Sunday, 31 March 2013

march photo scavenger hunt..

oval eggs on top (tenuous, I know..)
mad (I could only think of Mad Hatter!)
something you're pleased with : sticking to the spending ban and saving up some money
joy - it's crazy how excited I STILL get about these little critters..
I wonder if there will ever be a month where I manage to get all of the things on the monthly Scavenger Hunt list.

Did anyone else fare any better? If you took part, don't forget to link up to Sophie's post..

Saturday, 30 March 2013

some will win, some will lose..


I've always been quite a fan of poker. When I was growing up we used to play after tea, most evenings so I have always been pretty au fait with the rules, and wouldn't need much convincing to set up a game. I have fond memories of being told off almost daily, as a college student, by my favourite coffee shop owner (and other half at the time) because we weren't supposed to be betting our coffee bill on the games as he didn't have a gambling license. Oops. (Incidentally, this was also the time in my life where I became somewhat dependent on caffeine; before this I'd never liked coffee, but I sort of taught myself to like it in order to try and impress said coffee shop guy...if my love of coffee is the only thing I've taken from that particular relationship, then fair enough..)
So when I was sent a poker set recently, I couldn't wait to get some of the guys round to see if I could still remember how to play, as it's been years. As usual I forgot to take very many photos, but I managed to win a few hands and am fairly sure I'll be holding another poker night soon enough.

Friday, 29 March 2013

friday favourites 042..

001: Reebok Trainers £63.99
002: Black Milk Shark Swimsuit, $90AUD

 My wishlist this week has been a little bit inspired by Rosie's post over on Where Are My Knees? I spend quite a lot of my time at the gym really, when I think about it. I go swimming every morning, which even if I'm speedy takes at least an hour. Then I do spinning classes, surrounded by some time in the gym to do weights, curls and squats, as well as as much time on the cross-trainer as I can find the time for.

And yet, my gym-wear section of my wardrobe (well, it's not even a section - it's more like a pile. In fact, pile is too nice a word, it's more of a "heap"), never seems to get any attention. I am still wearing baggy old t-shirts and trousers which are now several sizes too big and I really ought to get rid of. My trainers are horrid budget sportshop ones, which I hate every time I put them on my feet. Surely I should at least like what I'm wearing when I'm working out?

001: These shoes, for example. These would make my feet much happier. Maybe they'd even get me running. Well, perhaps not as I'm sure they are not MIRACLE SHOES. But they're cute.

002: I caught sight of this swimsuit the other day and now can't for the life of me remember where. But OMG I think it is the best ever swimsuit I have ever ever seen. I really can't express how much I'd love to add this to my swimwear collection.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

we can learn to love again..

dress, boots: primark
earrings: gift
cardigan : matalan
I feel as though Easter has crept up on me a little bit this year, I'd had my usual thoughts about finally using up the rest of those rabbit and egg shaped sequins to make and send some cards out, but I haven't done it yet and now they won't make it in time. Maybe next year.

 So, my only nod towards the egg-shaped weekend was to make some shredded wheat and chocolate nests for the staff and to dig out my crazy little rabbit earrings. Which I probably haven't worn since this time last year.

I feel like a bit of a mess in the rest of the outfit really, woolen tights always make me feel to casual, I think.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

i'll find someone who can stitch me up..

Brit-Stitch half-pint satchel in Dusk Blue
I can't get over how pretty the colour of this Brit-Stitch satchel is. Beautifully hand-stitched, it arrived on Saturday morning and is already my firm favourite bag. It's the perfect size to keep all of the essentials in, with a cute little inside pocket which is the perfect size for my phone and makes sure it never does that annoying "falling to the bottom of the bag" trick.

The strap is fully detachable and I love the silver fixings, as well as the little B charm at the side just adds to the bag's charm in my opinion. I also really like the stamped name on the back. Subtle, yet beautiful. My favourite feature is that the bag actually fastens with a magnetic snap, disguised under the buckle, which keeps everything secure without the faff factor of undoing / refastening the buckle everytime you need to answer your phone or find your car keys.

If you fancy one like mine, this is Dusk Blue. At the moment, whilst the website is being worked on, you can purchase your own half pint satchel from The Hut or Kuji Shop. I can't wait for the website to be up and running though, as I know there are more colours available which I will need to add to my collection.

court shoes : iron fist
As an afterthought, how well does it match with my new shoes? And what colour should I get next?

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

your skin makes me cry..

dress: g21 / george@asda
cardigan: new look
creepeers: irregular choice
I have had a bit of a thing about red outfits this week, it seems. Also, when they started being everywhere, I didn't really think I would ever go for the creepers trend.

A little while after they'd taken the world by storm, I was clearing out a box in the bottom of one of my wardrobes and rediscovered this Irregular Choice pair, purchased years ago from Ebay and I don't think I'd ever worn them before. (I know the 'rock and roll print' styles are quite a number of years old now, I have various other pairs in similar record prints and a couple of the bags from that time as well. I think my favourite Irregular Choice styles usually seem to be the older ones.)

Considering I'd totally forgotten I owned these, I decided I may as well give them a proper outing, so paired them with a lipstick print dress from G21 at Asda and a red cardigan. I quite liked how it all worked out, although the creepers were a little odd to walk in properly. They seemed a little big for my feet and seemed to be trying to flick off. I may have a bit of a mess about with the lacing on the fronts in case that will help. If not, I guess they'll be on the 'get rid' pile soon. I'm Spring Cleaning and it's time to be ruthless.

Monday, 25 March 2013

you didn't notice me at all..

dress: monsoon
cardigan: matalan
necklace, tights : primark
Running on so little sleep today it's unreal. I didn't remember to bring my camera with me, so I've decided to use some outfit photos which I took a few weeks back before deciding I wasn't happy with the outfit, and posting about something else instead.

 I'd picked up this cardigan a little while ago in Matalan thinking I couldn't go wrong with a basic block colour. But each time I've worn it, I feel as though it makes me look like a frump. On this occasion it may not have helped that I wore it over a dress which is several sizes too big for me.

But this blog wouldn't be much of a true representation of what I wear if I didn't post the misses now and again, would it?

Sunday, 24 March 2013

to the basement, people...

skirt: get cutie
court shoes : irregular choice
blouse: primark
I haven't been ten-pin bowling for an absolute age, although I am taking the guides next week as their end of term treat, and Little Sis has been thinking of going there for her birthday celebrations as well, so I was thinking about it the other day, which made me remember this Get Cutie skirt. I think it's been worn with the blouse before, but I couldn't resist wearing it with these Irregular Choice Bowtiful heels!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

i'll be over next year, darling..

jumper: george@ asda
boots : Spartoo
skirt: primark

I think this might be one of my favourite outfits for a little while. I decided something a little partyish for dress-down Friday (or in my case "dress as you like Friday") and dug out this skirt, which I've not worn for a while. I couldn't wait to wear this cute jumper, which my mum bought for me earlier in the week, from Asda of all places! A jumper was certainly needed when I saw the snow out of the window - it's still swirling around even now, which is annoying as I have to go to a course in Leicester today.

I decided that boots were better than shoes for snowy cold weather, so tried to think of a pair of boots to go with the jumper and skirt, and remembered this spaceman pair - I'm not sure of the name of the style, I'm hoping Gem will be able to help when she reads this..?

Friday, 22 March 2013

friday favourites 041..

001: Brit-Stitch half pint satchel, £70
002: Sugarhill Boutique lighthouse blouse, £38
003: Charles Jourdan heels, £278.99
Oh how much am I longing for Easter? Not because of the chocolate - that I could take or leave. Nope, it's the spending ban which is getting pretty tough this week. All of a sudden I seem to have noticed about a million things which I NEED NEED NEED!

001: I was lusting over Sarah's Brit-stitch satchel last week at the Manor house. If you haven't seen these satchel bags around then where have you been?! The half pint size is perfect for carrying all of the essentials and they come in so many pretty colours, I can see them being a total wardrobe staple this year. I'm certainly hoping (if I have anything to do with it anyway) to see Brit-stitch bags in a shop near me..! Also, you have a little more time to enter Sarah's giveaway to win one of your own here..

002: Although I've been aware of the brand for a while now, I've never actually owned anything from Sugarhill Boutique. However, this is bound to change soon, as I can't stop thinking about this gorgeous lighthouse print blouse. It would fit right in with some of the quirky prints in my wardrobe. They have some beautiful dresses this season as well, I was very much taken by Rosie's star print Dolly dress at the weekend, an she looks wonderful in it!

003: Inspired by Tor's recent post, I'm quite liking the idea of coordinating accessories, I think these pretty red shoes would go with the satchel and also pick out the red detail in the lighthouses on the blouse. Which really means I should forget narrowing down my list and just buy them all, I think...when the spending ban is over, of course.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

you’re in the mud, in the maze of her imagination..

dress: marks and spencer
heels : Spartoo
blazer : primark
Today's been a bit of a funny day really. It started off a bit annoying, saw someone I'd totally forgotten about at the gym this morning and it stirred up quite a few unhappy memories - ugh.

But since then it's been a successful day, I've secured a lot of work and things all seems to be going rather well, which is positive after the last few weeks of stress.

I dug this dress out of the wardrobe last week and had to safety pin it so much at the back that I had to add this blazer over the top to stop it looking a little odd. I must really get around to either altering or getting rid of the clothes which don't fit.

I thought I 'd sort of match my floral shoes to my floral dress. Too much? 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

brace yourself..

owl blouse: zara // tights, shoes: primark
braces: lent to me by the wonderfully lovely Sophie
coat: vintage shop
shorts: clothing at tesco
I'm in rather a good mood today as I managed my swimming in less than my usual time - isn't it crazy how the littlest thing can put you in such a good mood for the rest of the day.

Monday's outfit was built around the braces I was lent by Sophie at the weekend, in advance of my guides meeting, as we had a 'bow tie and braces' evening towards a badge they have chosen to work towards this term.

Although I was a little tempted to wear them over a dress, I played it safe at the last minute going for a shorts and blouse combination which has been done before. I quite liked the braces though - sort of wondering where to get a pair to add to the wardrobe..after the Lent spending ban is up, of course..!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

buttons and clowns..

heels: primark
skirt: charity shop (no tag)
jumper : h&m
I vaguely remember being drawn to the print of this skirt and the fact it had buttons all the way down the front, whilst browsing in a charity shop. About two years ago.

Although maxi length isn't usually my thing, I think I had plans to alter the length a bit. Which has never happened. And yet, I dragged it out of the pile of unsorted clothes this morning (Operation Wardrobe Organise still has a long way to go, although progress is being steadily made), pulled the tags off it (apparently I paid £2.99 for it in the British Heart Foundation) and gave it a try with an old favourite jumper of mine and some steady favourite shoes.

I will probably cry when these MJs give up the ghost : I'm really hoping Primark do them again but it's been quite a while now so I suspect they won't.

I've decided I actually do quite like this skirt. Unlike other maxi skirts I've had it's not too full-skirted or swishy. There's no fear of tripping over the hem on my way up or down the stairs in my office, which is always a good thing.

I guess I'll find it some space in my skirts rail and it can stay..

Monday, 18 March 2013

Team Norbury

Norbury Manor
Off on a Grand Adventure..
Exploring the countryside..
Norbury 4
The Tech Table, jumping in puddles and a small doorway
Norbury 5
Plenty of frolicking in the maze and lots of photo-taking..
Norbury 6
The Crafting Sofa was so nice and calm until The Great Scissors Search of 2013..
Norbury 7
Outfit photos on one of the many window-seats..
Dress: Cath Kidston (gift) // Cardigan: Peacocks // Necklace & Hat: Accessorize //
Brooch: gift // Wellies: Barratts* // Coat: Next (gift) // Bag: George@Asda (Xmas gift).

Although I've tried not to mention it too much, the last few weeks have been full of stress and dismay, and have generally been quite tough. But for the last couple of months I've sort of  been counting down to this past weekend, as I was off to Derbyshire to stay at a manor house with some lovely blogging friends..

After setting off on Saturday morning and having to detour a little around the traffic to Ashbourne, I finally managed to find somewhere to park and found Rosie and Sophie, met up with Jenni and had a bit of a wander around to find somewhere to meet the rest of the group. We headed to a local pub for burger lunch (Lucy may have had the biggest burger in the world!) before setting off to find the manor house.

After a couple of detours, we got there and rushed around like loons looking at all of the rooms and the amazing decor (I've actually fallen in love with that roll-top bath, despite the fact I don't even like baths), Chloe took delivery of our supplies and between us we had brought enough cake to feed an actual army. Sarah made some of the most awesome looking brownies ever (see her recipe here). After plenty of excitable chatter, we sat down to a rather fancy dinner in the rather fancy dining hall, where Becks was tres-excited to discover that Alex had bought everyone amazing presents (mine was the cutest tortoise brooch ever, which I've named BertieII).

After dinner, with soundtrack provided by DJ Gem, we settled down to play some Articulate, which was rather amusing. With everyone stifling yawns, we retired to get some sleep (after managing to convince Sarah we wouldn't be partying all night if she went to bed).

The next morning, I managed to catch up on my letter-writing before the rest of the house awoke (much to my fellow letter-writer Alice's approval) and all had breakfast before spending the day exploring the countryside, whilst Maria and some of the others went to visit Chatsworth. It sounded as though they had lots of fun getting lost in a massive maze, whilst we had plenty of fun frolicking around and taking photos in our tiny garden one, and I got to try out my new wellies. They're from Barratts and I have been waiting for a chance to take some photos of them for an age, but never remember to take my camera with me when I'm at the allotment. I really like these as they're definitely comfy; according to Sarah's pedometer, we walked for more than 3miles and my feet weren't sore at all, so that's a definite improvement on many wellies I've had in the past. And my feet stayed dry whilst stomping through many puddles; what more can you ask for?!

We also saw The Grumpiest Llama (or possibly alpaca, I'm not sure I know anything about these creatures) on our walk before heading back for a soup break and a relaxing afternoon, chatting and doing what bloggers do best - taking photos.

After a dinner of Sunday Roast, we settled down in front of Clueless and amused ourselves with how many of the fashions from the film seem to be back already, then I managed to just about extract myself and all of my belongings from the house and head home. I was quite tempted to stay there for good. I could totally have hidden away from future visitors - the place was huuuge!

All in all I had a fabulous weekend, and want to say a big thank you to some of the loveliest girls for being so great and really cheering me up after recent weeks. Thank you, Team Norbury.