Charity shop tour – Bray edition

You know when you meet someone for the first time and you feel like you’ve known them your whole life? After geeking over charity shops online the past couple of weeks, Sadhbh* of Where Wishes Come From so graciously offered to give me a tour of ALL OF THE Bray charity shops last week. We met on Main Street in Bray and spent the entire afternoon shooting the breeze and touring the best second hand bargains Bray has to offer. Entertainment, great company, and it snowed. It was a pretty epic afternoon.

As Sadhbh so expertly advised, we started our tour at the McDonald’s [which is one of the top 10 McDonald’s in the world, if that’s your kind of thing] at the top of Main Street in Bray because that way, you’re walking downhill for the rest of the shops. That’s my kind of route.

Without further delay, onto all the second hand and charity good stuff –

1.Valentine’s Community Shop – a great selection of clothes, both old and new
2. Vincent’s – I hit gold here and bought 3 pieces. One of the larger charity shops with a wide variety of clothes, books, and knick-knacks
3. War on Want – a real gem. I bought husband the most epic tracksuit top, formally known as TraXedo [see photo below]. It was downhill after that. 
4. NCBI – lovely selection of accessories and clothes for all ages
5. The Furniture Barn – really unique and antique pieces of furniture
6. Enable Ireland – great collection of antique fine china as well as a tempting selection of clothes available
7. Oxfam – solid collection of second hand books and clothes for all age groups
8. Charity Begins at Home – an amazing collection of very affordable and upcycle-worthy furniture
9. Irish Cancer Society – also a go-to for fine china and ladies clothing 
10. Cast A Ways – excellent selection of second hand and shabby chic furniture 
11. Vincent’s – a great variety of clothes and knick-knacks. I couldn’t resist a print of the Welsh countryside from here
12. Florence Fortune’s – it was unfortunately closed the day Sadhbh and I went, but we spent about 5 minutes with our faces pressed up against the front window. If you’re in Bray, you have to go to there.

We took our time wandering from one second hand store to the other, rummaging through all the bargain bins, and were finished in under 2 hours. But this route could easily be done in half an hour if you were on a mission. And dare I say it, the Bray charity shops put the Dublin ones to shame.

It would be a shame to not share a picture of my most prized possession from said route – the TraXedo. It’s a mock-tuxedo tracksuit top. Behold …

In case you were curious as to how it works, the bow-tie is velcrow and detaches on the right hand side for ease of access. As it says on the cuff – TraXedo; when smart meets casual. I promise, I will try and get a photo of husband in it later tonight, so be sure to check later. This was by far the best 3.50 I’ve spent in weeks.

We retired to Dockyard No. 8 on Bray Harbour and warmed up with the most epic of seafood chowder. We could have sat chatting and eating for hours, but unfortunately I had to cut it short to get the bus home. 

I had an amazing afternoon and if it weren’t for my knowledgeable, cool and hilarious tour guide, I would have been none-the-wiser to all that Bray had to offer. Thank you again, Sadhbh xx

*as Sadhbh puts it, her name sounds like the number ‘five’ if it started with an S – ‘Sive’. 

Thrifty things – a clowder of teapots

No, do not re-adjust your screen. This is not a vision into the depths of your nightmares, it’s just my new cat teapot. And may I add with pride [quickly followed by a hint of shame], I now have a cat teapot collection. A clowder of cat teapots, if you will.

I suppose it all started way back when Emily and I visited the Merchants Market for a blogger feature of hers. That’s when I spotted my first cat teapot; the little portly lady-cat teapot who looks like she rather enjoys sausages. Then the other day I spotted this gentleman-cat teapot in the window of NCBI Charity Shop. It was after hours so the shop wasn’t open, so the next day I cycled over and scooped up my purchase.

Do you have cats?“, the lady at the till inquired. “Oh I do. I have two kitties“, I said. She then looked me up and down with a puzzled look on her face. “You aren’t covered in cat fur though“. I laughed and I told her my anti-furry-clothes tip … 

PRO TIP – run your hand under the tap and using the palm of your hand, begin to brush your clothes. The water on your hand will collect any fur. When your hand stops collecting fur, simply run it under the tap again. Repeat until all the lonely people glitter, I mean fur, is gone. Voila!

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going to keep Mr. and Mrs. Cat Teapot, but I quite like where I styled them on our shelves. Not too bad. And please don’t tell me I’m the only one with a porcelain animal collection? Don’t leave me hangin’.

xx A

A touch of glass

Back in December my edible Christmas ornaments were entered into the DaWanda Creative Xmas Decorations Facebook competition, which I was quite excited about. All entrants received a €20 gift voucher to spend online at DaWanda, and the winner received a €100 voucher. Not bad at all … My DIY didn’t win said Facebook competition {and I wasn’t expecting to}, so I was pleased as punch with my gift voucher. Now, what to spend it on? 
I trolled the DaWanada site and decided I should treat myself and spend my voucher on something I wouldn’t normally buy. A little fancy treat. Home related, obv. So I searched, and I don’t know how I happened upon Everstraw one day, but I’m glad I did. 

Made by Michael Kraus, Everstraw glass straws are exactly what you think – glass straws. They’re beautiful, dainty and the perfect quirky accompaniment to our bar cart. I was worried they’d be quite frail, but they’re tough and have survived their first wash in our sink. I bought six straight straws, and a bent straw to throw in the mix to make it look more convincing and natural. Do other straws look natural? Nope. You get my meaning though.
We took our new glass straws for a spirited spin yesterday {for photographic purposes, of course … } and they’re very smooth to drink from! Does that sound weird? It does to me, but they were really nice to drink with. 

For those of you wondering, we have teeny pipe-cleaners at home that I use to clean them, alternatively Everstraw sell cleaning brushes for their straws. For those of you, like me, who immediately thought of the maintenance side of things and how many hours I’d have to spend cleaning them. All of 30 seconds should do the trick. 

xx A