A SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING TRIP

“Happiness is not in money, but in shopping.”

– Marilyn Monroe

Today is a good day, as it is the first time I went outside in about 4 days. Where I am in the UK, things are either closed due to the lockdown tier system, or things are extremely busy because they are open during the lockdown tier system and people are craving an adventure – even if it’s to the supermarket. Oh yeah, let’s not forget that people are shopping like mad because Christmas is round the corner.

Anyway, I didn’t really fancy going out on my doorstep – I live in a big city, and everywhere seems to be crazy right now the closer you get to the shops. So Jack and I decided to adventure elsewhere. I was excited at the idea of grabbing a pastry and having a stroll without having hundreds of people around me. I packed up my mask, hand sanitiser, and gave myself a quick spritz of my Karl Lagerfeld perfume before heading out the door.

I could write a separate blog post on the delightful Raspberry filled croissant I had (as a Vegan, it’s hard to find pastry, and food on the go in general) but I won’t, today is about my sustainable shopping trip. After fuelling up, I decided to make my way to the nearest charity shop, but sadly a majority were closed. After almost walking past it, I found DEBRA (A charity supporting those with EB).

Pre Lockdown, I would jump at the chance to go in any charity shop that I saw – and so going through the doorway today filled me with excitement – I already spotted so much that I wanted to grab. I looked down at my tiny pea like hands and thought, how would I carry all of these things I had already decided that I couldn’t live without. I gave a side eye to Jack, who hovered in the doorway empty handed… that’s how. I set off to the womenswear.

Before I go into the details of what I bought, let me just tell you that all of this lot cost me £9! Amazing. For 3 Vinyl’s, A jumper, a blazer, a pair of heels, and some Christmas cards. Sustainable, and budget friendly. I’ve heard so many times that people don’t like to shop in charity shops because they feel that its full of rubbish or damaged clothes. I disagree with both, style is subjective and it’s impossible to say that all charity shops are full of rubbish. Sometimes I will go to a few charity shops and find things I don’t like, but that’s no different to going up and down the high street with the same feeling. The difference to me is, that charity shops will always have different pieces in, wheras most high street stores will stock variations of the other, in keeping with the current ‘season.’

Also, about things being damaged…not true! Things don’t get dumped in bin bags on the doorstep and then put themselves on the hanger for the customer, I used to work as a stylist in a charity shop and the staff would sift through the bags, sorting, checking for damages and steaming items ready for the shop floor. In some cases, depending on resources, items would be washed before going out – but not always. However, if you really aren’t into charity shops there are other ways you can shop ethically and sustainably – check out my previous blog post for inspo!

For the better part of this year, I have avoided fast fashion (I will invest in the occasional quality staple if I can’t find it elsewhere and I know it comes from an ethical brand) and love the idea of building my wardrobe from treasures I’ve found on a charity shop run. There are so many issues with fast fashion, from underpaying workers to its impact on the environment and pollution – if you’d like to learn more please follow this link and do some reading of your own! P.S Charity shopping can be a haven for vintage lovers around the world, you’d be surprised what people are getting rid of!

Frank approved.

Let’s get down to the business of what I bought. I would like to introduce this haul by saying that no charity shop run is complete without acquiring a record from Frank Sinatra – you will find his music in almost every charity shop you go in, and you can never have too much Frank in your life.

BTW – these records were 3 for £1! Thank you DEBRA.


The Haul.

  • Black and White Pinstripe Blazer – Size 12 ( A few sizes bigger, but I like an oversize fit) £3
  • Leopard Print Heels – Size 4 (I have tiny pea feet) £2
  • Christmas Cards £1
  • Wide Hole Knit Jumper – Medium (SO many layering opportunities) £2
  • Frank Sinatra & Count Basie – It Might As Well Be Swing [1961]
  • Broadway Hit Parade – Worldwide Movie and TV Hits [1969] (Listening to Peter Gunn on repeat forever now…)
  • The Top Ten Barbershop Quartets of 1969 [1969]

Impressed? Me too, time to bathe in the glory of my purchases, dance to Peter Gunn and drink a martini knowing I’m supporting sustainability, charity and style all at the same time.

Until next time,

A Decadent Pea x

A Small Business Christmas with Be Designer

Hello peas, today I want to talk about shopping. As a vintage lover, when I’m shopping I look for the quirky, the different, the decadent – and my means are often thrift shopping, charity shops, or independent sellers. Basically, I like to avoid the high street where I can, so when I come across somewhere new to shop that’s a little bit different, I jump at the chance to browse and find that new piece and that’s exactly what happened when I learned of BeDesigner.

This way of shopping is not only a great way to come across something unique, but it’s also a wonderful way to support the businesses that need it most. Whatever country you are in, I can almost guarantee that the small businesses around you have been impacted in some way by the pandemic. It can be hard to support yourself as one small entity when you are up against so many large corporations.

BeDesigner is a great place to go when you are searching for that something special, it hosts a multitude of independent brands, so you know that you can support small sellers from the comfort of your own home – but also, because it hosts so many brands you have the convenience of a department store, win win! Imagine how great it feels to be able to order a whole Christmas new outfit from somewhere, while supporting a bunch of small businesses in the process.

I was extremely lucky to receive a package from BeDesigner on my birthday which included a delicious Mojito smelling body scrub, and some lovely sunglasses (you can even change the arms! Hello, matching outfits). Upon receiving my package, I knew the love and support that goes into the business and sales at BeDesigner – you wouldn’t get a hand written note and cute stickers from a high street delivery I bet! The scrub was gorgeous to use, and I’d love to try the fairyfloss martini next! We all love a martini here at A Decadent Pea.

Virgin Alchemy Mock Mojito Body Scrub

When speaking to people in the past, I understood that they found it difficult to know where to shop with independent sellers as there were so many, and also, how were they to know that a business was reputable? On BeDesigner, every brand has a short biography about their business – and they even have a handmade section, so you really know that you are getting a one off special piece (I love the card holders!)

It’s not only for women, there is a section for men too, so you can find something special for that man in your life – while making a small business owner somewhere to do a happy dance – what’s not to love?

Anyway, I will let you get back to your Christmas shopping.

Until next time,

A Decadent Pea x

An Old Fashioned, Reely Good Boyfriend

This time last week I uploaded my first Reel to Instagram, and then wrote a blog post about it – and that is my plan once a week until further notice, and with that comes the challenge of finding something original to Reel about every time.

Fortunately, I live with my partner Jack who is not only a good sport (did you see his help on the last blog post?) but also a lot of fun to live with, and has no issue being dolled up and put in a Reel for the benefit of the greater good (or in this case, A Decadent Pea).

Before I continue, I would like to say that this particular reel of Jack amassed 500 views within the first five minutes, with that kind of reach you may be seeing him more often. After all, he is destined for stardom and has an amazing singing voice (stay tuned on this, excuse the pun).

Anyway, for this reel we decided to do a transformation from Jack’s slouchy look into a suave vintage geezer. Scroll down to see the end result.

I think I should give a mention the Old Fashioned Cocktail that I made Jack as part of this Reel. I am not a whisky drinker unfortunately, but he loves it, so… this may be the start of my career as a mixologist, but then again probably not.

You Will Need:

  • Whiskey of choice
  • Angsostura Bitters
  • Water
  • Sugar

Usually a drink such as this would require a maraschino cherry, or at least a slice of orange – but alas my bar was not stocked. The only whiskey we had to hand was Jack Daniels Honey, but I think it worked quite well in replacement of the fruit, and for a decadent sweet twist.

Anyone reading this who is actually a mixologist please don’t judge me (at least not publicly) for my drink making skills. I found out along my googling way, that this drink was created purely to disguise the rancid taste of some bootleg whiskies back in the day! Interesting…

Anyway, you need to sprinkle some sugar in the bottom of a rocks glass (we love this one from Anthropologie) dash it with a bit of Angostura and water, and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Then, you want to add whiskey and stir again. You can add ice cubes, and we love the refreezable ones, no more slamming the ice cube tray on the kitchen side – bonus that these ones are orange, kind of makes up for the lack of orange in the drink… Serve, or in my case, hold as a reward for the Reel video, and use it as a prop in the meantime.

Back to the Reel!

Using a bit of Brylcreem, his smart dinner shoes from a trusty charity shop (remember when I said that Vintage doesn’t have to be expensive?) and the confiscation of his playstation remote we transformed Jack to this vision below. Humphrey Bogart who?

I just want to say that as fun as this was, this was not an attack on Jack, or slouchy boys anywhere – as much as I love vintage it does not take over my every day life (not yet) and most of the time, I don’t dress vintage all day either. Just some fun between us during what seems like a never ending lockdown, so make your Old Fashioned and relax, nobody is offended here.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more Reels and fun vintage stuff!

Until next time,

A Decadent Pea x

P.S You continuity queens may notice that this drink is not the same as the one in the video, but when I was caught up in the madness of Reel making, I forgot to take photos. Meaning that Jack gets to enjoy it all over again! Win win.

A Jewellery Box (and how to fill yours)

Gold or Silver?

Costume or High End?

Layering or Just One?

There are so many things to think about when you are choosing your jewellery for the day. If you are like me, you might have one piece that you never take off, or maybe, you change your look every day depending on how you feel or what outfit you are wearing.

I have always loved rummaging through peoples jewellery boxes, it started with looking through my Granny’s jewellery box. I loved feeling all of the different beads, and seeing the glittering brooches in the sunlight. But more than textures and colours, these items told a story – a jewellery collection can be so personal, like a scrapbook for your ears..and neck…and hands… you get what I mean.

My own jewellery collection is a mixture of statement earrings, delicate chains, and chunky rings usually with birthstones in them (my favourite is an amber ring that I found at an Antique shop in Lyndhurst). As I have so many varying pieces, I like to keep them in my Stackers jewellery box to keep everything neat and organised, but for the finer pieces I keep them in their original boxes for safety.

If you are a bit of a magpie like me, then you will enjoy studying the image at the top of this blog – although, admittedly this isn’t my whole collection, just the ones that made the cut for the photo!

As I have come to love vintage more and more over the years, I have learnt that jewellery purchasing doesn’t end on the high street in multipacks of earrings from your local fast fashion store. Instead, you can dedicate ages to finding the right pieces, and building up a collection that will not only tell your story, but also many peoples stories before you. I’m talking about places like.

  • Car Boot Sales – A haven for wacky necklaces and funky rings, if you can handle getting muddy feet.
  • Vintage Emporiums – I know, this seems to be my favourite phrase, but I bet you have some near you. I’m fortunate that in my town we have quite a selection!
  • Charity Shops – Again, not for everyone but I love knowing that I am supporting a good cause, grabbing a bargain and supporting sustainability.
  • Antique Shops – These can sound really expensive, and sometimes they are… but if you ever find yourself on holiday or away from your hometown then please find the local Antique store. You won’t be disappointed, and it will be a new experience entirely.
  • Ebay – Never. Underestimate. Ebay. Everyone is always selling on this platform, you will find some amazing pieces and I can guarantee you will always find what you are looking for.
  • Vinted – Similar to Ebay, but not as large a platform – people are always selling their old stuff on the cheap, and you know what they say – One mans trash is another mans treasure.
  • Olio – Now this one, may be a bit more unknown to you readers. I challenge you to get to know it because EVERYTHING on this platform is free. People not only give away surplus groceries, but clothes, jewellery, furniture and DVD’S. It’s amazing, and it’s such a great feeling when you can share with your neighbours and give away your unwanted things.
  • Flea Markets – It’s like a car boot sale but better, usually targeted for vintage lovers like you and I. Find your local facebook groups and community newsletters and get on the hunt.

All of these options are sustainable (yay) and, like I said will hold stories from people before you – where did this piece originally come from? Who wore it? How did it get here? I’m a daydreamer, this is what I do for fun.

I know, I know. We are in the middle of a pandemic and most of these places to shop are sadly not options right now – but you can still rummage on Ebay until we are allowed to get our muddy shoes back on and trek it to the car boot field, or dust off our tote bags to do a charity shop run.

A girl can dream….

I hope this has inspired you, and I would love to know where/ how you acquired your jewellery collection. Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

A Decadent Pea.

P.S My blog is one week old today, yay for A Decadent Pea!

A Decadent Pea Store

A Vintage outfit idea

My first week of blogging has been so much fun. I feel like i’ve learnt a lot already, and I’ve seen some great content that has given me ideas for future posts. One of the things that keeps popping up are Instagram Reels. For those of you that don’t know, an Instagram Reel is a short, cut together video clip. I’ve seen some beautiful reels of cooking, make up tutorials and styling tips from a lot of other bloggers, and it inspired me to have a go myself.

It wasn’t as easy as it looked, at all. For someone that comes from a film background in my career, hobbies and education I am ashamed at how long this took me to figure out. I have a fairly old phone which did not like creating this video at all. The process went something like this.

  1. Record a clip.
  2. Worry if clip is good enough.
  3. Record next clip.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have enough to create a minimum 15 seconds.
  5. Deep breaths.
  6. Import the clips into Reels, and cut them together as you see fit.
  7. Really deep breaths as the phone glitches out of the app many times.
  8. Smile smugly when you realise your video is cut together.
  9. Wipe that smile away quickly when you realise that you still need to add music.
  10. Restart App.
Me as a GIF

Anyway, I feel like 10 steps is quite enough to share with you. I got there eventually – that’s the main thing. My focus for this Instagram Reel was to show off a vintage outfit that I really liked; the best part being, that most of my outfit is second hand and sustainable – something that is really important to me.

There is a clip of the Reel here, but you can watch the whole thing on my Instagram!

SHIRT – Massimo Dutti (Charity Shop Find)

SKIRT – Unknown Brand (Ebay Find)

BELT – Unknown Brand (Given to me by a friend)

SHOES – Marks and Spencer

EARRINGS – My beloved Robins Nest Emporium

HANDBAG – Karen Millen (A gift from my 18th Birthday)

HAIRCLIP – A brand I have worked with before as a photographer, the wonderful WinstonsArt. If you like the clip you should see the earrings Mia makes!

BASE – Body Shop BB Cream

BROWS & SHADOW – Chanel

MASCARA – Chanel

CHEEKS – Besame Crimson Cream Rouge

POWDER – Besame Violet Powder

LIPS – Besame Reds

So, there we have it. My first Reel! I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you’d like to see on the next one.

Until next time,

A Decadent Pea