Wednesday, 31 July 2013

july photo scavenger hunt..

I got started a little sooner than usual, this month. I tend to panic at the end of each month and raid all of my recent photos to find things which will fit, but this time around I actually did take the list around with me.
Picture 037
Picture 039
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something i'm pleased with - making this dress for Little Sis
Picture 040
peaceful afternoon spent sewing / sorting my sewing stash
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summer means digging up potatoes..
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waiting for apricot loaf to cool
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aloft - this structure in the Custard Factory when we went to #VintSetFest
Picture 004
was quite impressed Lis fitted in between the sides of this handbag!
Ok, so some of them are a little tenuous maybe, but I've got more than usual at least. Have you had better luck? Don't forget to link up to Sophie's post.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

i want a perfect body, i want a perfect soul..

dress: louche (from the lovely Roisin)
cardigan: dorothy perkins
heels: office

First of all, thank you for all of your lovely comments on yesterday's thoughtful post. I've had a good time to think about it, and also managed to give myself a really early night and catch up with some of the sleep I failed to get at the weekend, so I'm feeling a lot better today. 

Ok, so here's something I don't say very often: I really like this outfit. The dress is a total dream, I love the shape and it fits so nicely, so I consider myself very lucky that Roisin passed it on to me. The cardigan is an old favourite, I quite often rediscover it and remember just how much I decided I liked it once it had sold out of the sale, and then spent the next few months tracking it down on ebay. 

And the shoes? I can't recall if I've worn them on the blog before, I don't think I have. They're pretty old now, and were a gift from someone I used to know, making wearing them a sort of cathartic experience. I remember how much I loved them in the shop and how pleased I was to be surprised by them as a Valentine's present several years ago now. I can't remember when I last wore them, but figured they would be perfect for this outfit. I still definitely love them. 

I've got a little confession to make now that we're reaching the end of the month. I totally failed with my #JillianJuly attempt. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I actually put myself through the 30 Day Shred during the past four weeks. However, since the summer holidays have started, meaning no guides or rangers meetings, I've managed to fit in at least one more spinning class and a couple more gym sessions per week, as well as keeping up with my swimming in the morning, so I have been doing a lot more exercise. It's still very much a work in progress, but I'm moving in the right direction. 

Another thing I'm quite liking is having like-minded gym friends to chat to, share tips with and encourage one another. That's just one reason why the gym wins over the living room, for me. Although I'm absolutely not going to take them up on their suggestion to join them in entering the local triathalon in a couple of months time, it's nice to chat with people about where to shop for new gym gear (I'm totally failing, but really must do this as some of my gym trousers literally fall off me now - not attractive!). Whilst I'm edging towards the idea of adding these to my gym wardrobe, the more practical amongst us are heading here for their triathlon clothing.

Triathlon Wetsuits : there's something I never expected to be browsing.

Monday, 29 July 2013

that's just me, before we met..

This past week or so has been quite odd. A bit melancholy; I've spent too much time thinking about things I miss, as I've finally cut the last ties I had with someone who was doing everything they could to hurt me. I know I should feel free, but so far I sort of just miss how things used to be and I guess I've been feeling a little lonely as well when I think of the time I used to spend with this person.

I live relatively far from the majority of my closest friends, which makes me sad sometimes. I do see them all as much as possible, but when someone lives 90mins drive away it's a little more tricky to arrange to visit than just popping round for a coffee and a chat after work.

I've been distracting myself from these thoughts a little bit. I've got plenty to fill my time with after all with the allotment, the gym, and there's always someone to chat to on twitter or a blog post to read to distract myself. I sort of feel as though all of these things are separate and that I juggle all of them. Very few of my real-life friends know me on twitter, and not many of them read / know about my blog and I've always tried to keep them separate. I'm not sure why. The other night I was pretty freaked out by the thought of a friend finding my twitter ID and therefore my blog. Like really upset by the thought. But when Sarah asked me what I was scared of, I couldn't think of a decent answer. Are my friends likely to disown me because I write a blog? Because I write a blog which they didn't know about? I'd hope not.

But then I read Jennie's post and it got me thinking. What does it matter? My blog is a little part of the many things which make up who I am. I share a lot of things on there, in the same way that lots of people share things on other forms of social media, I'm sure. I shouldn't be embarrassed about it, should I? I'm not one of those people who has little business cards made up with the details of it, but everything I post is out there, on the internet, for the world to see and it's not as though I say anything on here which I wouldn't say elsewhere. I suppose it's just that in my everyday life, people would probably just get bored of how much I have to say about shoes. And clothes. And shoes again.

Do you share everything with everyone? Or are there certain parts of your life you don't talk about? I know there are things I don't mention on my blog because they just aren't relevant to it, and whatever happens I still won't talk about the subjects I feel are off-limits. But I'm not ashamed of my blog, so why hide it? If anything, I should be proud of it - I know it's nothing much in the "blogging world" but I have made some lovely friends through it and had some wonderful experiences which I'd not have imagined before.

dress + cardigan: primark
shoes: office

Sunday, 28 July 2013

what makes you super?

Milled Organic Flaxseed, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

I've got to admit, I've been struggling quite a lot with my appetite recently. I think it's down to the sunny weather. I just haven't been able to eat very big portions of anything, and despite the fact that I usually go to the gym a couple of times per day (once to swim and then again after work to either do a spinning class or a gym workout) I just haven't been feeling hungry at all. I know this means I don't eat enough, particularly at the moment.

So when I was asked if I'd like to try out some of the products from the Linwoods Superfoods range, I jumped at the chance. I guess I should also admit that I'm fairly hopeless when it comes to actually going food shopping, so more often than not, my cupboards have just the basics. When I come to make a smoothie or something, I often wish I was more organised with some of the seeds and ingredients which people seem to add to theirs. I tried out this bag, which was quite a good choice for me, as I like all of the ingredients and there wasn't anything too nutty in there. (Whilst I'm not allergice to nuts, I don't like the taste of them, so anything which has an overly nutty flavour tends to get avoided by me.

I've been trying to up my food intake, so things like smoothies have been a favourite this past week when I haven't wanted a proper meal. I picked up some raspberries the other day and thought I'd throw them into my smoothie maker with some natural yogurt, a spoonful of manuke honey (which my Nan is always buying me to try and help my stomach pains!) and a couple of tablespoons of the seed mix. It made a rather yummy smoothie, which I'll definitely make again.

The other thing I've discovered this week is "overnight oats", following a conversation on Twitter about them the other evening. I thought I'd give them a go. They really couldn't be simpler. A mixture of yogurt (I think most of the recipes say use milk as well, but as I don't drink it, I never have any - yogurt works fine on it's own, it just makes for a thicker consistency), porridge oats, raisins and another spoonful of honey, topped off with the seed mix. Leave them in the fridge overnight and don't forget to take them to work with you in the morning (I almost left them behind!). Very nice and I've tried them again since.

I've been looking at the health benefits on the Linwoods site and definitely think these mixes are going to be a great way for me to get some more goodness into my diet. I'd totally recommend them. The brand have a facebook page as well, which you can find here

Saturday, 27 July 2013

no more destination, no more pain..

vest: new look
sandals: poetic licence
skirt: marks and spencer (via charity shop)
necklace: dorothy perkins
I was drawn to the print on this skirt when I was shopping with Little Sis in Liverpool last month. It's a vintage Marks and Spencer one and cost £6.99 in the Oxfam shop on Bold Street. I do like to have a little look in there, although they don't have a changing room so I have to be fairly sure something is going to be somewhere close to fitting me, although I don't mind if I have to do a few little alterations.

 I tried it on when the sun was shining a few weeks back and thought it would be quite nice with these sandals, bought a few years back from Poetic Licence, but I don't think they even saw the light of day last summer. I've worn them a few times so far this year, though.

Other than that, I just went for a fairly basic vest as it was too warm for anything else, and a collar necklace I recently picked up in the Dorothy Perkins sale. Hardly groundbreaking, but a nice, cool outfit for the heat.

Friday, 26 July 2013

friday favourites 053..

001: Bicyle Playsuit, Yumi, £35

002: Great Plains Bike print skirt, £29(sale)
After dragging my bike outside last weekend for a cycle into town for the first time in quite a while, I don't seem to be able to get bikes off my brain.

001: I love this playsuit, such a pretty print on a striking background. I'd love to wear this to the beach with the sun blazing and a picnic basket full of food to keep us going through the day.

002: This skirt is so pretty, I saw it (and the dress in the same print) in a little seaside boutique earlier in the year, but I was very restrained as it was raining and I was actually supposed to be buying a raincoat. I wish I'd picked it up when I saw it though, I want to wear it on bike rides! The Great Plains sale has some lovely stuff, I'm also quite tempted by this cardigan.

What have you been wishing for this week..? Roll on payday, that's all I can say!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

i know you're around like the ice cream man..

sandals: matalan
dress: topshop
bag: clothing at tesco (gift)
sunglasses: sunglasses shop*

I love this dress and this bag together. I was ever so lucky to be given the bag by a rather lovely friend (thank you, Steph!) who'd decided she wouldn't use it and knew how much I'd liked it before it sold out.

Then, a couple of weeks back, I was trying to think of a summery outfit for wandering around Warwick when we went to visit Sarah, and I unearthed this dress. Hidden away in the wardrobe with it's tags still on. I know it's been in there a lot of years, because I recall the only place I'd managed to track one down was the London Oxford Street store, and when we were doing a project in London, I'd asked one of the staff to pick it up for me on the way back to their hotel. (And that project was completed about four years ago!)

I'm glad I finally wore it, although not so glad I discovered that the dye in the fabric reeeeallly runs. Going to have to wash it on it's own a few times, I think.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

your secret's out and the best part is it isn't even a good one..

dress: topshop (jojo & malou)
heels : asos

Title credit to Sarah whose drunken tweets last night have had me playing Fall Out Boy all morning for the first time in a while. Quick outfit post, I'm trying to do everything at crazy-quick speed today as I want to be on my way to #VintSetFest as soon as I can! More on that later in the week, I'm sure, as I'm not entirely sure what I'm expecting as yet.

 Rediscovered this dress as I've been having to move some around to make all of the ones from Sarah fit in the wardrobes. I jumped at the opportunity to wear these shoes, which have been sitting on one of my piles of shoeboxes for an age. They were met with approval from the lovely ladies at the gym this morning when I went for my swim.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

in front of your eyes, it falls from the skies..

dress: oasis (via sarah)
sandals: dorothy perkins // cardigan: primark
bag: moony mood*
In one of those strange moods today. I'm too hot, despite the fact that we seem to have seen the last of the sun here for a while. I'd like some proper thunder and lightning, thunderstorm walks are the best. After a bit of a rage-filled afternoon yesterday, I'm feeling a lot happier.

This was my Saturday outfit; ostensibly just for popping into town on the bike for about half an hour, but I got waylaid and didn't end up coming home until after meeting my friend to watch Populaire at the cute little Old Market Hall cinema, which I really enjoyed, particularly for the outfits.

I have to admit I almost literally pounced on this dress (and the yellow version) when we were at Sarah's house recently. I loved the Floral Frocks range that Oasis used to (and perhaps still do) stock and had owned both of them, neither of which fit me any longer. So I'm rather glad to have them again in a more appropriate size without having to try and track them down on ebay. I'm definitely embracing the strapless dress, once more. I was even complimented on my outfit by some cute bloke on a bike as I was cycling through town, which sort of made me smile.

Monday, 22 July 2013

well hello, dolly..

dress: trollied dolly
heels: irregular choice "beach trip"
Last week I received an email from the lovely folks at Trollied Dolly to let me know they had a rather good offer on - 40% off all dresses and tops with the code "HOTFLASH40". I tested it just now and it still seems to be working, if you're interested..

The first dress into my basket was this pretty seagull print one. I love that they all have super names; this one is called the Rock n Rollers dress. I really like the bow detail to the bodice and the wide straps and I'm in awe of the bias binding skills these people have..!

 I couldn't wait to wear it teamed with my Irregular Choice Beach Trip heels - apparently I look like a sailor. (Is that a good thing?).

I had such a lovely weekend, totally filled to the brim with nice things such as cycling into town, watching Populaire at the cute cinema in town, eating sandwiches overlooking the park in all it's flowery glory, digging up my first new potatoes of the year, and laughing until we with my best friend in the car on the way to a lovely vintage fair. All good. I just wanted to make a little list because I realise that lately I seem to spend a lot more time complaining than remembering the good things.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

like the ceiling can't hold us..

dress: ruby belle (gift from Roisin)
Partyridge Pea shoes: Irregular Choice
cardigan: h&m

I know these shoes from afar probably don't look a lot different to the ones I posted yesterday, but I have to admit I am already rather fond of these ones. I love the scalloped shape to the fronts of them, as well as the floral fabric and the faux flowers on the sides of them. They just sort of scream summer to me.

This was Monday's outfit as I was so excited by this pretty Ruby Belle dress from Roisin last weekend that I could not wait to wear it! It's been a couple of years since I really last embraced the strapless prom dress, but prior to losing weight and them no longer fitting me, I used to love this shape of dress. Apparently I still do. With all my body insecurities, the part I hate the least is probably my shoulders so I  guess it's a style to try and embrace once again.

Friday, 19 July 2013

strawberry fields..

skirt: cath kidston
Strawberry Fields wedges: irregular choice*
top: h&m

I felt as though these shoes, now that I've finally got around to wearing them, deserved a bit of a review. I ordered them a few months ago and they've been sitting around stacked in the shoebox wall, waiting for the weather to get more sandal-friendly. Now that it most certainly is, I decided to unpack these and give them a try.

I have to admit, they were a little more pricey than I'd usually expect from Irregular Choice lately. I searched across numerous sites and they seemed to retail at around £90 on each one, which seems higher than a lot of their other pairs have been over the past few seasons. I was therefore intrigued to find out why.

When they first arrived, I couldn't quite see any reason. Although they're well-made, nicely covered and finished in the fruity print fabric, and shaped to comfortably fit my feet, I couldn't help thinking, "well, they're just a pair of wedges". I'm probably still thinking that, to a certain extent.

The insides of the shoes are a pretty turquoise leather, with the Irregular Choice logo and various rosebuds embroidered on it, which gives them quite a high quality finished look. The straps are red suede and a nice contrast with the colours of the fabric bows. One thing I'd been wary of was the fact they close with velcro, which I've found hasn't been too secure with my Whiskers heels, but these ones haven't come detached at all during my wear.

Maybe my reticence grew from the subconscious thought that they're not the kind of shape, or heel height I'd usually choose, so I'm stepping out of my comfort zone a little. That said, other than the annoying little cherry charms which dangle about and hit my ankles when walking (although I think they can be easily detached), I can't find any fault with them. They're comfortable and I have no problems walking in them all day and find them perfectly sturdy. 

I'm glad I found a lot to say about the shoes as I don't think the rest of the outfit was that deserving of a mention.