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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

because of the wonderful things he does..

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dress: monsoon // cardigan: new look
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heels : Spartoo
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I've been offline for a little longer than I had envisaged, what with moving around, meetings to go to and general messing about. I think I'm almost ready to breathe that metaphorical sigh of relief as everything seems to be coming together. Now it's just a case of catching up. What's been happening?

Despite the ongoing move, I couldn't wait for a chance to wear my new Irregular Choice shoes, so here they are -Alex and I have bought the same pair, although in different colours and decided it would be cute to wear them at the same time, too. Which colour do you prefer? I threw mine on with this (ancient now) Monsoon dress and felt a little like Dorothy in them..

Thursday, 24 January 2013

when you're haunted, i'll be near..

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tights, belt: primark // dress: h+m
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blouse: judy's affordable vintage fair (post here)
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blazer: george
This blouse caught both our eyes as Alex and I were at a vintage fair, back in 2011. We purchased it on a timeshare basis, and I came across it again the other day, and decided to build an outfit around it. I knew I had this pinafore style jersey dress somewhere, so dug that out and was pleased that the colours went together quite well, and just threw on a black blazer, tights and belt to try and draw it all together. Smartish, yet still casual enough to wear with a pair of flat boots as I am still in the process of clearing out the old office and moving furniture about.

I'll pass it back on to Alex, now that I've taken my turn and see how she styles it..!

I'm pleased to report that all of the flooded shoeboxes are dried out nicely now and back in their rightful places in the shoe cupboard. It was almost a good thing to have to move them all, as I'd sort of forgotten I had a few of the pairs.

Have so much to do today, so that's enough words. But if you have a spare five minutes, be sure to have a little look at Jenna's blog sale and help her save for her trip to Oz! 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

get out of this place while we still have time..

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blazer: george@asda
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loafers: matalan
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shorts: primark
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cat blouse: handmade
I'm not sure whether to count this blouse as something I made this month. Yes, I finished it this month, but I started it many moons ago, so I don't think it can count towards my resolution. I'd been putting off the collar, sleeve facings and buttonholes for an absolute age, but when I finally had a burst of sewing energy and got around to them, I couldn't think why, as they weren't too bad (aside from the tiny issue that the fabric with it's interfacing was too thick for my buttonhole foot, so I had to do each edge of each buttonhole separately and ended up hand-sewing the majority of them!).

I tend to favour sleeveless blouses, so had chosen to go for the sleeveless pattern. I'm sure it will be quite good in the summer on it's own with shorts, but whilst the snow remained I decided to throw this bargain checked blazer on top of it, picked up from George recently for £6 in the sale. I'm not sure whether it was supposed to be a proper coat, but it's thin enough to wear as a blazer. I added some equally bargainous (£3.50!) studded loafers from Matalan. I rather like the fact that their studs match the coloru of the shoes; looks less fierce than silver ones, I think.

I'd planned to post these pictures yesterday, but ended up rushing home to attend to a bit of a plumbing emergency instead. My boiler had been making some rather unhealthy noises and ended up flooding everywhere yesterday. It was repaired fine, although some of the Irregular Choic collection are currently drying out. I'm sure they will be fine, though. Everything is just manic this week.                                        

Monday, 21 January 2013

on sleepless roads, the sleepless go..

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skirt: next
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top: matalan
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cardigan, heels: primark
I've spent the weekend being quite amused by the level of panic a little bit of snow seems to throw the country into. It's laughable really, considering this is something which happens almost every year. The really worrying part is how many people don't seem to realise that there is a skill to driving in snowy and icy conditions - I've seen some crashes and some scary near-misses in the past few days.

This skirt was actually from The Next Sale. This is a bit of a confession for me, as The Next Sale is something I regularly seem to make fun of every Christmas. I always say, (and I still believe it's true) that there isn't anything I'd want from Next which is worth queuing up for hours to get in the store for. Although I've seen some nice things on the website over the past few months, the stores near me are never very good and always bordering on mumsy. So it's somewhere I tend to miss when I'm shopping. However, my friend was after some new cutlery on our post Xmas sales shopping trip, so we braved The Next Sale. She didn't find anything, but I managed to pick up this skirt, as well as a cow-shaped jug.

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cow jug, next sale £1.50

Am I a Next convert? Probably not, in all honesty, but I might feel more inclined to have a browse, now and again. Do you make an effort to try shops you don't usually shop in, or do you stick with your firm favourites?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

sunday shoes 013..

sunshoes13 Want to see the latest additions to my shoe collection? I thought you would. Shamefully I haven't yet worn any of them yet, but creating this post has got me thinking of some outfit ideas...

001: These were a £10 bargain from my sales shopping trip to Birmongham, picked up in the Topshop sale after my excitement at finding pair 3 in my size.

002: These are a bit of a far cry from my usual choice of footwear, I know. But they caught my eye a while ago (mainly for the print) and I'm planning to make them my shoe of choice for trip I have planned to London in a few weeks - they're more 'sensible' than heels for a couple of days of walking around the capital.

003: These were my best sale find for quite some time - having really liked these wedges when they first came out, I waited for an age for them to go into the Topshop sale, only to find that as soon as they did, my size was unavailable. When I went to Bham, there was this one pair on the sale shelf, in my size, and reduced even further than I thought when I got to the till - I was thrilled!

004: The latest IC collection addition - I love the knitted bow detail on these, which are aptly named Bowtiful. Having tried them on in Schuh and discovered they are true to size, I ummed and ahhed over which colour to go for, before picking this pretty pinky red. I think I'll have to wait for the snow to pass before taking these out of their box.

005: Another pair of Irregular Choice, and one which I have been keeping an eye out for on ebay for quite a long time. I can't remember the name of the style, but they're shoe boots with robot and star detailing to the sides, on a chunky stacked heel.

Now I just have to figure out which pair to wear first...

Saturday, 19 January 2013

i hate myself for losing you..

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dress: clothing at tesco
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coat: vintage shop
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blazer, heels : primark
By chance I'd hung this dress and blazer on the same hanger when I was tidying up the other day and that inspired me to try them together. I rather like the print of this dress; whilst it doesn't seem too "loud", it has enough colours in the floral pattern that I think it will go with most colours. It works ok, right?

Obviously the temperature called for a little more than just this blazer so I threw one of my furry coats on over the top. This one always makes me feel like a hug grizzly bear, but it's really snug. I did also get laughed at for wearing heels when it was supposed to snow, but never mind. There were only a few flakes the other day, anyway. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

friday favourites 034..

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001: Sorel snow boots, £106.40
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002: H! by Henry Holland goldfish dress, £19
001: Today's wishlist started out a little differently, I must admit. But when I saw the swirling of the snowflakes this morning I replaced the pair of shoes I'd been fawning over with these snow boots. I know, I'd been less than impressed by the idea of sensible footwear a few days ago, but now that it's white over, I can think of nothing I want more than to put these on to keep my toes toasty and warm to head out for some sledging. I really love snow!

002: Every season there seem to be several H! pieces in Debenhams which I love, and this goldfish print dress is no exception. I've been on the website and so several stores, but can't seem to track it down in my size, but I love it.

What are you wishing for this weekend?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

wish it was sunday..

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skirt: primark
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blazer: george@asda
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shoe boots: topshop
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blouse: miso @ republic
Just another crazy day and sub-standard outfit post. I was so convinced I would be pleased with this outfit when I put it together, but now I'm not so sure.

Think today has hopefully been the busiest day this week. I started out by taking off the windscreen cover from my car (my nana got me this for Christmas, and I've actually found it really useful, despite initially thinking I'd never use it - saves valuable swimming minutes of defrosting in the mornings) and shaking off the snow. We only had a little smattering and it's all gone again now.

I swam, then popped into the old office to pick up my diary, which I'd forgotten last night in my usual rush to get everything done. Then headed back into town for the dentist, only to be told that they couldn't do everything they'd hoped to today as their x-ray machine is awaiting repair, so could I come back to finish the work next weekend. Ugh. Back to work I went, with a numb mouth on one side and the two fillings which have been painful for months making it impossible to eat my lunch on either side. I definitely won't meet my calorie goal today!

Then a morning of work to be fitted in to a slightly shorter morning, a bank run at lunch with paying in books for the allotments, guides, rangers, work and myself - eek, and back to work again after stopping to pick up some paper for our photocopier, which is on it's last legs. I need to order a new one, although I'm worried I don't know a thing about them.

After work, I'm off to spinning class, before meeting up with a guiding lady to get another of my Queen's Guide award sections signed off. It's looking manageable now, which is good as I'm running out of months.

I'm pretty sure there is something I'm forgetting, but I seem to feel like that a lot lately.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

i walk a mile, with a smile..

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dress: vintage
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heels : miss selfridge
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cardigan: forever 21
Another clashy outfit. This just seems like the cosy type of cardigan I have favoured recently to try and keep me somewhere near warm whilst I'm at my desk. It's not been working very well but I've also been adding a fur coat over the top, which has helped.

I couldn't decide the other day whether I liked this "matching tights to shoes" thing or not.  I'm not sure if it draws the attention away from the pretty high heels because they're almost the same colour and maybe blend in together..?

I also realise that if it snows I'm probably going to have to start wearing sensible boots. Gaah. I love snow, but is it worth that?

Hope everyone is keeping warm.  I've been a bit off the radar this week flitting between offices old and new, but finally order is being restored. Off to my first Rangers meeting of the term this eve, yay.

Monday, 14 January 2013

from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow..

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shoes: primark
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blouse: marks and spencer
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skirt: new look
I sometimes feel as though life waits for you to breathe a sigh of relief because everything is under control, and throw something else at you. Nothing which can't be sorted, but frustrating nonetheless.

Another work day outfit, with a recent find from the Marks and Spencer sale. I do find that their Limited Collection often comes up trumps; I'd only popped in to pick up some icing sugar, but couldn't resist this cute lady print. This New Look skirt with the pleather waistband detail has fast become a favourite since picking it up in the sale a few months back. Teamed with a basic black cardigan and a pair of black heels, this was one of those thrown-together-in-a-rush outfits which didn't take a lot of planning.

I've just downloaded and started using MyFitnessPal. Is anyone else on there - I've been hearing good things about it for so long now that I finally decided to see what the fuss is all about.                                      

Sunday, 13 January 2013

let's go surfing..

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necklace: h&m
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dress: therapy @ house of fraser*
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cardigan: primark
Recently my outfits seem to have been a lot more matchy matchy than they used to be. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps it's something to do with the fact I am never organised enough to put out an outfit the night before, but get up and look for something I don't hate in my bleary-eyed 6am state before heading off to the swimming pool, and it's usually just easier to throw on the black shoes and cardigan which seem to go with everything.

The other day, though, I was back to my old pattern-clashing ways. I'd picked this cardigan up from Primark a little while ago, and the dress was from the sale rail at House of Fraser - one of those things I wasn't quite sure about until I'd tried it on at home and decided that yes, I did like it. The background of the print is actually really dark green, hence the green shoes, but I think it goes nicely with the black stripes as well.

Are you in the clash team, or are you a co-ordination fan?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

down down baby, down by the rollercoaster..

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dress: vintage laura ashley
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cardigan: laura ashley
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heels: primark
I'm terrible at spending an age wanting something, finally getting my hands on it, wearing it once and then letting it get lost in the depths of the wardrobe room. Exhibit one: this dog cardigan from Laura Ashley. I believe I sent the lovely Alex on a mission to pick it up for me, and I have hardly worn it. I need to wear it more. Think it works quite nicely over this dress (also Laura Ashley but this time vintage).

The shoes were something of a steal, £6 recently in Primark - I love the fact they have patent heels.

Friday, 11 January 2013

curve's the word, spins the verb..

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shoes: miss selfridge
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jumper: yumi - house of fraser*
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skirt: primark
I feel as though this outfit seems to be rather GREY. But as I was looking for something to match up with this skirt, I realised I'd not yet worn this jumper. I know I've said in the past that I'm not a fan of jumpers, it's true that I'd usually choose a cardigan as I so often get too warm, but for the last couple of days I've been shivering in my office, so I thought I'd risk it and to be honest, I'm still shivering.

And the colour of the jumper itself is pretty bright, so I'm sure I don't look too grey and dull. I even thought I'd wear my recent bargain grey heels, which I am finding so comfortable - a definite good buy! (I wrote about them here!) 

Thank you very much for all of your kind and lovely comments on yesterday's whingey post. I'm not feeling much better about myself, but maybe one day I'll figure out how to like what I see in the mirror.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

find the reflection you see to be so damn unpretty..

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jeans: new look (via blogsale)
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sequin jumper : h&m
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boots : converse
If you were asked to think of the one item in your wardrobe which you feel the least comfortable in, what would it be? If someone had asked me this a year ago, I'd probably have said shorts. But, as I mentioned in a post recently, shorts are something I've come to embrace and wear quite often now.

I don't remember feeling as self-conscious and uncomfortable in anything as I did in these jeans yesterday. I bought them on a whim from a blogsale recently, under the crazy misapprehension that because Lyzi made them look so great, they would look as good on me. Realisation: they are not MAGIC jeans. And it doesn't seem to matter how many spinning classes I go to, or how many lengths I swim in the pool before work, I look in the mirror and don't see anything but a body shape I hate.

I've tried to tell myself that I shouldn't mind so much, because I've been managing to finally lose some of the weight I've been wanting rid of for years. I've always wanted to be thinner, I remember that being my "birthday wish" as I blew my candles out when I was really young - worryingly young really; it's sad that society seems to consider thin to be better than fat, but that's just the way the public perception seems to be.And how mine has always been.

I don't like to weigh myself, I think if I did it regularly, it would start to become a bit of an obsession. I was so devasated the other day when I was in the doctors' office and he weighed me as part of a routine check and commented that I'd put on 3kg since April, that I cried. How stupid is that, when realistically the majority (if not all) of that will be muscle mass, as I now do spinning classes a minimum of four times per week. All I could think was that I was a total failure. Ridiculous, when I look back at some of the blog posts I did in the past and it's clearly visible that I am smaller than when I started doing outfit posts.

Why doesn't the confidence grow as the weight comes off? Why is it that now, when I am several stone, dress sizes (jeans sizes, even!) smaller than when I was in college, I can't wear a pair of skinny jeans for a day without wanting to hide from everyone I see? I used to wear jeans every day.

Even the sparkly shoes and jumper couldn't cheer me up. Needless to say, I hate this outfit and it took quite a lot of courage to even post it here, if I'm honest. But as I was saying to someone the other day, my blog is nothing if not honest, and at the moment my lack of body confidence is becoming a bigger and bigger part of my life.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

presents under the tree..

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dress: clothing at tesco // tights: new look
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boots: office
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cardigan: forever 21
I know that everyone's trees have been and gone now, but I still haven't mentioned some of the lovely things waiting for me underneath one at Christmas!

I'd tipped off my mum about this pretty floral dress from Clothing at Tesco and she managed to track it down for m. Also, when Little Sis and I were doing some late-night shopping prior to The Big Event, I spied these bottle green tights in New Look and she snapped them up for me, telling me that it's nice to know you're buying something someone definitely wants...

I couldn't wait to wear them, so this was my outfit from Boxing Day, thrown on with my most festive of cardigans and some bright red boots perfect for picking my way through the flooded paths into town.

Do you prefer to be surprised at Christmas, or do you make a list of the things you'd love..?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

we've said goodbye, the taxi cab is waiting..

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shorts, tights: clothing at tesco
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top: therapy (house of fraser)
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scarf: zara
I knew it wouldn't be long before this lamp print top made another appearance. I really like the print, as well as the fit, and this time decided to dress it down with a pair of shorts and warm tights.

These shorts from Tesco have become something of a wardrobe staple over the past few months; I saw them and decided to replace the older pair I'd had, which were getting to be too big for me and were therefore held together with safety pins at the waistband. I'm amazed sometimes that shorts have become such a firm favourite with me, when a few years ago they would have been an item I'd never in a million years have considered for day to day wear! I guess it just goes to show that styles can always change. You can go from loving something and wearing it every day (me and jeans in college used to be inseparable!) to truly hating it or feeling uncomfortable in them (I recently unwisely bought a pair of skinny jeans from a blog sale and they confirmed my belief that I wouldn't be comfortable in them!) .

 Has anyone else changed their opinions on what they're drawn to?