About

Photo: http://www.hullfashion.co.uk/
Hello there, I’m Courtney and I am the girl behind Retro and Thrift. I am a History student with a passion for retro and vintage fashion but a very limiting student budget. 


My inspirations mainly come from the mid-twentieth century as well as the many well dressed humans that roam the streets today. I mainly write about lifestyle, beauty and fashion but occasionally branch out with a feminist rant or topical post. I began this blog 5 years ago and have been dipping in and out of the blogging world since. 

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DIY Bedtime in a Bag

There’s nothing better than finishing Uni work for the evening and making time for a little relaxation before turning the lights off! Making time to plan for tomorrow, moisturise and have a catch up on social media makes me feel organised and ready to take on the next day, however I sometimes lack the motivation or energy to do any of these things. That’s until I thought up this cute idea…

I recently acquired quite a few pairs of Boux Avenue ‘PJs in a Bag’ (Thanks Aaron!) – gorgeous brushed cotton PJs that come in a matching button up pouch! I thought I would use the bag to make a little ‘Bedtime in a Bag’ pack. 


You could make this as everyday or as luxury as you like. The one I have made for now is mainly my essentials. I included my planner/journal, some beauty essentials like facewipes, foot/hand cream along with any medication I need to take. By adding a candle or a face mask you could save this little hamper for a Sunday night treat or even come up with your own idea – I think a hangover pack could be brilliant!

I actually did a post about a DIY “Pick-Me-Up Box” that may also give you ideas on what you could include in your bedtime bag! 


Wearing matching PJs to your ‘Bedtime in a Bag’ makes it feel like your own girly sleepover. You obviously don’t have to use the Boux Avenue PJs (they aren’t cheap and this isn’t a sponsored post by the way!) – you could use a makeup bag or even make your own out of some awesome patterned fabric and a few buttons! I feel this could actually be a great sleepover idea but I am 20 and live with 4 of my best friends anyway so its a PJ party all day everyday!


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Review | In Retrospect Magazine*


A couple of months ago the editor of In Retrospect Magazine offered me the opportunity to be sent a couple of issues of the magazine to review and of course I was delighted to accept this offer. He wanted me to be as honest and true as possible so this is why my review has taken a little while to do – I wanted to have a proper flick through and a good read before I put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard if you will. The magazine has been running since May 2014 and started out in digital format originally but thanks to a Kickstarter campaign the first issue was able to be published on the 1st of December 2014. 


My first impression of the magazines is that they are absolutely stunning and perfect to sit on a coffee table. The magazine covers are beautifully put together and the paper quality is just divine (am I the only one who gets excited over good paper?). I also love the way that the magazine is geared towards all vintage lovers – most of the covers feature a man and a woman. This is reflected throughout the whole magazine where there are articles that everyone would enjoy reading, none of them are too ‘girly’ or too ‘manly’ which is often one of my pet hates of magazine culture. 
The design is also very modern and this could be something people love or hate. Obviously if you love vintage you may want your magazine and it’s design to echo this, however I feel that the contrast of modern aesthetic with vintage imagery works extremely well. Furthermore the contrast ties in with the magazines tagline ‘A Modern Magazine for Old Fashioned People’. 


Now, let’s get down to the actual content of the magazine. It is bold, bright and very easy to read, with plenty of topics to be discussed. Again, topics are not directed at one gender, there’s recipes, gift guides, style tips and tricks and a little bit of history too (my personal favourite). Another section I love is the ‘In Focus’ section where writers have discussed topics from ‘Feminism vs Vintage’ to questioning whether or not the 90’s are vintage. 



The pages are full of beautifully displayed writing and imagery – you can see why this magazine is seasonal rather than monthly. It’s taken me so long to read them all – again perfect for dipping in and out of. I feel that although I have received magazines from the past year they are all still relevant, not many style magazines can say that. That’s the beauty of it, in an ironic kind of way I believe vintage is timeless, and so is In Retrospect magazine. 
I think these magazines, although written by full-time vintage wearers who are obviously experts in the field are suitable for anyone, whether you’ve being living the vintage lifestyle for 20+ years or if like me you dabble in and out of the scene. There really is something for every type of vintage lover within these pages!


You too can receive back issues of In Retrospect here as well as subscribing to future issues. That brings me to price (it’s retro AND thrift for a reason you know?) The affordability of these magazines is just amazing. For a quarterly issue of a magazine of this quality I’d easily expect to pay £10+ but each issue is just £4.50 – even as a student I think I can stretch to that? I also think that a subscription would make the perfect Christmas gift for a vintage lover (or yourself even hehe!).
If you’d like to know more about them they have a fantastic website and also a twitter page


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#GirlGang: The first twitter chat

Image courtesy of Jemma @dorkfaceblog

I sit with so much excitement and anticipation for this Twitter chat. I have my coffee in one hand, iPad in the other and my candle lit – just like most bloggers do before a chat starts. This isn’t just any old twitter chat however this is the first #GirlGang chat set up by Jemma aka @dorkfaceblog


WHAT IS #GIRLGANG?

Jemma has recently set up a bloggers #GirlGang; it’s main goal being to spread positivity to everyone (“girls, boys and whatever gender you identify with is always welcome” – Jemma). She’s going to write a “newsletter updating on giveaways, creative challenges, showing love… scheduling Twitter chats… events, merchandise… and EVEN A BLOG AWARD” (-Jemma). I think this is such a brilliant idea and I am so excited for it and after the first #GirlGang Twitterchat (that we got TRENDING may I add), I am almost exploding with excitement – hence this post.

IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY 

I feel that the bloggers #GirlGang has come at just the right time, with many girls feeling like every blogger is shouting but no one is actually being heard. Blogging has exploded over the past year and I feel like every girl has a blog they want people to read but hardly any are taking the time to read others. I am, regrettably, extremely guilty of this; after a day of reading dusty old books in the library the last thing my eyes want to do is continue reading. However I have recently discovered or more so, rediscovered the power of communication, the power of conversation and also the enjoyment of reading other people’s blogs. I have returned to the roots of why I started a blog, to communicate and also because I thought other peoples’ were so fucking cool. Anyway, without going off on a tangent I want to congratulate Jemma on what she has achieved.



THE FIRST TWITTER CHAT

At 6PM the chat commenced with Jemma’s first question: The happiest moment you experienced growing up. I felt a bit silly; I had a pretty good upbringing and childhood but couldn’t put my finger on a specific moment. A lot of other girls went for simple memories such as baking cakes with their grandma and visiting Disney Land and some girls were coming out with profound and bittersweet memories like escaping domestic violence. 

I felt a bit silly and with all the responses a bit lost, daring not say anything, however I soon found other girls that were in the same position as me. Once you get going you realise that you’re not the only socially-awkward one. It makes sense, why else would you be sat behind a screen writing a blog if it wasn’t to get your voice heard without the effort of actually speaking to people. 

And that’s the point, connecting with other girls who were just like me, and that why this chat was so empowering and IS so necessary. It allows people to connect with each other across the country (even world, I saw one girl mention she was Finnish) from their bedrooms. Feminism needs this and blogger chats, especially this one, are hopefully going to achieve a lot… possibly a revolution on how we smash the patriarchy?

The chat ended (very reluctantly, no one wanted to go – I even postponed peeing for a good 15 minutes) with the question of what you would tell younger self. This brings out all sorts of amazing quotes from all the girls from ‘be confident’, ‘be yourself’, and my personal fave ‘less stressing more action’ from @StoriesofSam which I definitely need to put on a post-it for myself!


THANK YOU 

The #GirlGang chat has got me so excited for what we and the bloggers #GirlGang can achieve and I really look forward to what’s going to happen in the next few months. I think I speak on behalf of all the #GirlGang members (That’s 270+ last time I checked) when I say THANK YOU JEMMA!

If you want to be part of the bloggers #GirlGang all the info is here. The chat is at 6PM every Monday!

Apologies if this post is a bit rambly, as you can probably tell I am highly caffeinated and thrilled about #GirlGang and also in a rush to put up my Christmas tree!

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Merry Kitsch-mass, flamingle bells…. I could go on!


I nearly squealed when I got a glimpse of this years Christmas collection at Paperchase and I just had to do a post on it. Now, I’m normally very traditional when it comes to seasonal decorations and can’t get enough of golds, greens and reds, however the tacky part of me just loves what they have done. So many flamingos because, WHY NOT have a flamingo in a Santa hat on your Christmas tree? I also love the affordability of it all. Their big packs of baubles are so cheap £10-£15 for 100+. I really do wish I had my own house/flat (and the funds) because Paperchase have really hit the nail on the head. Sorry for the rambly excited post but that’s what I get like when online shopping in the early hours! 



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Winter Shower Routine

Brrrrr! It’s certainly getting chilly out there – I think it’s safe to say we are officially in winter right? I’m feeling very seasonal and thought I’d change up my blog layout a bit – do you like the Christmassy theme? The wintery weather inspired me to do a little post about my winter shower routine! My hair and skin seem to change in this blustery weather so I have to start using different products to get the best out of them. 



1. BRUSH THAT BODY (BARE WITH ME)

A thing I like to do before I shower is use a body brush – this one is from the Body Shop however you can get them cheaper in places like Boots, Superdrug etc. It’s a great thing to include into your routine as it really helps your circulation which is especially vital during the colder months. Body brushing is so easy – you basically brush your skin towards your heart if that makes sense? It has so many benefits including meditation and reducing celulite!


2. WASH THAT MOP

First up I’m going to chat about hair. I don’t know about you but I feel like you can never win with hair – in the summer its frizzy and sweaty and in the winter it’s too windy to maintain a decent style! As my hair is quite thick I have to try my best to keep it falling flat – I’ve been using Andrew Barton’s Full On Volume Shampoo and Conditioner (which is on a ‘roll back’ at the moment so go grab it!) to give my hair an extra boost. I have to be honest I have used better volumising shampoos (I am a huge fan of the Aussie one) however the smell of these products is amazing and they get the job done which is all I really need from a shampoo!


3. REPLENISH

With all the elements battling against your hair, i.e. the wind, rain, cold and extreme central heating it’s easy for your ends to become dry – another product I have been using by Andrew Barton is their S.O.S. Hair Repair which I am a bigger fan of than the volumising hair care. It has a lovely smell that I can’t quite put my finger on (I’m such a helpful blogger!) and it leaves your hair feeling and looking healthy. In desperate times, such as after I dye my hair, I am loving the Lush ‘Damaged’ Hair oil – you actually use this before your shower (about 20 mins it recommends). 

4. SHAVE/WASH YA BITS.

Okay so whilst my shampoo is on I usually get my razor and shower gel and go to town – I’ve been slowly getting through this huge NSPA Fresh Clementine shower gel. The smell of this is insane (again I’m a sucker for lovely smelling shower stuff) and they do loads of other flavours including my two personal favourites coconut and lemon. At the moment ASDA have got these on offer 2 for £4 and I think this is amazing value for 500ml of product. 


5. SCRUB. 

Whilst my conditioner or hair mask is soaking in I usually get my favourite body scrub to combat any dry skin I have accumulated in the freezing weather! I can probably speak for many people when I say you can’t beat a Body Shop scrub! The one I’m using at the moment is the Moringa Cream Body Scrub which is an acquired smell but I’ve grown to love it. My faves have got to be Shea and Mango
It’s also important to keep your face exfoliated in the winter! I love Lush’s Dark Angels Cleanser which I often leave on like a facemask throughout my whole shower. It’s a bit weird to apply because it’s charcoal based and black but it leaves my skin feeling amazing – just make sure you give your bath/shower a good rinse afterwards!



Do you change up your routine in the winter? Are they’re any winter products that you love?
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Pick me up box: Great for anxiety, low moods, depression etc

I tend to stay away from the topic of mental health bar the few post shares on facebook and the odd post because I get anxious (ironically) that it will upset my family or give people the wrong impression of me! However, if I can share a few tips and tricks here and there and keep the conversation going about mental health I feel like I’m ‘doing my bit’ as it were. I find reading other people’s tips and tricks really useful so it’s only fair that I share my own.

 

Okay now that little disclaimer is out of the way I can now get on with telling you about my “Pick Me Up Box”…
Note: If anyone can think of a better name for this please let me know, but for now this is what I shall call it!

Basically my Pick Me Up Box is just box that I filled with treats and ‘pick me ups’ for days when I’m not feeling too great! You simply just grab any box (shoe boxes work fab for this) and fill it with whatever makes you feel great!  I was lucky enough to attend the HBAlporto Hull Bloggers Summer Meet this year so I had a lot of samples and products lying around however anyone could still fill a box with things they love and consider a treat – it does not have to be expensive!

 

First up if I’m feeling a bit crap, I do what probably 90% of the British population do and put the kettle on! I’m not gonna lie I live for traditional English Tea or “tea tea” as I like to call it and nothing yet has been able to replace it! However I definitely want to try this Dragonfly Moroccan Mint Organic Green Tea and Rooibos Detox Tick Tock Restore and Renew Tea next time I’m feeling stressed.
If tea wont cut it though and you need something stronger, like chocolate, Sweet Freedom’s Choc Shot offer a healthier way to indulge! With only 14 calories per teaspoon (although you do need 3-4 tsp per cup) you can have yourself a GM, gluten free and vegan friendly mug of hot chocolate! I always keep some form of chocolate in this box because CHOCOLATE y’ano – this little life saver is from www.choconchoc.co.uk

 

My next tip for improving your mood is to pamper yourself; paint your nails, pop on a face mask and slap some of your favourite body lotion on! I filled this box with some of my favourites like my Body Shop’s Sweet Lemon Body Butter and Barry M Nail Paint along with products that I want to try or I’m saving! Lush products are perfect for this because, I dont know about you but I always try and savour my Lush products because they are such a treat to use! Here I have Granny Takes a Dip bubble bar, Damaged hot oil treatment and Dont Look at Me face mask!
I’ve also popped in some Weleda samples I was kindly given as with names like Lavender Relaxing Bath Milk and Pomegranate Regenerating Body Lotion they seemed appropriate to use when feeling shit!

 

Because I live away from home the first thing I crave when I’m feeling down is my family! I obviously cant put them in a box so I settled for some of my favourite photos of family, friends and happy moments in my life! If I sit down and have a look through them they always make me smile and realise what a great support unit I have! I also think it would be great to add other happy memories, inspiring quotes or a notebook full of your achievements but I’ve not got round to that yet!

 

Lastly is a touch of aroma therapy. Yankee are obviously one of the best candle and fragrance makers ever so I was stoked for A Childs Wish votive to be included in the goodie bags at HBAlPorto. I burn candles most days to help me relax and focus on work but love saving Yankees for when I’m not feeling that great!

Hope this little tip helped some of you! What would you put in your box? Have you got any tips for quick pick me ups on bad days?

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If you do one thing this month: Go see Suffragette

Suffragette hit cinemas this October and being a feminist and a history undergrad I could not wait to see it! Despite missing 10 minutes at the beginning due to a mix up with the listings my housemates and I got sucked into the film very quickly and I’m pretty sure there was not a dry eye in the room during some scenes. If you don’t already know Suffragette is a film about the campaign for the woman’s rights to vote in Britain during the early twentieth century, specifically the militant fringe of the movement. I wont go into too much detail because 1) I’m no film reviewer and 2) I don’t want to spoil the film. 




However because this film is based on the true story of the Suffrage movement it cannot really be ‘spoilt’ as such, especially if you have any pre-knowledge of the period. I was literally sat with my hands over my eyes half the time in horror saying “I know what’s going to happen next oh no!”. The film certainly taps into not only key female emotions but also key human ones. Although the film is set nearly 100 years ago the issues dealt with are still, I feel, relevant to society today – and as the filmmakers remind you at the end of the film the story of the key issue, women’s suffrage, is not yet over. 

It is certainly a film that everyone should see however I feel with not many people will, and especially not those who need to see it. It will make you cry, feel sick, celebrate and cry some more all the while being beautifully put together! 


To quickly conclude: go see this film and make everyone you know see this film.
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Squeezing the last drop out of summer with Sass and Belle*

Sass and Belle are always my first choice when it comes to gifts, party and homeware (I’ve featured them in a few of my student guide posts) – they have some stunning vintage and shabby chic inspired items that myself (and my mum) are slowly collecting!  Now, the weather this bank holiday weekend isn’t looking too pretty and with forecasts of rain and showers across the UK I thought I’d bring summer indoors! 
I’ve chosen some of my favourite Sass and Belle items to create a gorgeous tea/garden party vibe in my own living room! 

ARROW CHALK BOARD – £3.50 / ROSE GARLAND – £7.50
ARROW CHALK BOARD – £3.50 / ROSE GARLAND – £7.50 / HANGING HEARTS – £2- £4 
MEADOW FLORAL BUNTING – £11ARROW CHALK BOARD – £3.50 / ROSE GARLAND – £7.50
MEADOW FLORAL BUNTING – £11

I am in love with this cute Arrow Chalkboard  and when I saw it online I instantly imagined ‘Tea Party This Way’ scribbled across it!  I think it would look great nailed to a tree or a garden wall but hanging it off a door handle or entwining it with a floral garland works just as well. I think chalk boards are such a cute but useful tool and you can use them to remind yourself of everyday errands or spread positivity – I recently bought my mum this Wooden Heart Chalk Board and my cat-loving best friend the Cat Chalkboard.Talking about floral garlands Sass and Belle do some real stunners! I picked out this Cream Rose Garland as I think it will be versatile during all the seasons – I know it’s a bit early but I’m thinking with some fairy lights the cream roses will look very festive!
Another way of bringing the garden indoors is by using bunting and this Meadow Floral Bunting does not disappoint. It is absolutely gorgeous and would brighten up even the plainest of walls – string it up on a garden fence or around the kitchen table, you really cannot go wrong with a bit of bunting. There are plenty more patterns and shapes on their online store, I have my eye on the British Birds Bunting because it’s so different from anything I’ve seen before and I know my mum would love the Green Owl Bunting

BOHEMIAN CAKE STAND – £19


BOHEMIAN CAKE STAND – £19


I’m a firm believer in that it’s not a party until there’s cake and despite my somewhat “rustic” cake decorating skills this Bohemian Cake Stand steals the show. The Bohemian range is not something I’d immediately go for but I have definately been won over by the bright patterns and colours. The best part is that this cake stand even has my boyfriends seal of approval! You can now see why I don’t run a food blog right?

HANGING HEARTS – £2- £4 
HANGING HEARTS – £2- £4 BOHEMIAN CAKE STAND – £19

Last but definately not the least are these cute Hanging Hearts which are perfect for subtly adding a vintage twist to any room! You can hang these off of door/cupboard handles, in your window or just display them similar to how I have done on my cake stand. Sass and Belle have such a great range of these little hang-y things and they’re perfect for gifts too – I think I have bought my mum every single hang-y owl that they sell! Pictures above is the Vintage Floral Hanging Heart in Pink and Cream and the Audrey Mini Hanging Hearts.
I hope this post inspired you to bring your summer garden party’s indoors whilst the weather is miserable and I hope that you’re all enjoying your bank holiday weekend! 
Lastly a huge thank you to Sass and Belle for allowing a very loyal customer to review some of their items, it has truly been fantastic!
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Shpock – The flea market at your fingertips!


Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t get much better than losing an afternoon wandering round a vintage fair or market, but as adulthood is slowly creeping up on me I find I have increasingly less afternoons to spare. So naturally I was very interested (not to mention excited) when I heard about the fairly new app Shpock – ‘The boot sale app in your pocket’. This amazing app allows you to float through a world of pre-loved items whether you are on the train or scrolling through your phone at 4am with one eye open.

Since launching in March 2014, Shpock has helped 1 million people in the UK alone give their unwanted items a new home – everyone’s a winner! You can view items in your local area and chat with sellers instantly to agree a price or collection. 


Shpock Selections

Listing an item takes less than 30 seconds

But it’s not all about buying; listing an item is also simple! All you have to do is take a picture of what you’re selling, write a little bit about it and it becomes instantly visible to Shpock users in your area! I’m finding it very useful after having a huge clear out of clothes this summer. A recent study has shown the average British household hordes a £517 worth of stuff* – that could be used for a holiday, a whole new wardrobe or this months rent?! 
My favourite feature of this app has to be its free listing – yes you heard correctly, Shpock does not charge you at all – the app is free, selling is free and listing is free! Talking about free, the app also has a ‘Free Stuff’ section!

Find vintage gems in your area

 So if you need to earn some cash or just love vintage I would definitely recommend Shpock – it’s available on the App store and Google Play!  
*according to a study completed by YouGov and commissioned by Shpock.

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