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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sunday Shoes 136..

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A few little photos of one of the -many- pairs of shoes I've added to my collection, lately. I don't think I was even familiar with this style before seeing them pop up on a recent eBay auction, but they're called Stick of Rock, according to their box. 

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Very similar in shape and design to Trinkletina, which I have in a few different colours, I was already well aware of how they'd fit {i.e. pretty much perfectly}.The mixture of fabrics; red and white polka dots and also a pretty, ditsy floral print work really well together, in my opinion.

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Again, just like Trinkletina, they've got a bundle of three detachable charms; on Stick of Rock it's an ice cream, a panda and a bunch of grapes. I think these are a really cute touch but I'm also glad they can be detached, as I do find that they can bump around on things, which can sometimes be unwanted.

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And as for the fronts, they're adorned with a sequinned bow in red, gold and green and then finished off with a pretty heart and arrow charm. A lovely addition to my collection, which I know I'll get a lot of wear from. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday Favourites 245..

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001 // 002 // 003 // 004

I really like how this week's wishlist picks seem to go rather nicely together in colour-scheme. They'd make a lovely outift, no? Here's what's been catching my eye this week, anyhow.

001: This amazing Little Moose necklace - have they ever made anything I haven't loved?! - would be the perfect addition to just about any dress, I think. Pretty little seahorses. 

002: Lindy Bop have been coming out with heaps of lovely new prints and I adore this bright yellow background colour, with it's lovely skyline border print. 

003: I first spied this Cath Kidston bag in the airport store, en route to Switzerland, but I decided my already overstashed holdall couldn't stretch to it. I love that although the print is large, it ends up being rather subtle. It's only when you look quite closely that you realise it's bananas, and so are the handles!

004: Another new discovery for me in the form of Isa Duval brooches. So many beautiful retro ladies to choose from. I love this air hostess, but there are loads of others too.

What's caught your eye this week?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Found a demon in my safest haven..

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There's definitely something to be said for taking the pressure off. Even just a little.
As someone who will tell you until I'm blue in the face that I work so much better under pressure, even I have come to realise that you can't be under pressure 100% of the time. It just doesn't work. So, I'm starting to try and be less hard on myself. In a number of different ways. This past weekend was a really good example, I think.

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I've been super behind with the allotment this year; so much so that the prospect of spending a lot of time there has been filling me with a kind of...guilty dread? But on Saturday morning, since there was no Parkrun to be done due to an event in the usual venue, I trundled down there and spent a few hours digging things over. I had a finite time, as I was being picked up later to go help out at the local campsite work day, and that probably helped. I just did....what I could. And what I could was enough, because actually, it is. I mean, no, it's never going to be the tidiest, or the best laid out, or the most award-winning allotment. But I enjoyed my time there, and feel enthused about doing a little more as and when I can and anything we can consume as a result of my efforts is a bonus. Less pressure: can be a good thing, right?

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Put it in the pantry with your cupcakes..

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Clutch Bag: Kate Spade
I'm still kind of feeling warm and fuzzy after a really lovely evening out yesterday. Yummy food at Porterhouse, before heading to the theatre to watch The Simon and Garfunkel Story. A pre-birthday treat from my best friend and it definitely didn't disappoint. 
Obviously. being the hilarious beings that we most definitely are, we amused ourselves people-watching (one of my favourite past-times, frankly..) and we most certainly lowered the average age of the audience by a good few decades. And then, the first few chords of the music began, and I was drawn into a heady wave of nostalgia. Funny how certain things can take you right back to certain times in your life, isn't it?! Simon and Garfunkel, although a duo which I know my dad listened to a little when I was a kid (I have vague memories of a greatest hits cassette tape forming the background noise of the late-night drives back from our family holidays to Scarborough) mostly take me back to my sixth form days. 

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Coat: Marks and Spencer
Unlike now, we all had PAYG phones (that's where you had to actually pay ten or maybe even 12p per text message sent. None of this unlimited data business. My boyfriend at the time had a phone plan which gave him four free messages per day, and my phone network came with five. Five texts. Per day. Can you even imagine? Anyway, since that wasn't really enough to have a whole conversation (and landline phone plans meant that you could call each other and talk for up to 59 minutes for absolutely nothing (Remember landlines? And the BT Friends + Family phone plan?!), we'd chat all of the sh*t we could think of then. Every night. And if it got close to an hour, we'd hang up and call back. Jeez. 


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Shoes: Irregular Choice
My point is, since we didn't have a lot to text about, we'd play a weird game where we'd send random song lyrics to one another, and have to reply with the next line of the song. But, instead of searching it up on Google (I didn't have a computer, or the Internet, or a smartphone, obv), we'd have to listen to the song - on an actual CD - and find it that way. Cute? Weird? Either way, it was mostly Simon + Garfunkel, as we were both a little obsessed. And last night took me right back there, which was nice in a lovely-kind-of-nostalgic way. 

As a tribute act, the duo were great, to be honest. They sounded pretty close to the original songs, and the show was a lovely whistle-stop tour of the career of two of the most famous names in folk-rock. LB and I tried hard to resist their attempts at audience participation, which is probably a good thing as the only time I did, I lost the rhythm within about four beats (I'm truly hopelessly tuneless), but we had such a good time nonetheless and I'd certainly recommend.

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Dress: Coast
Outfitwise, I went with a little more dressed up than a day in the office. This Coast dress was a 99p eBay bargain late last year but it's been sitting in my wardrobe ever since, so I felt as though it was it's time to shine. I kept the accessories pretty simple as it's kind of "prommy", but took the opportunity to use one of my Kate Spade bags, which I definitely don't use often enough. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tuesday Titles 131..

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Did You See Melody? Sophie Hannah


Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can't afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied - by a man and a teenage girl.
A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist - but Cara's fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can't possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.
Cara doesn't know what to trust: everything she's read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?


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Oh, this one throws you right in at the deep end. We, the reader, arrive at a holiday resort in the midst of the Arizona desert, with Cara, who is running away from her life in England.

But why? What does she need to get away from so urgently? And how is she supposed to relax in a luxurious holiday complex when the other guests, and even some of the staff are slowly getting caught up in conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance of a young girl, seven years ago?

There have been sightings reported of Melody Chapa, and here the book flickers between present day events and interviews, TV shows and reports from the time of Melody's disappearance. 

Is Cara's over-stressed brain making far too much out of seemingly innocent events? Or could the suspicious behaviour of her fellow guests be because they really are hiding something? How long will she herself be able to hide, before her family have enough and try to track her down?

This definitely took a different turn to that which I'd expected, but it was fast-paced and engaging; I was desperate to find out what had happened to Melody.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Whatever breathes life into your bones..

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Recently, life and things have been getting rather chaotic. Feeling as though I've been treading water -both at home and at work- for the past few months, I've been trying hard to be more organised. 

I've been trying out different ways of attempting to manage my time better and thought I would share some of the things which have been working for me. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I'm quite a disorganised (and forgetful) person, who also definitely takes too much on, so every little helps for me.

  • My diary is the one thing I'd be totally lost without. I'm really, really fussy about diaries and have an annual search for a suitable one - it must be lined and A5 size, with a day per page. I take it absolutely everywhere with me, all appointments (work and otherwise), meeting notes and a daily to-do-list go in there, and I basically can't commit to anything, ever, without first consulting it.
  • Having in / out trays which I try to clear each day helps me. I like to have a clear desk to start and end the day. I also try to remember to do different things each day; setting aside half a hour for, say, invoicing, then making sure I move onto something else. It seems to stop me from getting too distracted.
  • Essential items such as lip balm and hand cream stay on my desk at all times because if they're sitting in front of me, I feel as though I'm more likely to remember to use them.
  • I always forget my glasses, so keeping a pair at home and one at work means I am more likely to actually have them when I need them (mostly for close-up computer screen work, or sewing or reading). My current work glasses are these, which arrived last week and I'm definitely getting more used to. I'd been a little worried the frames were too big, but I think I really am beginning to like them. I always try to opt for colourful glasses frames and these are a mix of pink and purple, slightly translucent. Currently, GlassesShop.com are offerering 50% off all eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses on their site with the code: GSHOT50.
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    GrandPrairie Wayfarer  Eyeglasses: GlassesShop*
  • I often have to make myself notes, shopping lists and little reminders of things I have to remember. I use washi tape to stick my "things I need to take with me" list to my front door, as it seems to be a surefire way not to forget my lunch, or gym kit, or the things I need to take to guides etc. I leave the house before 6am each morning and don't often get home before 10pm, so there's often quite a bit to remember.

Do you have any tips for staying organised, or remembering all of the things you need to?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Sunday Shoes 135..

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I'm fairly sure that when the first Clarks x Orla Kiely collaboration happened, I was mildly interested, but didn't really *fall for* any of the styles. I'm not sure what's happened since then, but recently I'm desperate to try and track down a few of the pairs which I missed out on. I guess that goes to show how your tastes can change over time..?

So, in my attempt to tick off some of my Clarks x Orla wishlist (and add significantly to my current collection of one pair), these arrived last week. Enter: Orla Marianne.

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These are just lovely; mustard and cream patent platform sandals, giving them a super retro 60s vibe. Then, at the front, they're adorned with the archetypal Orla flowers. And big round buckles on the ankle straps. Super cute, and also super high. Which is the best way to wear your heels, in my opinion. 

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