Thursday, 5 September 2013

It Takes (Not) A Lot Of Money To Look This Cheap


(Apologies to Dolly Parton for bastardising her famous quote!)

 

Today's outfit cost me £1 - yes, a quid! I'm wearing a 1960s crimplene maxi bought off a Cats Protection market stall for 50p over 8 years ago and a cotton cami I found on the 50p rail in a charity shop on Tuesday....


The French seams, covered buttons and the painstakingly neat hand-stitching drew me in, I knew there was some age to it but it came as a surprise to discover the original owner's name and 1886, the date it was made, beautifully etched in copperplate on a side seam. Not only am I named after Queen Victoria but I'm the same size as one of her subjects!


I grew up with the need to be careful with money ingrained into my very core. Dad earned a good salary but never spent more than the absolute basics. We grew up without central heating, a video player, double glazing or a freezer and had a rental TV. We holidayed in England, wore second-hand clothes and used tea leaves as tea bags were considered a frivolity. By rights I should have gone mad when I left home buying all the luxuries I was denied as a kid...but I didn't.


I've never had a credit card, a store card or a loan, the first house I bought was a modern shoebox, slap bang in the middle of a red light area but, as a single girl, I could manage the mortgage. I lived on bread, Marmite & oranges during the week to afford to pay the bills and to party all weekend. When pay day rolled around I didn't "go and treat myself", working was a fact of life, I didn't need to be rewarded for being an adult. 


Life remains a series of compromises. If I wanted fancy clothes and high-end luxuries I'd have to go back to being a corporate whore. Living as cheaply as possible to maintain the relaxed lifestyle we love doesn't have to mean denying ourselves, just cutting back. Buying a newspaper just once a week, making do with a 10 year old Pay As You Go mobile and wrapping ourselves in blankets and lighting the wood burner rather than turning the heating on. Jon painstakingly hand-painted Ebby over a period of weeks with a roller the size of a blusher brush to save himself two thousand pounds on a professional respray (cash that'll pay the bills). 


The house is furnished with cast-offs, hand-me-downs and broken bits. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to make something from stuff we've rescued - like this Victorian bun-footed chest. The drawers were broken but with a couple of cup hooks, a garden cane and half a jumble sale bath towel it's a practical towel and toiletry store.

Our home may be seen as slightly eccentric to many but it's unique and it's all ours (not the bank's)!


 We eat simply but well. Almost everything we consume is made from scratch - no packet mixes, pre-made sauces, ready meals or processed food. Today's lunch was pie made from foraged blackberries and home-made olive oil pastry (my invention, feel free to email/Facebook message me if you want the recipe).


Cheap food during the week means cash for beer and curry at the weekend - that's after we've sold our hearts out at the Kings Heath Flea on Saturday! 


Thanks for reading, commenting and being fabulous!

See you soon!

Updated to link to Spy Girl's 52-Pick-Me-Up as I'm wearing white.

104 comments:

  1. I hope you've saved me a slice of that pie! x

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  2. That blouse is stunning and a true vintage treasure.... and you got it got just 50p?! Wowzers! Xx

    Www.mancunianvintage.com

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  3. You are Amazing!!!
    I almost feel like a big spender.... i have my horse and that's an expensive hobby but we live cheap in my little cottage and heat it up with loggs from our own Wood . Lover boy is a hunter - mostly moose and deer .and i shop secondhand!
    Xxx

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  4. Ahh, we're cut from the same cloth. I can tell that, like me, you find living the way you want on little money, is a fun challenge. New is rarely better! I use an iron from the 1950s that I've had for decades and plan to have for a few more decades!
    I can't believe that Victorian undergarment was on the 50p rack. And, of course, I'm sure the quality is better than anything you'd find on the high street today.
    That pie does look incredible. Yay for home-cooking!

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  5. You look like a queen!! I love this outfit, you are so talented in finding such treasures and I bet that to score for only 50 p such beautiful clothes worths a lot more than spending a lot of money in fancy boutiques! I love the surprise factor and the thrill of buying at the chazzas!! The antique vest and the skirt are fabulous just like you!!
    And the pie you made seems delicious!!
    Lot of love xxxxxx

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  6. As always lovely finds :)
    I wish I was careful with money. I don't like to splurge a lot on one thing but I end up buying too many small things that make a lot. LOL
    Your house is fabulous, I loved all the details when you showed it on facebook xx

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  7. The top looks like it was made to measure for you, and how wonderful to have the dressmaker's name and date in it! That's incredible.

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  8. You know how much I loves ya and am with you on all of this. I never thought anything of growing up in a house with no central heating even when the condensation froze on the inside of my bedroom window! All our veg came from the garden and my old granddad insisted that we ate seasonally so no salad in winter ever. I went to jumbles from a early age and anything that had to be bought new was quality and had to last me years. My gran insisted on M&S for coats and I still have her best one which I shall be wearing this winter. Adore that cami...look at the work gone in to it. Gorgeous
    xxxxx

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  9. I gasped when I saw you in the crinoline--a great fit and the fact that it survived the 20th century is a great testament to how well it is made. Your pie makes me want to drop by--beautiful. I've led a frugal life as an adult (not as a child), but I know that you could still teach me a thing or two.

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  10. You do make me smile Vix. Who would have thought sensible could be so inspiring? My mum was like your dad...
    We love eating from our garden and this week a colleague gave me some rhubarb, so that's going to be a crumble.
    Did I tell you I went to see Dolly when she came to town last year? She's such a little ball of joy and energy. And comes out with the best quotes.
    I love your outfit. You look a million dollars in a one pound outfit. I have a similar top which I bought in a flea market in France 30 years ago. Very humble, but the stitching is exquisite. I wish more people could think like you, more happiness, less dissatisfaction and consumerism. xxxxxx

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  11. Dolly should be cocky that someone like you borrow her quote. When I grew up I Always wore clothes from relatives, we holidayed at the Norwegian salmon rivers (in a ... kind of a tent) I ate only berries with milk (Three times/day .. I told my parents that I get headaches when I ate sausage - and I was the one in our school who never got sick. Fairly healthy to not have an abundance. Good for creativity too. The best styles are a result of the emergency solutions.

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  12. While my phone isn't as old as yours, I do the pay as you go as well. I don't need the internet to follow me around!

    I've never understood the love of frozen food. Frozen fish yes, because there isn't good fish on the prairies but pretty much every main meal is cooked from scratch.

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  13. I think your upbringing has had a positive influence on you as a grown up. I know personally that you are a good influence on me. I think I have learned some hard lessons when it comes to my wants. I spent almost 10 years paying back my student loans and paying off credit card debt....that actually took almost 15. After that I promised myself never again! I have kept good on that promise, if I can buy it outright I don't. I have really embraced second hand because one it's fun and I can get unique stuff but mainly because financially it makes sense.

    You and Jon and his gorgeous car (hand painting by him what a love) really inspire me to be more frugal and save my money for adventures because at the end of our life that is what matters not how many or much money we have made.
    I love you both to pieces and miss you terribly! Can't wait to chat with you tomorrow.
    I LOVE YOU and your new top, is that date for real????
    XXXOOOXXXOOO

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  14. First of all, You are my Goddess! I adore you to death.
    2nd, You infuse life in every frigging piece of garment.
    3rd, You never fail to look fabulous !
    Love you!

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  15. Dolly would be proud of you.
    That cami is an amazing find.
    I love sharing your lifestyle which I aspire to when my children are older and I can please myself.

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  16. Again, you set a great example. Todd and I decided not to buy a cel long ago. He has a free one from work that we use if we have to. It's not "smart" but does the trick. We paid off our visa last year and cut it up. We use pre paid Visa cards when we travel (room bookings have required them lately). Of course we shop second hand a lot and love kijiji. And, today I gave myself a black eye while cleaning and gathering things to donate. I got overly excited and whipped my face into the sharp corner of the banister. Oh well. At least I got to ice my face while reading my favorite blog. Thanks Vix!

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  17. Yes, yes, yes! I'm a believer. No credit here - I'd rather fix-it-up, make do, find it second hand...

    Finding an heirloom camisole that fits is amazing and looks gorgeous on you. You are blessed with finding-ability, Vix.

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  18. First--I NEED that car--a VW in my fav color? :::::::swoon::::::::
    love your outfit-the camisole is even more gorgeous on you!!

    Love this post--i grew up wearing hand-me-downs, dressd my daughter in thrifted stuff and prefer to this day the Goodwill over the mall!!

    Saving money allows us to fund charity organizations and help out others.

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  19. Hi my dear! The Victorian cami is an absolute gorgeous find and the blackberry pie looks so delicious, we've been forraging them too! Hope you have a good weekend!! xx

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  20. Vixcita,
    Your mi hero! I love everything about you. That Victorian top is breathtaking like you amor. You look like an Indian Goddess.

    Besotes

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  21. That top is gorgeous and was made for you. Jon has done an amazing job on the car, it is a fabulous colour!

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  22. You and the car are both perfect. Another fabulous post full of excellent wisdom!

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  23. You and the car are both perfect. Another fabulous post full of excellent wisdom!

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  24. Thank goodness, someone else with an ancient pay-as-you-go mobile - not some fancy-pants-does-everything-bar-the-washing-up-super-duper-costs-a-bomb phone. Ah, Vix, you truly are a girl after my own heart.

    Stunning camisole - what a steal for 50p, and Jon has done an amazing job on that paintwork. Kudos to the pair of you for your brilliant lifestyle.

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  25. Thanks for sharing Vix. I grew up much the same to yourself. Exception is my father has never worked due to a back injury before I was born. My mum worked on and off over the years to support the family that along with government assistance and living in public housing. There were no luxuries, often no celebrations or present for birthdays and Christmas, always op shopped clothing and hand me downs, same with home furnishings. Anyway you get the picture.

    I like you relish now being able to feed my family on a shoe string budget and ensure that it's yummy while foods and not packet bases and sauces. They way we live and choices we continue to make now allow for me to be a stay at home mum. If it wasn't for living happily, basically and thriftily I would have to work full time and all my kids be in full time care and they aren't even school age yet.

    I admire others like myself who live as I do and clearly yourself and Jon and find it a joy. Thanks for always sharing and inspiring.

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  26. Olive oil pastry? Well, that's a new one on me! Do tell all. Great that you can be so frugal and at the same time, so stylish. No wonder it's difficult for people to "copy" you. You're as unique as anybody I've ever come across! (And I mean that in a good way.)

    Cheers,
    Rosemary from
    www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

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  27. Thank you so much, dear Vix, for these inspirational posts! They are encouraging!
    Living in California at the moment,the state with the largest number of poor people in the nation ha ha -- how ironic, but true, my husband and I had to cut way back on spending in order not to end up on the streets due to loss of jobs and now I am realizing that it is the best way of life anyway. I will never have credit cards again, even though the system here forces people to have them, but there must be a way around it!! It is so nice to know that there are people like you with a free mind and spirit who can show people that it is possible to live the alternative way without succumbing to the bloodsucking system and to remain so beautiful and incredibly stylish as you are . It is all in our hands! BRAVO

    Love,
    Maria

    P.S. Unfortunately all the thrift shops here charge a lot more for second hand clothing ($7-10 for some H&M blouse). It seems to be almost impossible to find 70s dresses there. They are all in Vintage Shops and cost $30.00 and up. I guess the cost of living is so high here in the Bay Area, they have to charge a lot. :(

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  28. What an awesome car! It really must have been a labour of love to paint it by hand.
    I can't believe you got that antique camisole on a 50p rail! Your Victorian predecessors would be rather shocked at you posing in their underwear I'm sure!
    Have fun at the flea! xxx

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  29. That cotton top is great, our clothes certainly wont stand the test of time and be around in 127 years time !

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  30. Looking great, amazing that camisole is Victorian. I had a similar upbringing to you - but out of necessity as my Dad was out of work for much of my childhood. Unfortunately, I went the other way and am still in debt, though it's going down now. Jon's dedication is outstanding - but what a saving. I wish I could emulate you guys x

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  31. I thought that blouse was Victorian, my granny left one to me that was almost identical, what a brilliant discovery at 50p! The whole outfit is wonderfully Claudia Cardinale in Once Upon A Time In The West, oh so alluring and romantic. p.s. great pie!

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  32. Good gawd, Vix, you're bringing out the lezzo slut in me looking so incredibly FOXACIOUS in that divoon cami!! I just want to bend you over the car, lift your skirt and ravish you! EEEK!
    We've both come from fairly similar frugal backgrounds. This is yet another brillant post, darling...these could be gathered and put into a book! So inspiring..and just so blindingly obvious, really, only too many are too caught up in the bullshit to see it! Bless, darling!
    Love YOU!!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  33. Oh 1886.......my little heart was just singing when you showed the date.........a testament to quality and items that were meant to last. I can feel the wonderful softness of the cotton with its history woven in each of the threads.
    You look gorgeous Miss Vix I am loving these posts of your life and how you and Jon are truly Free, in the sense that I think many people are trapped by the lives they creat. Most are to afaird to just walk away from the ties of a heavy life, they would like to but just can't jump.
    EEeekkkk I love that car and the colour is fabulous.....well done Jon...the paint job is amazing.
    Sorry I missed commenting on the last post.....love looking at the garden.
    Ok secret squirrel things calling.
    Yummy pie....love V

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  34. What a fabulous blouse and I also LOVE that lion tin tray. X

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  35. You inspire me to be a better simpler person. I do have the same philosophies in life that you do but don't have a very simple husband. He's finally starting to see light of simplicity. Thank goodness. Working to get out of debt and teaching my kids the value of a buck so they don't make the same mistakes that we have. Loved this post.

    vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  36. Jon must love you very much to paint the car to match your pedicure...........:)
    As always you are an inspiration.

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  37. I believe you live a fabulous life!

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  38. Wow that camisole was an amazing find & you look glorious in your outfit! Love reading your "thrifty" posts, I was raised differently, then out of necessity had to become extremely thrifty when I no longer lived at home. Didn't mind, always loved thrift, used to have to hide it when I lived home as my mother would freak out over anything "used". Now we do our best, its been tough due to job circumstances and with a kid, but she's learning too (and finds the coolest stuff in the thrift stores!) That pie looks scrumptious! Blackberries are my favs! I always marvel at what is available in other countries as opposed to what we have available to us. Searching for whole foods has gotten better, but its still sometimes a bit of a waste of time, gas, & quite expensive. I hope we actually have a spring next year so I can plant more food! XXX

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  39. I certainly don't live quite as thriftily as you do, but I'm not too far behind! I was also brought up in a super thrifty household and being 'cheap' has also always been a way of life for me. I love it and would not have it any other way! :) x

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  40. ooh that pie looks yummy! And your outfit is fab! Probably the look that all the girls were going for in the 60s Victorian revival!
    We grew up quite poor as well - we had half gov benefits and my dads regular wage. we never holidayed, packed lunches for school (which i never realised how lucky i was to have), always shopped in the home brand section of the supermarket and my none of my clothes had labels - which was a big deal in the 90s to not have branded clothing. I went a little mental when i did get money and moved out of home, but im slowly settling back in, never living outside my means and spending money on important things not. People at work are always suggesting i try to apply for better potions with more pay, but pay is not what attracts me - its the life/work balance and my boss and colleagues that will make me move if anything.

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  41. A Victorian cami for 50p!! Un-bloody-believable, it would be 50 quid down here. I had a frugal childhood also although by the time I was a teenager there was more money around. Think it has shaped the way I think about money but I have just traded my 10yr old PAYG mobile for a new model so I can catch up on blogs when I'm bored out of my brains at work! Jon has made an exceptional job of painting the car and your pie looks scrumptious, all the better for a free filling. Hope you do well at the weekend.
    xx

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  42. Have you read 'The Tightwad Gazette'? Amy, the writer, has the same ethos of life. Why spend money on things that are not important to you, save the money for things you really want.

    I can't think of anything more likely to destroy joy than a wardrobe full of expensive clothes and shoes and a house full of expensive stuff and a fancy car balanced against the credit cards full of debt, the unpaid loans and the overdraft!

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  43. Hand me downs, freezing cold bedrooms with clear plastic over them to keep the chills out. So cold I remember getting dressed under the scratchy old blankets in the winter it was too bloody cold! lol.

    There was a killer veg patch in the garden that my granddad god bless him cultivated as he only had a small garden of his own and it was the jumbles on a Saturday. That was some of the things I remember growing up. Skip a few years forward and being a young woman who lived on her own in actually nice but rented bedsits, couldn't afford holidays or new clothes much but made sure she had a blast at weekends though. I think by my early 20 to mid I went mad along later with the hubby. Yes we racked up debt and we are paying for it now. Our attitudes have changed or at least mine have now reverted back to where they once were! And something we are instilling in our kids. Work hard whilst young and you might have more choices when a little older. And actually know yourself a lot better too.

    Love the top that is gorgeous as is that car. Swooning and such a labour of love too.

    P x

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  44. my kitchen needs a new floor, yep, I'll be doing that myself. Cost of 250 square feet of flooring: $160. Labor: free. I'll keep ya posted!

    I don't even want to think of the stress of tiring to get/pay someone to do it for me. Probably charge me an arm and a leg. I've done it before and it's pretty easy. (I'd rather spend the money on something more important. Like the future)

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  45. Life is so much better when we can focus on what makes us happy! I can relate very well to the simple menu; I lived on bread with tinned tomatoes for months so I could pay my rent and go out with my friends. I often talk about you and your life style with my mother-in-law and it seems like you inspired her to do something similar! Also I'd love to have this recipe, looks delicious! xxx

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  46. Ha what a timely post!
    Really Vix you should write a book,your such a super women and you lift my spirits!
    how do you make the olive oil pastry? I would like to make a savoury pie.

    Best Michelle

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  47. That Victorian camisole was an amazing find, how gorgeous that the owner put her name and the date in it! It looks beautifully made. Fab maxi too - there you go, wonderful style for just a quid!
    I was another child with a frugal, slightly impoverished background. I did feel it actually, and envied my friends their holidays and new clothes and modern houses with trendy furniture and central heating. But my mum did her best, and now I find myself replicating many of her thrifty habits. I will admit I don't want to live in a cold house anymore, I did too many years of that for my liking. But I can live without the latest phone, most of our clothes or stuff for the house is secondhand, I cook family meals (wish I could have that pie for pudding!) and try not to over-indulge the kids. Booze... Now there, we do over-indulge!
    As always, you are a wise and sensible woman. And bloody beautiful too! xxxxx

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  48. Wow what a find on the blouse! I like your logic about living cheaply, I never quite got the mentality about 'treating yourself' either :)

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  49. Great outfit! Funny we were just talking about our upbringings at work today. I was brought up by a single mom. I knew we were poor, but my mom did her best to make sure we had food on the table and sewed our clothes, doing her best to keep me not looking to out of sync with other kids. And I kept those values as I grew up. I'm content with what I have. Of corse a good splurge on a pizza now and doesnt hurt...lol. Love your posts Vix.

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  50. Keep preaching the gospel!! You're the perfect messenger. I love everything about your dross-into-gold style. :-) In addition to your eye catching outfit, I was blown away by the gorgeousness of the car!! I showed it to Joey (aka the Car Fanatic) and he loved it too. We recently went on a trip in our Miata (another Dross project) and I'm going to post a few pics soon.

    The pie looks downright dangerous...!! I'd probably have to eat way more than I should in one sitting.

    XXXOOO

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  51. I love hearing about your life-- that blouse is beautiful and that pie looks so delish :)

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  52. Your outfit is amazing. I love it. I also love it when you share your life. You are such an inspiration. I was just visiting with a neighbor today and everything in her home is from charity shops or DIY and I LOVE it! I think my husband finally understands that new is not necessarily better. I prefer used items with a story. I truly hope you keep sharing snippets of your life.

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  53. Personally I find your lifestyle very inspiring. Doing without a luxurious lifestyle is better than living a corporate life in order to finance all that any day. It's better to be happy and I've always thought so.

    Off topic my jaw still always drops whenever you mention what you've paid for your clothes. I can never find such great deals.

    P.S. Your hair's been looking great as worn partially up.

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  54. What an amazing top! And I love the car.

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  55. Life is all about compromise. I love that you are living the life you want and happy with what that affords you. Wanting what we have is a skill not many are able to develop.

    That skirt is gorgeous and your toenails match the car! LOL

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  56. Great post, Vix! Amen to all of it!

    I, too, grew up in a frugal environment. After that and living on ramen and a shoestring though out college, I was done with thrift shops, yard sales and hand-me-downs from adult relatives.

    For years, I bought retail, but always on sale. A little over 10 years ago, I stopped into the Salvation Army looking for something for a craft project that I couldn't find elsewhere and ended up buying a jacket. That day, I left the malls behind. I think the only time I go into one now is to get a watch repaired or something like that. I really detest those temples of conspicuous consumption.

    Now, there's no other way for me. Nearly everything in my home is thrifted. We don't have smart phones by choice. Thrift is fun and is just, well, comfortable! Why sell your soul for a bunch of transient crap?! As I get older, I find I need so much less, yet appreciate what I have much more. You are such an inspiration to THRIFT ON!

    Your outfit is just incredible and you look super gorgeous! The VIctorian cami is to die for! And the car is simply adorable. Good job, Jon! Good job, both of you! :)

    xxxx

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  57. I can't believe you found an authentic Victorian cami that fits perfectly. Kismet. I certainly hope you are putting your name and the date in all of your hand-made beauties so that some future Vix will buy them and know what an amazing owner they once had. You, my Dear, are a GEM!!!

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  58. What a gorgeous car! And the lady standing in front of it ain't bad either :) What and amazing find your camisole is. It's so neat that the date is included.

    So much of your money sense is the same as ours. I might be the last person to not have a cell phone at all.

    And your pie looks lovely and very tasty.

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  59. I love that the camisole had the owner's name still inside. Remarkable items, and better that the outfit was only £1, ha! xx/M

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  60. I adore that pretty blouse its gorgeous and fits you so well. That pie looks so yummy too x

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  61. You look stunning!! What a lovely camisole such a find! The car is also amazing and Jon did a great job on the paint. Pie...ah I love pie!

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  62. As soon as I saw that photo of the cami my heart skipped a beat as I thought it could be genuinely Victorian.
    Most people my age in New Zealand grew up living frugally - no-one I knew had central heating, and no-one holidayed overseas. Mum always shopped at auctions and second-hand shops.
    By the way, I adore your swan collection and vintage towel.

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  63. you look edible! the camisole is breathtakingly beautiful, as you are x I do like a Dolly quote too, I am quite fond of her! - the car is just so cool, Jon did an amazing job - yum pie, I like to make everything too, I can make 5 pizzas for about 4 quid, easy too! x x

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  64. LOVE your car - the colour is perfect!

    The Victorian garment was an amazing find.

    I look forward to reading more inspiring posts about your beautiful home and lifestyle : )

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  65. Oh and the pie....

    truly scrumptious! xx

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  66. What a find that blouse!you even got the year it was made, wow such a find and so cheap, oh i love thrifting!

    Admire your life style! Good for you!

    Have a good weekend

    Ariane xo

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  67. Vix, you're such a shining example!!! I've started swimming regulalry because of you and eating more veg. And I've results already, my full frontal swim cosie post coming up soon will attest :-) (posts scheduled these couple of weeks whilesmall people settle back to school routine etc..).

    Love your outift - adore that top especially! I've some silk underthings that are pretty old, will post about those too soon. xx

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  68. Wow what a beautiful camisole , I love these but have never found one in my size , let me know if you ever get a larger one , we have only been living frugally from necessity over the last few years , I was never taught how to manage money like you , my dad had nothing when he was growing up and sneered at buying second hand , even though he had little money, I love living frugally now , would not have it any other way its so much more fun that just going out to buy things, I love making my own food , having a go at growing things any way I can live frugally now I will xxxx

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  69. Nice to hear a breath of fresh air from the buy-buy-buy mentality. You are reminding me of the lyrics in Shania Twain's 'KerChing!'. My music taste is high brow.

    I just think - spend what you want and realise that stuff won't make you happy. I think it is thrilling to buy stuff, but I get more if a thrill when it is a bargain. I used to work in an expensive furniture/home shop, man alive, the people that would come in, week after week, and buy what they didn't need. And were rude. I'd feel like saying - 'o you know what, let me look after this for you for a week, go away and sort your life out and I promise you will forget about this vase/rug etc'. but I am horrid, and not suited for retail and selling empty dreams, so
    I upped sticks and went to a see-where-you-have-been job instead..! Muttering muttering.. Xxx

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  70. You don't need a lot of money if you are creative, and you seem to have a very creative mind, well done.

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  71. i do agree. simplicity is gorgeous. thanks from Brasil.

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  72. Ebby looks gorgeous - you've got four-wheeled competition there! ;-) I love the turquoise paint work. I need some tips from Jon as my spraying of Archie's wings earlier this year was cack. I reckon I need to adopt his roller brush technique.

    That cami was such a lucky find, its a perfect fit on you. The bargains are still out there if you know where to look! xxx

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  73. all i can say is that i've taken a break from blogging for a couple of weeks and yours is truly the only one i've missed. and this post is the reason why. you are true blue vix. xo

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  74. eeek! I'd be terrified to wear such an old blouse! I'm so rough on clothes, I just can't be trusted with such delicate findings.

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  75. Long time lurker coming out here!
    I love everything about this blog, your beautiful house, your amazing clothes, your brilliant philosophy and genearal outlook on life, your pie ...
    Keep it up Vix, I love reading it every day, (and really miss you when you go off travelling!)

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  76. I love 50p bargs!! your outfit looks loverly :)

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  77. You look spectacular! I envy the Victorian camisole---I have a Victorian petticoat that would go perfectly with it. I admire your life philosophy and your positive outlook. Keep on being you :)

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  78. Since my hubby Adrian left his corporate job it has been quite an adjustment and we are still getting used to it. But it is so nice he has his life back and we are doing so much better for it. We live a very full life but now it doesn't revolve so much around money...and I am so thankful to be able to see someone else that has left the corporate world as well and to see how full your life is it really is an inspirations!! xoxo Heather

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  79. Vix, you are gutsy and wise, and I just love you to pieces!! I love this post, and it hits home for many folks, I am sure. It's just that lots of people lose sight of the luxury that you really have, which is freedom. And I adore your camisole and the maxi, and the car is awesome!!

    XOXO
    Lynn

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  80. As always, your blog is the highlight of my day, I love your philosophy of life and that fact that you don't just say it, you do it. I would love your pastry recipe, and also the name of Jon's band so I can hear their music. I grow my veg in the garden and can and preserve as much as I can. I'm not a corporate whore but I do work for a hospital, so maybe just a corporate trollop.

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  81. love your blog love your outlook on life ...so look forward to following your life!!! and that pie looks fab!!x

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  82. You look great, I just love that this outfit cost you a quid! x

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  83. What finds!!!! You look fabulous. Look at you teeny waist and the way that beautiful old camisole shows off your hourglass curves. Love that car too .... Minerva x

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  84. You never look cheap! You look immaculate. You really fired up a desire in me to wear second hand clothes and I am often tootling around the island's charity shops. Last thing I bought that was proper NEW to wear was a frock for a wedding last August :-D

    Ali x

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  85. Where to begin with the wonder of this post (among many wondrous posts)...? The extraordinary bargain of your top, the sum total of your outfit, Jon painting that beauty of a car with a blusher-sized brush(!), the foraged blackberry pie, or the whole ethos of living within means/re-fashioning/re-purposing and living well in the process. I think I have imbibed much of what you describe from my mum. Consequently I think very hard before making purchases and when I do, it will usually be something vintage, secondhand or fairly produced. Have been picking blackberries and apples as well as parasol mushrooms recently - nothing beats the pleasure of 'free' food.

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  86. What a great eye you have. I'm an avid thrifter, but never find Victorian camisoles or the like. A score for me is a Coldwater Creek or Claiborne. When I get a minute, I'm going to search your blog for any tips you may have on spotting great stuff.

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  87. You look very flamenco dancer here Vix (very much like one from those lovely 60's postcards from Seville).
    Brilliant post and my God that berry pie looks scrumptious!!

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  88. Thanks for this post Vix! I love that Victoria era top - just beautiful. I can't even begin to imagine the hours of work that would have taken!! I really do love you view on life - at the end of the day its not "Stuff" that makes you happy, but the things you do & the people in your life :)

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  89. I've had my ups and downs with money and spending over the years Vix, we did grow up pretty poor, poor enough that I was teased for it, but it did teach me to live frugally, I didn't know any different really. In my 30's me and Pat did have more money and we did blow it on the big fridge freezer, new settees etc. and in a way I'm glad I had that experience just to realise it didn't make me a damn bit happier, and the new stuff didn't do any better a job than the old stuff did. The settees we bought were wrecked within a few years and Pat was talking about going and getting new ones again and I was like, "No chance! What's the point?" If I was in that position again I'd spend the money totally differently this time, I'd still just blow it all probably, but it would be on holidays, not stuff. When it comes to phones, that's the good thing about Pat working with loads of young men, we've never had to buy a phone because they always want the newest models so we get all their cast offs. xx

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  90. I get the biggest kick out of your thrifty home/clothing/decorating/cooking/lifestyle posts Vix. They make me feel so happy that there are people in the world who can live a full, rich life without spending loads of dosh AND have cash leftover for FAB holidays and summertime music festivals!! I would so LOVE to meet you one day dear woman, we wouldn't waste any time at all on explaining our lifestyle choices, we'd just get on with the party!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

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  91. The blouse is amazing and such a good fit on you. I love victorian linen and cotton as it lasts forever.

    I love reading about how you live within your means and don't waist money. It's very inspirational. xxx

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  92. Vix, I am practically speechless. This post really cuts to the core. I grew up hearing the word no for simple things and have struggled with luxuries and all that it entails since I discovered there was a such a thing. It never occurred to me that I was rewarding myself for being an adult. My arrogance made me feel entitled to it and if I worked hard to get it, it made it all okay. But truly, it is immature to be rewarding myself for anything at this point. I am happy to be alive and well because I have not always been so well. I have to continue to contemplate your words. I learn the most from other's wisdom. Thank you for sharing. xo

    P.S. I can't believe you found that camisole for the 1800's. Incredible!!!!!!! And I love that car, seriously.

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  93. One last thing... I have been making olive oil goodies for over a decade. I was so happy to see you used it in the crust. xoxoxo

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  94. i love this quote! the top is so beautiful.

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  95. I love reading your posts on using your treasures on an everyday basis. I try to do the same - we use 30s and 50s tableware - and love the things we couldn't afford if they didn't have the chips and nibbles that render them useless by collectors. Along with much despised Victorian and Edwardian brown furniture. And my much loved PreRaphaelite prints (oh but wait - are we allowed to like them now?) all mixed up with my own paintings and kimono-mania. And doilies and embroidered teacloths!

    I keep coming back to look at that beautiful penmanship on your cami :)

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  96. Frugal is the way to be. Plus you always look fabulous and unique.

    Jon has done a great job on the car it looks amazing.

    As for the top, wow!

    X x

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  97. I love your attitude to life, so refreshing and inspiring! I need that pastry recipe, emailing you now.

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  98. Goodness is that top ever lovely. I am also in love with Ebby (Hoping that's the name for the vehicle behind you in the pics.)
    Your hair looks beautiful in that style. (I like it a lot)

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  99. I think that camisole is the most gorgeous thing ever! And such a bargain price too. The car is looking great, fantastic colour, I like the idea of a home car paint make over too. A whole outfit for £1 is pretty good going!

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  100. You and Jon are both an inspiration for sustainable living... such a breath of fresh air in a consumer-obsessed society!

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  101. A perfect fit for the camisole -- it was your destiny! Love it combined with the paisley skirt.
    Amazed at how Ebby looks!

    Thanks for linking up!

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  102. I know I have said this to you before we live life along the same lines :-) Big hugs dee xxxx

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  103. Holy guacamole, that car looks just AMAZING and is the same shade of spewmint that I used on the letterbox (and plan to paint the shack!).

    You are divine, as always - I LOVE that skirt and YOUR HAIR! And I always love reading about your wonderful life. I want pie for lunch!

    Love you more than spew mint! Sarah xxx

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  104. I sooo admire you and your values!

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Love from Vix
xxx