Thursday, 28 February 2013

you've got two lives down and one life left..

dress: new look
boots: asos (xmas gift)
cardigan: topshop
I can barely believe it's almost March in a way. Although so much seems to have happened in 2013 thus far, that in other ways it almost seems as though it could be later on.

 I found these shoe boots when I was trying to find something to wear this morning, I was given them for Christmas but have shamefully not yet had a chance to wear them. I needed to try and find a dress with enough pink in it not to look a bit daft with the bright colour of the shoes.

For some reason I ended up getting this dress in two or three different prints, which is a bit odd as I've never been convinced it really suited me.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

But now it’s time to go, curtain’s finally closing..

skirt: matalan // blouse: asos

Here's a quick outfit post from earlier in the week. I really need to find something to make my hair a little less dry and horrid. I know it's the chlorine which has been ruining it recently. Happily, after having an 'off' week, I'm back into my swimming and my spinning classes with as much enthusiasm as I had originally. Sometimes it can be best just to wallow, when your emotions get the better of you, as you build yourself back up. I know that I'm someone who has never coped very well with having "free time" to relax, I find the concept really weird and am generally pretty hard on myself when it comes to not being as productive with my time as I feel I ought to be. If I have a relaxing evening I feel guilty afterwards for not getting the housework done, or making some progress with a sewing project, or planning my next guides' meeting or soemthing. Does anyone else find it hard to switch off?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

don't you bring me down today..

my Valentine's presents (all from Clothing at Tesco)

 Inspired by Gemma's posts recently, I have decided to look for the reasons to smile in life, to try and snap me out of my recent depressive state. The endless cycles of emotions are by far what I find the worst part of my bipolar disorder. That, coupled with the fact that I feel so pathetic when I try to explain it to people, and the fact that I'm not sure what to say when their lack of understanding or appreciation inevitably causes them to ask "..but what exactly do you have to feel depressed about.." or better still "just snap out of it" - a turn of phrase which really does make me want to hit the person in the face with a wet fish.

Please don't think this post is looking for any kind of sympathy vote - it really is not - and to be honest, it's very rarely that I even voice any of these feelings (in part because I find it really quite difficult to find any words for them). However, I was reading something on Twitter the other day (I think it was one of the weekly chat topics, perhaps?) about whether or not people censor / put a spin on their life for the purposes of their blog, which is what got me thinking about putting my thoughts and feelings down in a post.

I started this blog with absolutely no expectations. I wanted to have somewhere to use purely as an outlet for the way I feel, but in truth, I could count the number of times I've actually done that on one hand over the past few years. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that in future, I have decided no longer to censor myself. I am a firm believer (if I can ever bring myself to take part in some of the hashtag chats about it) in blogging for yourself and this should include being true to yourself. This is me. If I feel like I'm falling back into that dark place, perhaps I won't try to totally avoid mentioning it.

But I digress. The point of this post was to find happy things, good things, and be grateful and appreciative of what I have. Like wonderful friends who surprise me with things they know I'll love, for Valentine's Day. Like a cute new car, and lots of lovely plans to look forward to in the next couple of months. Things will be ok.

Will you be joining in with "things to be thankful for" posts?

Monday, 25 February 2013

its started with a whisper..

dress: matalan
blazer: jacket
heels: primark

Just a quick outfit post today, it's been one of those crazy days where I'm not really sure where the time has gone. I don't seem to have got enough done, although have picked up my new car so that's mighty exciting.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

we are godzilla, you are japan..

I've finally finished the dinosaur I'd started and as I'm still well within February, I'm counting him towards my 12 in 12 challenge for this month. Although my friend has told me she thought it looked like Godzilla, I think it turned out rather well.

I'm also quite pleased with the fact that he cost next to nothing. I used scraps for the body and felt scraps for the mouth and eyes. I'd planned to purchase some stuffing, but struggled to find any in the fabric shop in town, but my friend suggested I buy a cushion inner, which was more than enough stuffing to fill him. It cost £2, was huge, and there is more than half of the stuffing left, so that's a great tip I'd never have thought of myself - thanks, Lauren!

He's now on his way to a lovely little boy who's having a birthday rather soon, so I hope he makes it there ok.                

p.s. I should mention that I purchased the cushion inner prior to Lent and therefore the spending ban!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

take me outside, sit in the green garden..

top: new look // cardigan: h&m
fur coat: vintage shop
skirt, necklace: primark
shoes: marks and spencer limited collection
Today I have plenty of time planned at the allotment, I have to sort out some paving stones for the shed to sit on, when I manage to get those sorted I'm quite excited about putting up the shed and fancy painting it a nice pale green colour, because of some photo I found on Pinterest I think.

Not exactly gardening garb, but an outfit post nonetheless. I'd had to spend some New Look vouchers as part of a mystery shopping assignment recently, so thought I'd be best off putting them towards some staple vest tops. I can't seem to get enough bottle green in my wardrobe. Hence all the wear these heels have been getting, lately.

I tried it with a skirt which is really too big these days and looks a bit ridiculous, so will be relegated to the ebay pile before long. I am never quite sure how to wear this collar necklace either, but I think it's ok with this neckline.

I need to figure out how I replace the hooks and eyes which were on this coat, as I'm now down to just one which sort of negates the point of it being the warmest coat in the world.

Friday, 22 February 2013

friday favourites 038..

001: Train print dress, Cath Kidston, £55
002: polka dot shoes, Lola Ramona, £132.99
001:Despite a trip to the capital this week, I haven't had a lot of time for window-shopping. The one place I did pop into for a wander in Covent Garden was Cath Kidston and I truly fell for this dress. I'll save it a space in my wardrobe and hope it's still in stores at Easter once my ban is over.

002: Likewise these court shoes - how pretty are the mix of colours. I love the fact that the contrast between the colour of the polka dots and the sole is so cute.

What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

London calling to the zombies of death..

a few pictures from my trip to London
vest, cardigan: primark
wedge trainers, tights: topshop
skirt: motel
I've spent the last few days in London, playing Monopoly with a group of Rangers. We headed down there on the train on Monday, getting to Euston about lunchtime and purchasing all of the travel tickets we would need for the group. Some of them went on the London Eye in the afternoon, whilst I took a small group on a boat trip down the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich. After a chilly ride, we disembarked to explore the Cutty Sark and then wandered through the subway tunnel under the Thames, and the girls figured out how to get the tube back to where we were staying, which was good practice for the following day.

On Tuesday morning they set off in their teams to play Monopoly around the city, using the board I'd put together. They had to take photo evidence to show that they'd been to each of the squares, as well as answering questions for some of them and stopping off at checkpoints for some extra points (and so that we could be sure none of them were getting lost). We all met back up at the end of their game at Covent Garden and then headed for a pizza before seeing Wicked!

Wednesday morning included some time in Kensington for the museums, a quick trip to Harrods and then the train home again. All in all an action-packed few days and I was really pleased with how well everything went, how lucky we were with the bright weather, and that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The thought of taking some of our units to somewhere like London has seemed rather daunting in the past, but I'd definitely consider it more seriously in the future, given how well this trip went. 

As I didn't manage to get many photos of myself whilst I was there, I took some outfit photos when I got home yesterday evening. I literally wore these trainers for the whole trip, I didn't take any other shoes, which is really unlike me, but we had to carry everything around so I needed to make sure all of my packing fitted into one bag.

I'd never been quite sure whether I liked the wedge trainers trend or not, until spotting the print on this Topshop pair. They started off wildly expensive for something I wasn't sure I'd wear, though so I favourited them online and didn't give them much more thought until the Topshop sale happened recently and they'd been reduced to £15. I thought I may as well give them a try at that price and when they arrived I decided that, although they're not my usual thing, I liked them. They were also nice and comfortable for a lot of traipsing around London and tube travel.

For the travel home, I wore them with an old skirt from Motel, and a stripey vest and sequinned cardigan. Another clashy outfit, which seems to be my favourite kind.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

you and i buy star maps..

cardigan: miss selfridge
coat: george@ asda // hat: matalan
top, shorts: forever 21 // tights, necklace: accessorize
Sometimes there's something great about throwing a bundle of comfortable things on and heading into town to run some errands, and not having to give a second thought to what you look like. If you're wearing something you like, want to wear, feel comfortable in, then that's fine, right? I did see my Dad in town on this occasion and was told I looked scruffy, but what ho. It was the weekend, I was going to the dentist, who did I need to dress up for?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

you are my inspiration..

cat face shorts, oasap

 I'm quite pleased that at least one of my resolutions this year seems to be going well. I decided to challenge myself to a 12 in 12 challenge, to sew one item per month and it's definitely rekindled my love for stitching. The only slight issue is that I seem to be seeing more and more things which inspire me, so the list of things I'd like to find time to make is growing ever longer..

These shorts, for instance. They seem to have sold out on Oasap, where I first saw them, but I think I could make something similar. I'm not even usually a cat person, but these are just awesome. 

What's inspiring you, this week?

Monday, 18 February 2013

the letter read like this..

my received letters

One of my favourite things is coming home to find a letter waiting for me. I've always enjoyed letter-writing. I recall scouring the Penpal pages of 'Brownie' magazine when I was little and writing to fellow Brownies across the country. I also spent several years, after moving house at 8 years old, writing to my best friend from the primary school I used to go to.

These days I write to some of my friends from uni, fellow bloggers and some family members. When Letterbox Penpals wrote to me and asked if I would be interested in trialling their site, I couldn't have been more excited about the prospect.

Although it's mainly aimed at getting children writing, I have written to a few of the penpals on the site in my age group; I like the fact that the site's creators make sure they do everything they can to make the whole process as safe as possible.

In order to reply to an ad on their site, you send your letter (and a small processing fee) to the main address and it gets sent on for you, so your address details aren't given out by anyone else but you. You can find all the information you need here to download the forms and join and if you follow them on Twitter, you will get to find out about their frequent offers and promotions.

I'm hoping this will inspire some more penpalling. What's not to love? Does anyone already write to penpals? I'm currently putting together a package for my first overseas penpal swap - will post on that soon.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

sunday shoes 014..

What's that overused phrase..? Ah yes... "..and now for something completely different.."
It's apt today, though. Despite growing up in the 90s, I was never bitten by the Doc Marten's bug. I knew a lot of people who had a pair, but I was more "tortured princess" in my youth and much preferred to aspire to sparkly jelly-shoe footwear instead. Oh, or those school shoes with keys in the soles - did anyone have a pair of those. (I never did).

Anyway, when I recently discovered that my recent blogger-meet gift bag included a voucher from Barratts, I got browsing and it took me a while to narrow my choices down. But when I did, I finally settled on these:

Now all I need is some outfit ideas. Help?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

i'm driving in salvador dali's car..

polka dot shorts: new look
blouse: river island // cardigan: topshop
I'm not massively happy with how flattering either the shorts or the top are here, but I hadn't managed to take any outfit photos for the past couple of days and had to resort to using them. I had tried on the shorts when they were new in to New Look, and whilst I liked them, wasn't quite sure if they'd be a little too short for my liking, being high waisted. I thought I might have overcome this by pairing them with the tights, but I'm still not sure now that I see the photos.

As for the top, I'd forgotten I owned it until I recently, as part of The Grand Spring Clean, moved my blouses from the storage box I'd been keeping them in and into the wardrobe, via the ironing board. Which was good, as it caused me to rediscover quite a few of them. I love the print of the clocks on this blouse, but that's the only reason I haven't cleared it out - the shape isn't exactly flattering.

Friday, 15 February 2013

friday favourites 037..

001: ASOS cat eye sunglasses, £10
002: rose cord pinafore, topshop, £42
I'm so British. A little bit of sunshine (yesterday I'll have you know the temperature made it up to a tropical 12 degrees) and I start getting obsessed with summer.

Naturally, this week's wishlist reflects this.

001: I am all about cheap, cute sunglasses. This pair from ASOS would fit nicely into my collection. There is no point spending money on a designer pair of sunnies, as I have a tendency to lose / sit on / drop / break them.

002: This pinafore dress has been on my mind for a little while now. I sadly missed out on the burgundy version a little while back, but I think I like this rose pink colour even more.

It's just a shame I'm not spending for a while, as I'm sure it'll be sold out again by Easter. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

i'm just a notch in your bedpost, but you're just a line in a song..

dress: debenhams
cardigan: topshop
heels : Spartoo
Sometimes I find it quite fun to put an outfit together, starting from something small. These heart earrings arrived in the post to me a couple of days with a Valentine's card from someone lovely and I figured I should enter into the spirit of things and wear them on the day itself. I was thinking about pink and things and realised I hadn't yet worn this dress, spotted by my little sis when we went for a wander around the sales last month. I sort of like it when you'd almost forgotten about something new, it's like shopping without the shopping. Which is a good thing, as I've decided to give up spending for Lent. (Not that I am in any way religious, but it's become something of a post-pancake tradition).

So the next thing I needed were some suitable shoes. Well, these Tea and Cakes heels, to be precise - I'm not sure if they are technically shoes or boots, but I love them and definitely don't wear them enough. I've been thinking quite a bit about things I don't wear enough as I've been challenged by a twitter friend to do a clothing challenge - where I'd pick [xx] number of items and remix them for a month. Sort of like having a capsule wardrobe, I suppose. When I get back from London next week I think I'm going to give it a go.

Happy Valentine's to everyone, hope you have a lovely day however you spend it..!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

sail with me into the dark..

vintage coat: charity shop
tights, heels: primark
dress: asos
I had totally forgotten about this coat until a few of them fell of the hook on the back of the door the other day and I noticed it again. I can't believe I'd forgotten it in a way, it was such a bargain (£10 from a charity shop because it needed a little stitching) and decided I couldn't wait much longer to wear it again.

 Today's snowy start excited me a little, but it seems to be rain now, which is irritating. Not that I have snow-suitable footwear on. I've sort of stopped caring today, everything is shit and I don't seem to be able to do anything about any of it. I'm well and truly fed up of the constant stress, relying on people who let you down all of the time, and having to change the big decisions I've made because someone screws us over, once again.

Hoping very much that normal service will resume shortly as I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

when they come for me, i'll be sitting at my desk, with a gun in my hand, wearing a bulletproof vest..


I've been conscious this month that my 12 in 12 sewing project wasn't going to get a lot of time. With a Guides' sleepover coming up this weekend (as well as another dentist appointment) and then a trip to London next week with a group of Rangers, I'm not getting a lot of sewing time. I was having a search through for some elastic the other day and came across a pile of pieces which I'd been planning to make into a dinosaur. I must have cut them out a couple of years ago, and had handstitched the head section together. Not very neatly, though so my first step at the weekend was to take those apart and start again. It's almost finished now (this photo was taken on Sunday and I did a little more when I got home last night) - all I'll need to do now is fill with stuffing and have a think about some eyes.

Another recent 'make' is this pinboard, rescued from it's "skip" destiny during my recent office move and attacked by my new glue gun (which at £3.99 from HomeBargains, was quite a good buy -I need to learn to be a bit neater with my glue application, but will work on that). I covered it in some spare fabric and then glued as many beads and things around the frame as I could possibly fit on it. It's a bit of a disappointment in that the fabric isn't as thick as I would have liked, but once I've pinned a few things on there it shouldn't show too much. I've got another, larger board as well which is waiting to be covered.

Have you made anything recently?

Monday, 11 February 2013

dear little orange blossom..

dress, cardigan, headband: h&m
shoes : topshop
A first for me last night; a trip to the opera. I'd never been before but was intrigued when I saw the adverts for it back when I went to watch the ballet last year. We saw Madam Butterfly, which was lovely.

I decided on these boots, which I think I last wore when I went to the theatre, weirdly enough. I found this dress, one of my favourites from years ago, but I can't remember the last time I wore it, so I decided to give it an outing,along with one of my favourite cardigans as well. I think they go quite nicely with the boots as well (I'd been considering a pair of flat shoes instead, due to the snow, but I'm glad I didn't!)

This morning I'm trying to make sure I don't do anything to make my cracked tooth worse before going back to the dentist on Saturday, as well as trying to organise allotment insurance renewals and finish off about a million and one things I need to get sorted for guides and rangers meetings this week - how can I fit some more time in to the day?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

step into my office, baby..

heels : Spartoo
skirt: matalan
top : house of fraser
cardigan: h&m
To be honest, until my boiler flooded a couple of weeks back and I had to empty all of my shoeboxes from the kitchen cupboard in front of it, I had sort of forgotten I owned these shoes. I wouldn't say that flat shoes were my first choice (well, actually these have a sort of stubby little heel, so they still make plenty of clicky noise when you walk), but I really love the colours in these and the flowers on the front of them = spring, anyone?

I threw this lot together for a day at the office (which actually turned more into a day of car-shopping!) and although it's a bit of a mixture, it kind of all goes together - in my head, anyway. I'm not sure that I'd wear such a long pencil skirt with flat shoes again though; in my head they always look better with high heels!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

and all the girls whose lips couldn't move fast enough..

cardigan: clothing at tesco
cat shoes: irregular choice // tights: primark
skeleton king necklace: river island
skirt: forever 21
I like all of the elements of this outfit enough, I just hate the way I look in the photos. All week I've had some weird emotions controlling my thoughts and one of the things I can't seem to stop thinking about is how gross and fat I feel I am at the moment. It's strange because I've not stopped doing any of the usual exercise, I'm still swimming every day and fitting in as many spinning classes as my evening schedule allows. I have no idea what's the matter, I just seem to have come to a bit of a standstill and have started to really hate my shape. I'm truly fed up of trying to explain it to friends and family as well, and being told I'm being stupid. Gah.

Who knows, maybe something will restore my confidence in myself soon. Not really sure how to kick start it, though.