As some of you may know I'm planning on going travelling over the next few months, nothing is set in stone yet and I'm sure the locations are subject to change as it is travelling on a shoestring!
Which brings me to my next point. Shoes.
I love shoes but I think my age is starting to come through, my love for granny-chic is winning over beautiful yet impractical shoes!

For travelling, I need something; 
-That goes with a variety of outfits
-But still has a stylish edge to it...
-...Yeah and I don't want to spend lots of money obvsss.

I think it's a pretty big ask but I have found a few brands/pairs that look like they are up to the test!
As I'll only be taking hand luggage, I can realistically take two pairs of shoes, one on my feet and one in the bag at a push three if they're super lightweight and space-saving.

Let's have a moment of honesty. I keep stealing my stepdad's Karrimor velcro sandals in the morning when I nip outside to feed the dogs and omg are they comfy! I'm sure the sleepy, rural village that I live in will not judge me for dad sandals and fluffy pink bed socks :)

They're ideal but they just don't look right with any of my clothes haha, I need something a little more stylish...

1)Teva Orange Flatform Sandals (here)
Truth be told, I already have these with me in my caravan but I got sent the wrong size and they don't have my size in stock anymore. I'm wondering if half a size too small is really a big deal but I love them so much I can't bare to send them away haha. They do make me a good 6 foot high and probably aren't that practical but they look ace.

2)Dr Martens Belfour Sandals (here)
Again sizing is an issue with these bad boys. I've tried on a size 7-too small and the shop didn't stock an 8! waaah #bigfootproblems. They are really durable with a sole that could withstand many hours walking. They don't look too 'dads walking sandals' and you get the Dr Martens quality.

3) Crocs 'Sexi-Flip' Leopard Flip Flops (here)
I like the design of these flip flops as they are minimalist yet they are leopard print. Everyone on this planet knows that Crocs are super-comfortable but usually they don't come into the equation when you fancy a stylish bit of footwear.

4) Skechers Sunday Stroll Shoes (here)
Hmm, I've never actually seen these shoes in real life so I don't know if they'll fit how I imagine. My good buddy works for Skechers and she says they look nice. My favourite thing about Skechers is the glorious, marshmallowy memory-foam insoles. I have a pair of the trainers already which I would take for travelling but they are really bright tie-dye pattern and don't go with a lot of my holiday outfits. They also have them in plain black but I like the bright colours weaved in without being too OTT.

5) Dr Martens Daytona Desert Boots (here)
Aww, my new shoe crush! If you've followed this blog for a while you will know that I love Dr Martens, heck I've already featured one pair in this list already. Anyway, I've had many over the years but since turning vegan my choices are more limited as most of them are made from leather. I absolutely love the desert boot style of the shoes AND they are velvet which is perfect for me! I thought I'd include a pair of boots as it might not be a sandal-wearing heat in all countries I plan to visit, especially with winter around the corner.

6) TOMS Del Rey Trainers (here)
I have never owned a pair of TOMS but whilst doing in-depth research for this post, 'most comfortable shoe for life' these guys came out on top. I definitely prefer the trainers style rather than the classic slip on/espadrille TOMS are famous for. Also, I like the 'one for one' campaign they are running. When you buy from them, they give a child in need a pair of shoes. I enjoy the snazzy black and white tribal pattern.

Which are the comfiest shoes you've ever owned? Do you have any other 'traveller' shoe recommendations?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


VEGAN LIFE:15 Vegan Things To Buy In Aldi

If you're thinking about becoming vegan but think it's waay too expensive to buy vegan food, this post is for you! It's a common misconception that you have to buy food specifically made for vegans from the health shop. False! There are loads of 'accidentally vegan' foods that are readily available & for bargain prices too.
I'm a big fan of Aldi supermarket, so I've compiled a shopping list of my favourite vegan-friendly foods.

-Everyday Essentials porridge oats
-Harvest Morn milled linseed with goji berries,sunflower& pumpkin seeds
-Del-Rivo 100% pressed juice (not from concentrate)
-Ripe & Ready avocados (2 pk)
-Organic Fairtrade bananas
-Deli roasted red pepper hummus
-Moser Roth dark chocolate with almond & orange
-Foodie Market mixed nuts
-Clancys roasted & salted pistachios
-Everyday Essentials plain tortilla chips
-Foodie Market 3 grain & 3 seeds cripbreads
-Bramwells gherkins
-Cucina Antipasti grilled peppers
-Diplomat green tea & lemon teabags/peppermint
-Specially Selected pure Canadian maple syrup

*As always recipes are subject to change so please check the label

By saving on everyday essentials, it means you have a little extra cash to spend on pricier food such as a fancy milk alternative ( I'm loving hemp milk at the moment). I usually pop into M&S/Holland & Barratt to stock up on a few healthier options. I'm attempting to eat less processed foods & actually fuel my body with what it needs instead of eating 'faux-foods' as I like to call them. Obviously eating a whole packet of hobnobs a bit of dark chocolate is fine now & again :)

I hope this post helps some of you. even if you're not thinking about turning vegan it's a great way to incorporate some healthier choices into your lifestyle, especially if your are on a student budget. I'm going to be including more food/healthy eating posts on the blog in the future, It's something I'm really passionate about at the moment & I want to share the love :)

Do you shop at Aldi? Have you ever tried being veggie/vegan?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle x


The Perks Of Being Unemployed

Aloha everyone,
So we're almost mid-September which marks over three months of me being dundundun...UNEMPLOYED. The thing is I'm not overly pressurising myself to get a generic job just yet. I'm planning to go on some thrifty travels in the upcoming months so that's my priority right now. Money is really tight at the moment but it's making me re-evaluate what I want VS what I actually need to buy. Plus I'm enjoying not having a job as it means I can do all this cool stuff...

Having actual ‘free-time’.
I’ve not had freedom like this since summers of university & even then I had a job or just didn’t make the most of it. Now when I make plans I’m not restricted by days. I used to find that when I had a week off from work I’d try and squeeze in so many activities I never had proper time to rest.

Seeing more of your family.
I had a sleepover at my dad’s house this week when I discovered the last time I visited was over a year and a half ago!? I’m also going to stay at my aunties for a couple of days on the Cumbrian coast and at the end of the month I’m going to visit my cousin in France. Beforehand I’d only really see my family at bigger family events but it’s so much nicer to be able to make the effort and visit them at home.

Being able to experiment in the kitchen.
Usually when I was working I only really baked or put something exotic in the slow cooker if it was my day off. Now I can create vegan treats to my heart’s content. I can make meals that take a lot longer to prepare as I’ve not just got back home and I need to stuff my face with beans on toast so I don’t pass out from hunger!

Getting the little things done.
I’d wanted to spray-paint a few things, sew some clothes, re-organise my shoe collection, sort out my photos on my computer etc etc but these jobs always got put to the bottom of the list when I was working.  Now it’s satisfying to be getting a handful of things done every day.

Always being available for social events.
Mate, I literally have nothing better to do then come out and party with you haha. Seriously though it’s great to be able to say yes to a lot of people who you’ve let down in the past. It’s good to get out of the caravan and explore the local area and appreciate the natural beauty!

Learning to be even thriftier.
I would class myself as a pretty money-savvy person. As I’m saving to go travelling it can be difficult not to spend the money I’ve saved on a hair cut or new clothes. Thing is, I do still treat myself but I’ve learnt to do it on an even tighter budget. It also makes you put your mind to use for money-making ventures. 

Having time for fitness.
I always used ‘not enough time' as my main excuse for skipping any exercise and scoffing a packet of biscuits instead. Now I still can’t afford a gym membership as they are very pricey out in the sticks however I have miles and miles of gorgeous countryside to explore. I’m starting easy on myself and aiming to go for a three-mile walk every day. Then hopefully I’ll be able to build up my fitness and start to jog. I also have a hula hoop, Wii fit and weights plus all the Youtube videos in the world to help me get moving. SO NO EXCUSES!

Learning more about yourself.
Sometimes when you’ve worked somewhere for a long time you become defined by your job role. You are in this little bubble where things are taken out of context. All your life you are told that you NEED a job and you NEED money otherwise you are a failure. I’ve worked since I was 13 so I’m no stranger to putting the hours in. Now I feel like I can explore different passions and ideas without being scrutinized for being unemployed. Still a lot of people ask when I’m going to get a job, I could go on jobseekers but it destroyed my soul last time and I’m proud of myself for saving up enough money to support myself without an income.

I hope this post helps some of you who are in a similar situation. It's not as bleak as everyone makes out. I'm a big believer that a little time-out can help you figure out what you really want do so with your life ooh heavy and can do wonders for your wellbeing.
What do you miss most about being employed or wish you could do if you had more free time?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


THRIFTY TRAVELS: A Campingflight To Lowlands Paradise, Amsterdam

Hello everyone!
I'm back from Amsterdam! I had such an incredible time over at Lowlands Festival, four days went oh so fast.The weather was wonderful for us, I think it was in the high 20s most days and gloriously sunny.I'm a big fan of camping anyway so roughing it for a few days doesn't bother me. That being said, when I got home late on Monday night my caravan bed felt like a luxury!

In my previous post, I mentioned how we were doing the festival on a budget and we seemed to have it all worked out. When we arrived in Amsterdam Central we found a cute little restaurant called Cau and treated ourselves to brunch and 10 am Pina Coladas! Well, we were on holiday after all...
When we arrived at the festival you had to change euros into 'Muntern' the festival's own currency. This meant that out budgeting was out the window as Muntern made everything very expensive. We were street rats lucky to find a few Muntern on the floor so we could treat ourselves to churros haha.

In a way, it was nice to share food and live off the basics as it was a different festival experience. We were so excited to have squash in our water, probably as excited as when we allowed ourselves a beer each! Usually, it's the norm to get absolutely wasted at festivals but we were happy with a bottle of rum between us for a few days.
Also we noticed how well behaved the Dutch are, they definitely know how to party but there were no signs of awful, lairy drunks or people off their heads The Dutch are super-friendly and their English is amazing! I felt guilty that I couldn't speak any other language so it's definitely inspired me to learn. They welcomed us with open arms ( & beautiful airport staff) and I have fallen in love with the country and their Stroopwaffles :D

My favourite musical memories of the festival:
Years and Years covering 'Breathe' by Sean Paul & Blu Cantrell
James Bay doing his woo-aaaah-oooh noises in the crowd
Slaves just being general mad-heads on stage
Paulo Nutini singing 'Candy' and definitely looking into my eyes whilst doing so :)
Catching 'Pompeii' by Bastille
Limp Bizkit still being badass
Hot Chip just having the best set ever!
The Maccabees being so brilliant and humble
Passenger singing 'Things I hate' lalalalalaaaaaa
'Bitch don't kill my vibe' at Kendrick Lemar
Having a euphoric hour watching Tame Impala, ah it was so dreamy :)
M A J O R  L A Z E R having the most intense, upbeat energy

There were a few things I wish I'd packed that are definitely going on my festivalling abroad/ travelling essentials list;
A watch: Honestly a time-keeping device is just something you take for granted, we all had phone but they consequently ran out of battery so trying to keep to the band schedule was crazy. Next time a watch is a must have.
Portable phone charger: This one you can take or leave really but I took one to Glastonbury festival and it was brilliant, the queues for phone charging were ridiculous and I imagine it was quite a few muntern too! We managed to charge our phones at the airport on the way home so it wasn't so bad.
A hat: Again it's one of those things you'd usually pack for a holiday but as we were packing light I didn't even think to bring one. The weather was so warm and as we were constantly exposed I think I did get a wee bit of sunburn on my parting. Next time it's backwards baseball cap all the way Limp Bizkit style.

I could ramble on for hours about every little detail but I think I'll leave it there haha, I feel like after this little trip it's really got my travelling bug buzzing around. I'm planning to do some thrifty international adventures but I think I'll save that for another post...such a tease ;)

Have you ever been to Lowlands or another festival abroad? What were your essentials?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


How To Prepare For A Summer Festival Abroad When You're Skint

So in the early hours of Thursday morning I'm off to Amsterdam yeaaaaah. I'm going to Lowlands festival (or 'A Campingflight To Lowlands Paradise' if we're being fancy) for the weekend and :D
I have been to this festival before at the wee age of 17 so I'm looking forward to re-visiting the area as a 'grown-up'.
Aww naive, pouty nu-ravers back in 2008 :')
Some of my must see bands are: 

I can't imagine that I was rolling in dough when I was only 17 but I feel like this time I'm really going to have to scrimp & save. Y'know me though, that doesn't mean it can't still be fun...

Cheap Flights
Skyscanner will be your best friend, you can sign up for e-mail updates and they will let you know when the price goes up or down. It's worth checking a few local-ish airports to see which ones have better flight times. We were a bit unorganised and in the few weeks when we were sorting out tickets etc the flight prices had doubles & now they have almost tripled so it's worth booking them early.

Acquire A Proper Bag.
Last time I went to Lowlands we took suitcases on wheels which seemed like an excellent idea but really it was the worst. Amsterdam is like 95% cobbles so within no time our wheels were square and palms were blistered. I have well and truly learned my lesson so it's rucksacks this time for sure.
I don't have a fancy ergonomic rucksack and I was actually shocked at the price for a decent one, anywhere upwards of £60 which isn't gonna happen on my unemployed budget.
Luckily I have quite a few friends who have been travelling so I've asked if I can borrow one for the weekend instead.

Make Sure You Know The Baggage Limits
We're flying with easyjet and have decided to have one hold bag between four of us & seperate hand luggage. The only reason we have to have hold luggage is because tents are apparently 'dangerous' which means they have foiled my plans to gauge out some eyes with tent pegs :|
Anyway if your baggage is too big or too heavy then they can be sneaky buggers and charge up to £20 per kg which is a bummer. So make sure you're on it and research the limits as all plane service are different.

Get Travel Insurance
I used to find the best deals. It one of those things you really don't want to have to pay for but if anything happens we'll be grateful for it. For four us it worked out at £2.75 each which is nothing for peace of mind.
I also ordered a European health card as mine had expired. They're free to have and it just means that you'll have the same health rights as a citizen in whatever country you are visiting.

We're only going for four days so we hardly need to take multiple packs of baby wipes & a can of dry shampoo each. Plus this will help for our limited baggage. So we're going to share beauty products and probably share a big bottle of rum when we arrive there too. The plan is to go to a supermarket when we arrive so that we can get what we need and don't have to carry it around. 
Last time we went my friend got her mint sauce confiscated at the airport as it was over 100ml and she was mortified-she didn't eat anything without mint sauce ahaha...

Have you ever seen such a symmetrical festival?!
I've been practicing packing light & pondering over plane suitable snacks haha,
Have you ever been to Lowlands or a festival abroad?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx



Well helloo there!
I do always start my posts with long time no see, but I have been incredibly busy since I left Preston at the beginning of June!
-It started with one house move
-Adopting the role of wedding planner
-Celebrating my mum & stepdad's wedding
-House/dog/cat/sister sitting for two and a half weeks
-Moving house again, this time from my childhood home
-Setting up my caravan
-Holidaying in tipis with my girls
-Wedding in tipis with my other girls

It's just been a crazy jam-packed couple of months, but I've absolutely loved it! I've literally just got internet in my caravan as my computer has been packed away in a box for far too long.

I'm super-happy living in my caravan which is known as 'The Lone Ranger'. It's such a cosy, cute space and I'll definitely be showing you more snaps when I find a home for everything. It's obviously got a hippy vibe and more plants and cat ornaments then deemed necessary but hey that's me :)
Body shop crew at Jill's wedding, Gorgeous view of Lake Windermere, Tipi holiday! Little area in my caravan
Another stunning view of the countryside, Mia helping with the moving process, Buckmaster wedding! Millie checking out my empty childhood room before we moved.

In fact, I'm just really happy to be back in the countryside. I have to admit last time I was living here I didn't make the most of it at all. I was stressed about job hunting and irritated that I couldn't settle properly without my own room. Plus I was on jobseekers and that was pretty soul-destroying especially as I'd just graduated university and I was desperate to be living in a city. I guess I was lonely too as all my friends were spread out over the country...

Now I'm in a completely different mindset, I have my own space, job-hunting is on the back burner and I have some of my best friends living close-by. My main goal over the next few months is to go travelling. Not necessarily a year-long backpacking trip just a few different countries whilst I don't have anything to tether me here. So many people my age have had gap years or worked abroad and I haven't done anything like that. My wanderlust gene has obviously reared its curious head.
The Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I'm so lucky to be living here again, but I need some new experiences and some sunshine!

I've got some exciting things planned for August, The main event being Lowlands festival in Amsterdam! I've been before in 2008 and it was incredible. Tame Impala are my must watch band, their latest album has been on repeat for the last month.
I'm also meeting up with a few thrifty ladies for a 'charity shop blogger meet-up' which as you can imagine is right up my street :)
I'll be catching up with a lot of my family too which is always nice.

Anyway, I'll be posting a lot more regularly now I'm settled here. Thank you for sticking around even through my erratic silences :)

What are you looking forward to this month?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


Why I decided to leave my whimsical mansion & comfortable job to become unemployed & live in a caravan...

Hey guys,
 First things first there's been a whole lot of changes happening here at Whimsy Towers...

After April being a fairly crappy month, I found out I didn't get a job I'd been hoping for, my contract hours going down at work, things fizzling out with the guy I was seeing & general family dramas I decided I needed a change.

Where will I go? What will I do? Well, dear friends, this is something I've been trying to work out and the answer is I don't know the next step...
All I know is that I'm leaving Preston to go back to The Lakes & live in a caravan. I'm going to become a gypsy woman & take a few months off to discover what I really want to do with myself & maybe even find my calling. My housemates are in the same boat & they'll be leaving the ladybird nest & moving back to their parents. So the timing feels right.

After working in retail for 8 years (phew!) & struggling to get on the fashion career ladder without any 'experience' (read: years of unpaid internships) I'm going to take some time-out in the countryside. I'm going to finish my Nutritional Therapist course, start my Blogcademy course & really get to terms with creating content for my little space on the internet. Like a modern day Wordsworth...

The eclectic home of Trish Bygott, Nathan Crotty and their family in Fremantle, WA. Photo by Angelita Bonetti, styling by Anna Flanders for
From beautiful blossomy Whimsy Towers to Bohemian caravan life. (I wish that was my caravan)

I feel like I just need a couple of months of me-time. Is that selfish? Perhaps. I've not had a proper holiday for a few years now & my wanderlust urges are growing stronger by the day. So many people my age have seen so much of the world & I've never left Europe. I've been trying to save up to go travelling, but it just isn't happening & most months I break even.

I'll get a part-time job to tide me over & so I can give my parents some help with the bills. My mum gets married next month too so I'm really excited to have a family get-together. We've not had any marriages in the family since I was about 3 so I'm really looking forward to it.
After the wedding, my mum & future step-dad are going on a two-week honeymoon to the Outer Hebrides so I'm in charge of a nine-year-old, two border collies & three mischievous kittens. That'll be a reality shock consisting of school runs, dog walks & cleaning out the litter tray more times than I'd like to...

I'm really excited to be reunited with my friends from school who I don't see enough of. Spending the summer with them will be wonderful :) Plus catching up with my family who I rarely visit will be a treat! Saying that I'm really going to miss Preston, I leave here on the 7th June so between now & then I'm really going to make the most of my surroundings.

Right now, I'm on a minimalist mission, for those who know me personally-it's a big thing. I'm a little bit of a hoarder but in reality all my whimsical belongings won't fit in a 1980s caravan. I'm being super-ruthless & having a huge clear out.

So, that's quite big news for a Monday!
Thanks for reading & I'm excited to document the next few chapters into the unknown...
Rachelle xxx