do expect a bargain in a charity shop! I am much more likely to buy things (and thus donate money in the process), if I think I am getting a bargain.

All that being said, I’m really lucky where I live; there are two charity shops in the nearest town to me, as well as loads more in the outlying towns and villages. We are even getting one in my tiny little village soon! They are all really reasonable when it comes to pricing, as you’ll see from some of the bargains I have picked up.

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I’ve been after a denim shirt for a while, but I have found that they run a very fine line between trendy and not so trendy! I didn’t want one that looked like it was from the mid-90s, designed with a middle-aged housewife in mind! I found one on eBay a couple of weeks ago, it’s originally from New Look and was probably about £15 originally, so I’m pleased with the bargain price of £4.70 (including P&P).

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This is one of the charity shop bargains I have found in the last few weeks! This is from an Essex Air Ambulance shop near me, it’s a tiny little shop but there is loads packed in. There were actually three dresses that I could have bought, but I decided to be restrained and just buy one! It’s a nice colour and pattern, the only downside is that it is quite boobalicious – I felt the need to wear a scarf with it when I wore it to preserve a little bit of modesty, despite it being the hottest day of the year so far! It’s a Matalan original.

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I’m fairly sure that this cardi was £3, but it’s entirely possible that it was only £2! This is from a Salvation Army charity shop in Maldon, and judging from the lack of a label, it’s a hand knitted item. I really like it, but it’s more of a autumn/winter item, because of course, it’s woollen!

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This is probably my favourite item I’ve bought recently. It’s from a Haven Hospice shop in South Woodham Ferrers, and I love it! It was a choice between this and a pink maxi skirt, but I loved this and all the potential outfits I can make out of it! It’s a Primark original.

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I bought this in a tiny little charity shop in a village near to me (I can’t remember the charity, possibly something to do with horses). It was only £1, so I bought it, but when I got it home I realised that it is a) a really confusing game and b) a really old game. Therefore the famous people that you have to guess are somewhat dated! It might be worth a go at some point though, and it was only a £1 so it doesn’t matter if I just give it back to a charity shop at some point.

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Three DVDs from the Nevendon Boot Sale that I went to at the weekend. I have seen both Erin Brockovich and Frequency before, and I love them so I had to buy them! As for The Green Mile, I plan to read the Stephen King story as soon as it’s available at the library, so I’m saving the film (which I’ve never seen) until after I have read it.

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I love a good jigsaw puzzle! This one was £1.50 at the boot sale; as a huge Harry Potter fan it was a bit of a no-brainer for me when I saw it. Anna bought a Disney one, that we plan to do when we go on a caravan holiday in a couple of weeks!

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Two classics for the combined price of 20p! OK, so some people might question how classic the Sweet Valley High books are, but I love them! Actually, I wasn’t a huge fan when I was younger (it was The Babysitter’s Club for me as a youngster, and then Making Out as a teenager), but I did read them, and when I saw this “Ten Years On…” book in a St John’s Ambulance charity shop, I wanted it! As for Boy, I have never read it, and Anna implored me to buy it and then went on for far too long about how good it is. So I bought it, but I haven’t started it yet.

So there you have my recently thrifty finds! I feel like this has been a pretty good few weeks, so it’s a long post! I’m always on the lookout for new bargains, so I’ll be posting again soon hopefully!

Miscellany

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I’ve decided that this week, I’m going to try to post every day. I’ve discovered in the past that it’s the best way to drag me out of any kind of blogging slump that I find myself in. Also, I find myself rejuvenated with regards to my blog since I actually pulled my finger out and changed the name. I have lots of ideas that I am jotting down in my new filofax, and they’ll be making an appearance throughout this week.

So this is just a post to let you know what is going to be coming your way in the future of Is That You Darling. If you’re a long time reader, you’ll probably know that I have a bit of a habit of starting a series of posts, and then failing to see it through. I don’t really know why this happens, but it does! I recently made a list of all these series, and I am going to be picking a few of them up from time to time. As I said, this week I am planning to post every day, but in the future I want to try and post at least three times a week. Sometimes it will just be a ‘Best in Show’ post, which, as you may know, features my favourite five things in any given category. Sometimes it will be a more personal post, not anything deep and meaningful, but a round-up of anything fun I’ve been up to.

I’m also going to try out a few new things. I want to try and be part of the blogging community at large, and it’s something I have found really difficult. I think the main reason for this is that my blog doesn’t really have any structure to it; where other bloggers can definitively call themselves fashion bloggers, or beauty bloggers, or craft bloggers, for example, I can’t do that. I will never be a beauty blogger, because I just don’t have enough interest in beauty for it to be a large part of my blog. However, I sometimes think I would like to blog about a particular item that I find and love. The same goes for fashion; I love clothes, but I don’t consider myself an expert in any way. However, in the future, you might see the odd Outfit of the Day post (if I can pluck up the courage), and sometimes I might do a review or feature of a product I like. I don’t know yet – I think about all the blogs that are out there that are already doing these things, and I think that there is a touch of oversaturation. I won’t be doing it unless I think I can bring something a little different to it!

The one thing that I do want to feature more on my blog is crafts. I don’t do a huge amount of crafting, but I do love what I do, when I do it! I knit a lot, though less in the summer, and I want to do a lot more cross-stitching. Again, I do think that there are already a lot of craft blogs out there, but the great thing about crafting is that it can be so individual to the person doing it (in a way that I don’t think beauty, and to a certain extent, fashion, is).

I’m also hoping to feature another giveaway on my blog in the coming months. I really loved doing one last year, so I’m trying to currently set the wheels in motion at the moment! I’ve set up a Facebook fan page for the blog, something I have been meaning to do for a while, so that if the giveaway happens, I’ll use the Facebook page to help promote it. Please feel free to like the page! (It’s a bit bare at the moment but it’ll look a bit more professional soon, I promise!)

I’m hoping that everyone that was a fan of the blog before will continue to find things that they love, and I’m hoping to bring in a few new readers too!