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Friday, 26 April 2013

friday favourites 046..

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I usually manage to whittle my wishlists down to only a couple of items, but this week all I seem to have done is shop online. I even have a bit of a jewllery wishlist post planned because I couldn't narrow those down at all.

001: I really love the sequin lovebirds on this sweat-top from French Connection. I'm not really one for the sportswear-luxe trend which has been about recently (I tend to keep my sportswear to the gym), unlike Rosie and Sarah who seem to have it down to a tee, but I'd make an exception for this..

002: When I go shopping for shoes, I tend to make a beeline for the heels section, true. But Chie Mihara have sort of persuaded me to go for something a little more, well, flat. I love the mix of colours on these brogues - perfectly matched to number 001 as well, right (see what I did there?!)

003: Every time Michelle posts something new up on Jelly Button Jewellery, I love it, and this troll bead bracelet is no exception. Not only do I want it, but it's also made me want to dig out my old collection of troll dolls, they must be somewhere..

004: These Kurt Geiger heels are such a bargain in the sale that I'm seriously kicking myself for not snapping them up when I saw them with Alex in Bath - grr.

005: I went to Next last week to track down one of their amazing bobbin lamps to finish off my sewing area. I have rambled on before about how I don't really rate Next for clothes, and how I never find anything I like. Well, all I can say is it was lucky I wasn't wearing a hat last week.These shorts were just one of the many items of clothing which have made it onto my Next shopping list. I'm planning to head there after the dentist in the morning to snap them up, now that the sun has shown it's face.

006: I've had my eye on this Yumi jumper as well for a little while now, the motif is probably the closest I'll ever get to a 'fancy blogger camera'. At the moment, Room31 are offering 35% off their Yumi items if you enter "YUMI35" at the checkout, which I think is the push I've been waiting for.

007: Oh this belt. How I've been deliberating over it for an age. On the one hand it's a little more pricey than I'd usually consider for a belt, but on the other..? Goose! And I've not really got any wearable belts at the moment, unless I start trying to use something sharp to punch some more holes in them. Probably safer to buy this one? Thought so.

What are you wishing for this week?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

bloglovin'

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I'm just trying to set myself up on Bloglovin' although I don't know anything about it as yet.. If you want to follow me on over there, I'll hopefully be there soon!

Monday, 22 April 2013

that's just me, before we met..

Just a tiny post from me today. I've been trying to fight this feeling for a little while, but can sense myself sinking. It happens now and then, and I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm probably more hard on myself than I really should be. I try to do everything, never want to let anyone down, want to keep everyone happy. I usually end up forgetting that things take longer than they should, and that I can't fit everything in and should probably learn to say "no".

I don't, though. I fight against the tide for as long as I can, until everything becomes too much and I can't focus on anything. Then I start to hate myself for being such a failure. Recently, for not doing everything I'd hoped to by now, for not replying to the letters I received this week, for not looking how I'd hoped I would in the mirror by now. And those feelings consume my every conscious thought. I can't enjoy anything I do, because I feel guilty for not having done something else, guilty for enjoying myself when I should be achieving something else. I can't take outfit photos, because I end up in tears of frustration and hatred at how I look see myself in them. I can't eat anything, because my brain makes me feel too guilty and full of self-hate about it.

I can't explain these feelings very well, but even if I could, I wouldn't try to burden anyone else with them. I guess that's why it's here. It's nobody's issue but my own, and I don't want to trouble my friends with things like this. They'll come up with some well-meaning "pull yourself together" response, and I will feel like even more of a failure when I can't do that at the snap of a finger. I don't know what the answer is, but I hope I'll find it. This never lasts forever.

This isn't supposed to be self-pity, and I'm not in any way looking for sympathy or comments. This just is me. I'm hoping not for very long.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

sunday shoes 015..

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001: Office Fruit Print Wellies
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002: Irregular Choice "zoo" boots
I've not done one of these posts for ages, and I totally should have, as my shoe collection has been silently growing.

001: What I actually really needed lately though, was a new pair of wellies. I love wellies. I know they're not pretty, but for someone who spends a fair amount of the weekend at the allotment and a few weekends every summer camping in fields, they are a necessity. A couple of weeks ago, I managed to pierce my current pair with my garden fork, which has rendered them pretty much useless, so I had a look for a new pair and when I saw these fruit printed ones on ebay I knew they'd be perfect - they'll look right at home at the allotment, right? Well, they will if I have a bit more success than I did last year at least! And for £8, I'm not going to be heartbroken if I manage to do something similar to them, as I clearly can't be trusted with gardening tools.

002: As for the other recent pair of boots, they're not so practical, but they are cute. They're a pair of (I assume by the soles) quite old style Irregular Choice, but I don't know anything about the name of the style. I know from recent eBay trawls that there was a flat shoes version as well, but I prefer the boots. The print reminds me of being on safari in Africa.

Has anyone else been buying shoes lately? 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

i need a little time to find my freedom..

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dress: dorothy perkins
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boots: irregular choice
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jumper: george@asda
I've worn this jumper quite often lately, I know, but I'm still not bored of it. I figured the colour of the bow makes it go quite nicely with the stripes on this dress.

And I thought these shoe boots would be nice and comfortable on my almost-healed-blistered-feet. They perhaps weren't the best choice; I managed to make the heels worse on a bit of a trek through town on my lunch break to pop to the sewing shop for a zip, as I know I won't get there this weekend and I don't want any reason not to finish this project..! I'm hoping for a productive weekend, I'm trying not to focus too much on something which is unavoidable, but could get upsetting if I'm not careful. Meh.

Friday, 19 April 2013

friday favourites 045..

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001: Bonne Chance Musical Muse Dress, $48.99
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002: Ravel Lauren sandals, £69.99
001: Another week, another wishlist. I must admit that I've bought quite a few pretty new dresses lately, but then again, I've also spent £41 in the post office posting some of my ebay sales off to their new  homes. So that means there's a little space for some more, right? Just a little Bonne Chance order, perhaps?  I'm hoping so, anyway, because I'm going to struggle to choose just one of their current collections - I want them all, ever since Rosie posted about them recently!

002: There's been a noticeable change in the weather lately as well. A couple of days where I've managed to happily drive around with the roof down and I've decided it is definitely Spring so I'm hankering after new shoes to suit the change in season. The pretty sandals are a little more chunky with their platform than I'd choose ordinarily, but the mixture of springtime colours makes me cheerful.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

got my mind made up..

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dress : laura ashley
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cardigan : h&m
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shoes : topshop
This morning, for the first time since I can remember, I was told I looked nice. As usual, all I see when I look in the mirror are the things I hate, but I was sort of glad, as I'd been trying to find a dress to wear which wasn't going to need an iron, but once I'd seen this Laura Ashley one on the rail I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to wear, so I got the ironing board out at about 6.30 this morning and went for the speediest pressing-session I could.

 Weirdly, although I bought a black version at the same time, (about 4yrs ago!) I'd never worn this cardigan, but I figured it would go ok with the colours in the print of the dress. The dress is from last year's Laura Ashley collection as well, but it's still one of my favourites. And as for the shoe boots? They're so favourite, I bought them twice (well, sort of)! I love patent boots! Anyone else see something in the wardrobe and decide that nothing else will do?

I can't really believe how quickly this week is going. Slow down, world, I have too much to do!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

let's get these teen hearts beating faster faster..

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dress: cath kidston // cardigan: new look
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earrings: topshop // shoes: primark
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 Last Friday, I set our with the lovely Alex for a roadtrip. She didn't know where we were headed, just that it was a trip in aid of her birthday. And we did manage to get pretty close before she guessed, which was rather good. (This may have been due to the amount of time she spent snoozing in the passenger seat as I navigated us through apparently endless roadworks, but still).

The secret destination was Bath, and as well as some exploring time, I'd arranged for her to go to a Reading Spa at Mr B's. I arranged this all many months ago, and have to admit that the staff at Mr B's were so incredibly helpful that I'd been very much looking forward to it myself as well!

Anyway, whilst Alex was talking books with Libby, I went for a wander (as fast as my silly blistered feet could carry me) to see what the shops had to offer. I popped into Cath Kidston and came out with this dress, which I couldn't wait to wear at the first opportunity, so here it is.

I rather like that the mix of colours in the fabric means it's quite easy to find something to team it with, even when you're in a mad rush to get out of the house and to the swimming pool before work because you've spent far too long playing Bread Kittens instead of getting ready (oops, but it is fast becoming my current favourite app)..

Anyway, this week is whizzing by but it's all good. Except the fact that my feet are still a total mess and I'm having to walk on the backs of these shoes to avoid making them any worse - ack. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

give me everything tonight..

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heels: primark
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dog print blouse: george@asda
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skirt: next
This is actually an outfit from a couple of weeks ago, my camera has been out of battery for a while and I hadn't remembered to put it on charge until today. I also haven't got anything massively interesting on because I've managed to acquire some rather gross blisters from wearing a pair of shoes I'd not tried on before for a day trip on Friday. More on that one at another time.

This top was on the clearance rail recently in George - I don't often shop at Asda but when I do, I can't resist a little check of the clothes section; I never seem to fail to find something for the wardrobe zoo. I'd not really realised this top was quite so sheer. I'm not sure if it looks ok or not.

I'm also not so sure about the skirt - I've not worn it much since picking it up in the Next sale after Xmas. I like the colours but always worry it looks too tight on me or isn't a flattering shape. In fact, the only thing I really do like about this ensemble is the heels, and sadly they are almost ready to go to that great big shoebox in the sky, as their covering is wearing away at the sides. I'm on the look out for a replacement pair, but have tried Carvela and  just about every other women's shoe website I can think of, to no avail. Help!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

oasap giveaway..

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prizes available on OASAP
The folks from OASAP have asked me to hold a giveaway for one of their items, and I'm a sucker for giveaways, so here it is..! Open to anyone, all you need to do is join OASAP here, and then comment on this post with a way to contact you if you win, and what item you'd prefer to win.(I've got my eye on this blazer..)

GiveawayApril
This giveaway will close at 10am on 24th April. Good luck..!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring Green Swap update

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First of all a big thank you to everyone who took part in the Spring Green swap. I apologise for the timing, it probably would have been better if I'd organised earlier to avoid the post increases and I think I'd leave more time between the partner details and the posting date in the future as I know it was a bit tight for some people, so I'm sorry about that. On the whole it seemed to go well, though (please holler at me if you are still waiting to receive a parcel and I will chase up!)

My parcel arrived on Wednesday and was a lovely thing to come home to after a long and tiring day.

I was lucky to be paired with Jenni from Bows, Bangles and Bakes and this is what she sent to me, very much inkeeping with the colour scheme - a spring green heart which I'm planning to hang on the front door and such a cute bird candle-holder. My living room furniture (well, the sofas anyway) are blue and green so this is going to take pride of place on my coffee table as I love candles recently! Thank you very much Jenni!

I forgot to take a photo of  what I sent her, but if you ask her nicely she might let you know...! 

I'd love it if you could add your links to what you sent and/or received for the swap - I think I've set it up right below but if it's not working or anything, let me know and I'll try to twiddle with the links.

Friday, 12 April 2013

friday favourites 044..

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001: Wellingtons, Giesswein, £43.99
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002: Orla Kiely Around the World dress, £350
001: After putting my fork through the top of one on Sunday, it's quite clear that I really need some new wellington boots. I have no idea what it is about them, but whilst some people seem to be able to happily exist in the same pair for years and years, I can't seem to make them last very long at all. Maybe it's my feet, I seem to wear shoes out at an alarming rate as well, relative to the amount of wear they get.

002:  This dress. How much do I really need to say about it?! I love the colour, the print, the collar detail. Just about everything about it, other than the price. Roll on, the ASOS sale.

What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

She says "I don't like the way you're dressed"..

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skirt and jacket: clothing at tesco
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heels : Spartoo
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blouse : vintage fair
Workwear is something which always intrigues me. (As well as being an area of the shops which I try to avoid.) It means something different to everyone, whether they work in an office and have a strict dress code, or not, a bar and have to stick to black / white items, or a shop where they have to wear that particular brand.

I've got to admit, I can't remember the last time I felt as awkward in any outfit as this suit. I had an event to run this week which called for something a little more "suited and booted" than my usual office attire (think any old dress with any old pair of shoes!)  so I thought it would be wise to make use of some of the heap of Tesco vouchers I seem to have been receiving lately and buy a suit. How very grown up of me, right?

I just wish I'd felt a little less uncomfortable in it. I have no idea what the problem was. I'm quite happy to wear a pencil skirt, ordinarily and recently I've even taken to wearing blazers. So how is this different? I have no idea, but I just felt strange and kind of frumpy in it, despite the Irregular Choice. Wondering if I got the shapes or the lengths wrong for my shape or something?

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

rock to the rhythm and bop to the beat of the radio..

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blazer, shoes, skirt: primark
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t-shirt: george@asda
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necklace: h+m
I've been having another Wardrobe-Sort-Out-Of-Doom recently. I can't even count up how many times this skirt has almost made it to the "get rid" pile. I decided to give it one more chance, even though it ought to be too big to be wearable these days.

I teamed it with a mustard t-shirt which has been in my wardrobe for goodness knows how long and a matching pair of heels - trusty Primark favourites. I thought I was a bit matchy matchy with my blazer so threw this necklace on with it all as a bit of an afterthought.

I still can't decide what to do with the skirt.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

And all the rainy days, they ain't so bad when you're the king..

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skirt: forever 21 // shirt:Joy
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'My Mum's Garden' heels: Office
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tank top: vintage, via ebay
I dug this blouse out of the crowded wardrobe this morning, I've not worn it for ages, but I've ironed it recently so it was looking quite neat and I decided to throw it on under this tank top - (Is it a tank top? A sweater-vest? It sort of reminds me of Chandler's wardrobe from Friends, but never mind).

 I'm not convinced these heels match very well, but I like them and haven't worn them for a while, so never mind. I also don't think this skirt does my shape any favours, so that's probably for the get-rid pile. I seem to be wearing my way through the things I'm unsure about lately, in order to try and make my mind up about them.

Monday, 8 April 2013

you can have the best of me..

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heels : Spartoo
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cardigan : new look
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dress : handmade


Well, it's a little late but I managed to finish my latest sewing project, which I'm going to count towards my 12 in 12 challenge for March. I know, I know, I need to get on with April. The month is already speeding by and I have very little spare time, but after the most productive day in the world, ever, yesterday, I am confident.

Yesterday I managed to make some bread (ok, so tis a little doughy, as I didn't have the right proportion of flour, but hey ho), and some soup and some pear and mint cookies, spent a few hours at the allotment, did more spring cleaning, washed, ironed, finished this dress, and looked after the invalid who has managed to break his ribs a little bit, which involved watching How to Train Your Dragon (which was as good as Little Sis told me it would be!) I need another weekend just thinking about it all, but it's rather a good feeling.

As for the dress, it's ok. The pattern was Butterick B5603, which is one I'd bought a long time ago and never cut, so it was always going to be too big, but I managed to tweak the bodice section a little - maybe could have done with being a little smaller) and on the whole, I like how it turned out. I think it matches my shoes quite nicely as well.

Thank you to those of you who took part in the Spring Green swap, I'm going to try and figure out how to do a link-up. But not right now, as I need to get to spinning!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

and you realise you can't make it anyway..

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dress: h&m
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cardigan: h&m
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bolero: miss selfridge
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clutch, heels: topshop

Still working my way through the clothes I brought back from Wales, as part of the big Spring Clean (well, it's not very tidy to have half-full suitcases lying around, is it?) and this leopard print bolero was one of the things I'd almost forgotten I'd owned.. I decided to give it an outing as part of my "Sunday Best" for family lunch on Easter Sunday.

The dress was a bit of an ebay bargain, but the same as another colour I've had in the same style and bought a few months back but I'd not had chance to wear it.

I dug out these Topshop heels again, which I wore only a few months ago to the theatre, but they matched the clutch bag and the rest of the colours in the outfit quite nicely.

And I have no idea where the beads came from, but they are ridiculously long, and need to be wrapped around my neck at least three times in order to avoid tripping over them!

Altogether I quite liked this outfit, I think because I felt a bit more dressed up than usual and maybe as though I'd made more of an effort than normal? I'm not sure, but for once (and it does seem to be rare recently) I was quite pleased with it.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

saturday night's alright for fighting..

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low boots: Spartoo // coat: river island
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satchel : brit-stitch*
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dress: laura ashley // cardigan: dorothy perkins
..but during the day, I prefer to get all of my errands done for the weekend. Last Saturday saw me take a mountain of parcels to the post office in advance of the grand price increase (I think this is going to put a stop to blog-swaps in the future), drop off some things to the charity shops and catch up with some friends.

I wasn't feeling hugely inspired when it came to what to wear, but I'd just rediscovered this pale blue jacket, which had been in the suitcases of clothes I'm still unpacking from my Wales wardrobe) and wanted to wear it. How perfectly does it match with my beautiful Brit-Stitch satchel?

I went with a dress and cardigan I've worn together in the past (I tend to stick with things I've matched together and liked before, when I'm not feeling so inspired) and then I just needed some shoes which would be fine for the walk into town and back. These swan print ICs are quite old now, but still were commented on by lots of people during the day!

Friday, 5 April 2013

friday favourites 043..

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001: Ravel Keegan Bordeaux Heels, £69.99
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002: Bobbins Lamp, Next, £50
This week's wishlist was fairly easy to compile. I have resigned myself to the fact that it's still quite a while until I will get to wear proper sandals, so I'm limiting myself to (almost) sensible shoes instead..

001: I'm always a fan of a little leopard print. Maybe not on the scale of a Bet Lynch obsession, but I never shy away from a little bit in an outfit, so these Ravel heels really appealed to me. I've heard of, but never bought anything from Ravel , so I'm broaching out into unknown shoe territory a little here, but I like the platform, the contrasting heel and the burgundy colour of these - and they're only a tiny bit impractical, with a little peep toe.

002: I'm sure I'm not the only one to have seen a LOT this week about Next's homeware range. And to be honest, I'm just jealous as I am really excited by a lot of their new range. This bobbin lamp has been on my radar for quite some time now and I can't wait to pick one up and get it set up on my sewing table, which has been tidied and sorted out as part of The Big Spring Clean this week. I think it would be the perfect thing to finish it off - planning to do a bit of a post on my sewing area, as I'm quite pleased with how it's looking at the moment.

What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

give me your answer, do..

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dress: primark (via Charlene's blog sale)
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As I was just starting my day, I flicked through Twitter (if I didn't do this in the morning, I'm sure I'd be far more productive) and I saw Laura's blog post, with her pretty daisy shoes. When she first tweeted about them, I knew that even though they're a little lower than I tend to prefer my heel height, I couldn't resist the pretty bow and daisy details, and wasted little time in ordering a pair for myself. How cute are they?!

Her post inspired me to break them out of the box they'd arrived in and actually give them their first outing, rather than letting them languish away in the tower of shoeboxes for all eternity. And I'm glad that it did, as I really like them. Sometimes I just need something to inspire me to wear something new...

Rather than bright yellow, I tried to match the daisy centres to this mustard dress, which I bought from the lovely Charlene a while back, in one of her blog sales. I was pleased as I'd seen it on her blog and tried to find myself one in Primark, but to no avail. I like this dress, but it proved a pain this morning as I was getting changed after swimming. I was getting the attached lining all tangled up and almost got myself stuck - what a kerfuffle!

Thanks for the comments on yesterday's post. As a little update, I went to collect the dresses from French Connection and Laura Ashley today and in both of the stores received some great customer service, so I'm even more pleased I went for those two. I can't wait to wear both of them. Roll the eff on, decent weather?

And as a final reminder, could you all let me know when you've sent and received your Spring Green Swap parcels? Looking forward to seeing what was sent, if you'd like to post about them...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

she works hard for the money..

Social Media. Has society decided whether or not it's a good thing, yet? I noticed this morning that the BBC were reporting on it's usage being a deciding factor in establishing social class: I'm not sure which way this tips the balance, though.

Personally, I no longer use Facebook, I've never understood Tumblr, and my productivity levels thank me for never getting into Pinterest (I manage to spend enough time looking at pretty things anyway!). I never really got into Instagram (mainly because I tend to forget to eat, let alone take photos of my dinner!). Then again, I probably make up for all of this with my use of Twitter.

I spend quite a bit of my spare time tweeting. I have to admit, I rather like the fact there is always someone around to answer a question. And now that so many brands have cottoned on to the use of social media, surely that means they are around for answering questions from potential customers, too? With thoughts in mind about brand loyalty after reading Sarah's recent post, I thought I'd conduct a little experiment.


After a little browse online marking the end of the spending ban, I thought I would treat myself to a few dresses, and numbers 001 to 004 on this list were the ones I decided on. All around the same price mark, and all from brands I've shopped with happily in the past. Nevertheless, with discrepancies in sizing between items in the same store, let alone between stores, coupled with the fact that I don't really know what size I am, I do prefer to try things on and see them 'in the flesh' before buying. So, why not let the brands work a little bit for their money - it can't be too hard to check stock, or answer a simple question about a product, can it?

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001: Monsoon Glasshouse Print Prom Dress, £89
 001: This dress is in the New Arrivals section of the website, and with a limited lunch break, I don't have the time to go and search for it. I asked if @monsoontweets could help me by telling me if this dress was in stock my local store. They replied the next morning with a list of phone numbers for their stores, suggesting I called my local one and asked, as they aren't able to check stock centrally.
Helpfulness: 5/10 They replied, but basically told me to find out for myself. I probably won't.
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002: Phase Eight Carianne Print Dress, £99

002: After they sent a tweet mentioning this dress recently, I asked @Phase_Eight if they could tell me if my local store have it. As yet, no response, even after a second tweet. It's the most expensive dress on my list, but they don't seem to be bothered so I guess I'll take my money elsewhere. Helpfulness: 0/10
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003: French Connection Spring Bloom Dress, £89

003: This dress is maybe my favourite on the list. Having seen it in store at the weekend, although only in the (pictured) straw colour and not the blue version I want, I tried to access the mobile site and it wasn't clear which of the colourways I needed for the blue dress. I tweeted @FCUK and @FC_Help to ask which one I needed, but got no response from either. Did I mention that I really wanted this dress, though? I called the helpline, and they totally made up for the lack of twitter response, order placed and is waiting for me in store. Helpfulness: 8/10 - twitter not good, but helpline great.

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004: Laura Ashley Marine Print Dress, £88
004: Laura Ashley have always been a firm favourite brand of mine, as is clear from previous blog posts and about a sixth of my wardrobe, so I have to admit I was a little nervous about how they would fare (especially given that I'd say they are the trickiest website to navigate around, of the ones on my list). I wasn't disappointed though, I asked about the Marine dress and within 10 minutes @LauraAshleyUK had DM'd me to confirm my closest store, checked the stock and put the dress on hold for me to pick up tomorrow. Helpfulness: 10/10 - couldn't fault them, and happy to keep spending my money with them as I know the quality is always good.


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005: Debenhams Debut Diamante Belted Pumps, £22.50
005: These shoes made it into the list because fellow blogger Kezzie has her heart set on them in a size 8, which is not in stock on the Debenhams website. I tweeted @Debenhams to ask which stores stocked a size 8 and after a few tweets asking which store I wanted to be checked, the twitter account managed to let me know one store which had a size 8 in stock, and told me they had put them on hold for 7 days. Which is quite helpful. (If I knew anyone who was near Taunton, anyway). Twitter helpfulness: 6/10 as it took a little work to get the stock check done nationally.


In conclusion, I'm picking up the French Connection and Laura Ashley dresses tomorrow, may have a look for the Monsoon one if I have time, and doubt I'll bother with the Phase Eight one as they weren't bothered with me. Is this the right attitude? When there are so many different brands out there, how do you decide where to spend your hard-earned cash?