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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Should auld acquaintance be forgot..

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Skirt: mrp clothing
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Top: Primark // Cardigan: H+M
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Faux fur collar: Marks & Spencer
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Heels: New Look
Another of the things which caught my eye on the mrp site recently was this skirt. I added it to my basket as a bit of an afterthought, but to be honest I think it might be my favourite of the things I ordered. I'm a sucker for a floral print and this yellow one seems different to the others I have. I think the skirt was £9, which was pretty good in my opinion as it's fully lined and made from a decent cotton.

I was pleased that the colours in the skirt matched this furry collar quite nicely as well - one of those things you want even though it's a bit silly; I pounced on it in the January sales after last Christmas!

And these shoes seem to be getting so much wear recently. They go so well with everything, but I do wonder if 2014 should be the year I try and take part in Amber's Shoe Challenge.  I've not quite decided on my resolutions yet, but perhaps this should be one.

Monday, 30 December 2013

December was the only sound..

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Louche Jacqui Jacquard Dress : Joy
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Heels: New Look
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Another one of the Black Friday orders I placed and then hadn't got around to wearing for a little while. There had been a 25% off party dresses promotion, which I was able to use in conjunction with another discount code I had for the Joy website, so I wasted little time in snapping up the last of this dress in my size. And then wondering when I would get a chance to wear it.

It's a little bit shiny for the office, in my opinion, so I had to wait for a Christmas party. Luckily, I have had quite a few of those to go to.I really like the fit, which is the same as this one, just with longer sleeves. I rather like the bow waistband and didn't really think it needed anything else to finish it off..

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday Shoes 031: MrP Polka Dot Block Heel

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I'd not heard of Mr P Clothing until recently, when there was some "pretty dress talk" on Twitter (when isn't there?!). I had a little look and was quite interested in their new Henry Holland  collaboration range. I ordered a couple of dresses and was really taken by these shoes as well.

They were £14.50 and a bit lower than I'd usually go for, but I've been gradually building up a bit of a collection of lower heels recently, with my Topshop Juniper ones to add to the ASOS gingerbread ones, which I haven't worn in far too long.

What do you think of them?

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Little princess in a terrible mess..

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Dress: Miso (Republic)
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Boots: Cara Shoes
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Cardigan: Primark
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Just about the only good thing about having to move everything out of the flat before the repairs took place, was that in the midst of moving and reorganising things in the wardrobe room, I found a few things hiding away which I'd forgotten about. These boots, for example. I bought them in the Cara sale years ago and I'm not convinced I can have worn them more than once or twice.

Despite being a huge fan of heels, sometimes one of my more casual outfits calls for a pair of flat shoes or boots. The print on this knitted Miso dress makes me think of this song as it seems to be of princesses and castles and randomly, giraffes. I'm not convinced it flatters me at all, but the cute print has meant it's made it through many a wardrobe cull, so far.

It seemed to work well enough for a dress-down Friday, I guess. Tell me I'm not the only one who finds things they've totally forgotten about in their wardrobes..?

Friday, 27 December 2013

Friday Favourites 075..

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001: Plenty by Tracy Reese Frou Frou Skirt, Anthropologie, £188
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002: Posey Print Organza Pleat Yoke Dress, Orla Kiely, £328
Christmas may have come and gone, but I don't suppose I'll ever stop shopping - at least now that all of the presents have been given, I can focus on finding things for myself..

001: This skirt has been causing me a bit of a headache, truth be told. I saw it when I was in the Anthropologie store in London, but not until I was on my way out and we'd already spent an insane amount of time in there, so I didn't study it too closely, figuring it would be easy to find it online. Which I tried to do, and failed. It seems that to begin with, although it was up there, the wrong pictures had been used. When it was updated, the photos didn't make it look quite as amazing as I'd thought it was from the fleeting glance I'd taken in the store. I think I do still rather like it, though.

002: I will start by admitting that I never thought I'd say this, but I really love this Orla Kiely dress. I always thought that on the whole, people fell into one or other of the Kiely vs Kidston camps, and I'm very much a Kidston girl. However, this dress has well and truly stolen my heart. Which is a sort of turn of phrase really, as I don't think my Christmas pennies will quite stretch to it so I'd have to rob a bank to be able to justify it. Gaaah.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

We worshipped you, your red white hand..

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gold sequin skirt: River Island (similar here)
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"Poet" platform sandals: ASOS
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Swan print top: H+M
This was my outfit for a day trip to Bath with Sarah and Gem and a bundle of other bloggers. I totally failed to get any photos of it on the day, but when I saw how well Amber's outfit photos of hers turned out, I decided I needed to have another try-on session and swish my way around for some pictures, in the hope that they might turn out somewhere near half nice as hers. (Unlikely, I know).

I rather like this combination, though. If I'm honest, I hadn't been quite sure when i first thought of it. I love this top but haven't had a lot of wear from it due to it's cropped length. Luckily, this skirt sits rather high on my waist (too many mince pies, maybe?) which seems to mean it sits at just the right height. They compliment each other well.

I then combatted my other fear. Midi skirts have this annoying habit of just not looking quite right, to me, if I don't wear them with heels. I have a *thing* about it, and get convinced that if I wear midi length anything with flats or low heels, it makes me look like I've got huuuuuge cankles. I don't know if the rest of the world would notice, but I'd be able to see nothing else, so I try to avoid it.

Hence the platforms. Added to the fact that I couldn't wait to wear these ASOS Poet platfoms. I think the muted floral satin goes pretty well with the rest of the colours in the outfit.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Xmas Everybody..

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dress: mr P
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brooch: Cath Kidston (gift from Jennie)
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heels: Irregular Choice 'Carpe Diem'
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shrug: Primark
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Annoyingly enough, in a fit of organisation which seems to have backfired a little, I've failed to get any photos of the dress I'd bought to wear for Christmas Day, itself. I've had to schedule today's post, knowing that I wouldn't get near a computer for the festive period, but I didn't take photos of my dress before leaving it at my parents' house in advance of the day, so I will have to catch up.

This was a Christmas Party outfit instead. The dress was another from MrP clothing, and I was pleased of a chance to wear these heels and match them to the shrug. I've been waiting to wear this lovely brooch, part of a lovely parcel from Jennie recently, and I think it matched this quite nicely.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Last minute treats..

Are you all ready and set for Christmas?

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I'd planned to meet up with a friend who is a bit obsessed with After Eight chocolates, so when I saw this recipe for After Eight Brownies on Nelly's Cupcakes, I had to give it a go and take her a box to go with her presents.

The recipe is so easy:
  • I melted 400g of dark chocolate with 400g butter over a low heat, and whisked up 6 eggs with 500g sugar whilst it melted. I also weighed out 230g flour, 2tsp baking powder and 1tsp salt, to be added last. 
  • I mixed the sugar and eggs into the pan, and then added the pan of mix to the flour mixture and stirred it in.
  • I poured half of the mix into a foil-lined tray, laid a packet of After Eight mints over the top and then covered them with the rest of the mixture. I cooked the brownies for about 25mins at 180C and they came out a little crispy on the bottom and still chewy, just-about-set in the middle.
 Let me know if you give these a go. I've already had word from my friend that she loved them, which is nice to hear, since I thought of her as soon as I saw the recipe.

My Christmas Eve has been full of carol singing, visiting friends and delivering presents. I am still feeling so ill, I really wish this was all over and I could just go and curl up in a dark room where the pains in my head and my stomach wouldn't be so bad.
     
     

Monday, 23 December 2013

Hiding out in trenches I've built..

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Heels: New Look
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Gemma Flared Dress: People Tree
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Necklace: Matalan
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I ordered this dress from People Tree around Black Friday. I'd been a little frustrated with their email which had a picture of this dress on the header and was advertising an offer on dresses. Since that particular dress had taken my fancy previously, I clicked on to the site to have a look, only to find that it wasn't included in the promotion. A little misleading? I thought so, and the Twitter team (@PeopleTree) must have agreed, as they later replied to apologise and let me know they'd added the Elise dress I'd been looking for in the promotion.

That, in my book, is an example of a good social media team. (Unlike Ark Clothing, who this week seem to have been failing to meet all kinds of legal requirements, asked me to contact them with my concerns and when I came to do so, had blocked me from contacting them on Twitter!) So many brands seem to be getting it so wrong on Twitter, lately, so I was pleased with People Tree and their response.

So much so, that I ordered both the Elise dress and this one, the Gemma. They've been hanging around waiting to be worn for a little while, until I could wait no longer and packed them both as outfits for some of my time away.

I think I'd expected this dress have a fuller skirt, but on the whole I think I like it. I don't own very many dresses with sleeves like this and the colour isn't one I have much of in my wardrobe, so it's a welcome addition. A nice, simple daytime outfit, which I added a black jacket to for a day at the office and then changed the tights and shoes for a pair of seamed stockings and some shoe boots for a meal out in the evening. It's pretty versatile, as dresses go.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunday Shoes 030: Dorothy Perkins silver sandals..

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These silver Dorothy Perkins heels are by far my eBay bargain of the year. I'm not even sure what it was I was searching for, but I sort of stumbled across them by mistake and as they were close to finishing with no bids on them, I thought I may as well place a little bid. I was successful, winning them for a whole 25p.

Yes, really. 25 English pence.

I could barely believe it when they arrived and they don't look scuffed, messy or even worn, at all. What a fab pair of party shoes. I do have a pair of silver Irregular Choice heels already, but they have been worn a lot and are all scuffed up and scratched, so maybe these will make a good replacement.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Sale vs Spree..

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I don't read many magazines anymore, but one of the things I remember enjoying when I got my subscription to whichever-magazine-I'd-been-into-at-the-time were the features with two very similar items, where the price of one would make your eyes water, but it would tell you where you could pick up something similar from the high street at a fraction of the cost. I can't recall the name of them, but probably something like Style vs Steal, or Budget vs Bargain etc etc.

This came back to me as I was having a bit of a browse on the Choies site recently. I've picked out a few things which are similar to things I've seen elsewhere, but with a more pocket-friendly price tag.

001: This is the same skirt I've recently worn here in the red, which is now available in several new colours. This purple reminds me of the Marina skirt recently release on Tara Starlet. 

002: With the spikes and red soles, I think it's fairly obvious what these shoes are trying to copy..I guess they may be a good idea until maybe one day I can justify the real thing.

003: I knew I recognised this owl face jumper, but it took me a little while to remember where I'd seen it before. Just like this Emma Cook one, no?

004: Annoyingly, these shoes don't seem to be available on the site anymore. I'm assuming it's because they've all sold out (or possibly got into trouble) - they had a version of every one of the Zodiac signs on there at one point - pretty uncanny, no?

005: There seem to be quite a collection of these bags on the site as well. I can't figure out if this is actually the same Jump from Paper one, or not, as they even have the same name...

Have you spotted anything like this, lately? How do you feel about bargain versions of the more pricey brands? I'm sort of undecided as to how closely I think the lines blur with the "fake debate".

Friday, 20 December 2013

Friday Favourites 074..

Roksana Dress - No Model
001: Roksana Rose Jacquard Dress, Monsoon, £69
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002: Snake Clutch, Coast, £55
I can't believe that the sales have already crept up on us. I think they have done this for the past couple of years, now, but it does seem weird to me for the sales to be on before we've even had Christmas.

Not that I'll get a chance to hit the shops for a while, but this dress and clutch are one of the outfit combinations I've been considering for New Year's Eve. It seems only right to start the new year in a new dress, doesn't it?

001: I seem to be having a bit of a jacquard moment, at the moment. I've bought a dress and a skirt in jacquard recently and I'm kicking myself for getting rid of a silver jacquard skirt which I think I may have sold on last year, thinking I'd not wear it again. Gah. I hate when you remember things you used to have and wonder why you ever got rid of them. This dress looks rather perfect, though. Jacquard, nice bright colours and a floral print. Win.

002: I think this clutch caught my eye a little while ago. I'm quite taken by the snake detail and think it would make a lovely statement. Plus, I don't take a lot with me on a night out, so it would be totally big enough for all of my essentials.

What do you think? Would this work for a NYE outfit?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

You saw a prince from a fairytale..

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 Rabbit Jumper : Marks & Spencer*

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Skirt: Choies*
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Coat: Vintage
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Boots: Charity Shop
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Earrings: Claire's Accessories
I have to admit, I felt a lot happier in this outfit than the last time I wore this skirt. As soon as I spotted this jumper in store a few weeks ago, I knew I'd have to add it to my wishlist, so I was thrilled when M&S sent it to me. The perfect Christmas treat, but rabbits and hearts are not so festive that I won't be able to wear it into the new year. I've noticed that it's now in the sale.

I thought the colour of the skirt went quite nicely with the red hearts in the jumper, and Christmas seems to be the time when one can get away with wearing huge red taffeta skirts to the office without any funny looks, whatsoever. I kept the shoe boots fairly simple; the plain black studded ones I picked up when I struck charity shop gold a couple of months back.

I think I'm well and truly on the festive bandwagon; I've been wearing these earrings all week. I think they remind me of  tiny little Sylvanian Families. I used to have a huge collection of those when I was little; did anyone else collect them?

I'm still feeling oh-so-behind with everything in the run-up to Christmas. I feel as though time is running out to get all of my gifts and cards out and on their way to their recipients. Luckily, one of my best friends has been a total lifesaver. She's basically wrapped up all of my presents for me, as I am beyond hopeless when it comes to wrapping gifts up neatly. I mean, I can make a pig's ear of rectangular things like books and DVDs, so when it comes to things like the baseball cap which I'm fairly sure my sister's boyfriend is going to love, I'm rather glad to have her help!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

All the little birdies on Jaybird Street..

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Robin Mixing Bowl
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Winter Robin Mug // Winter Robin Cereal Bowl
Yesterday lunchtime I managed to go and collect the replacement parts of my Big Festive Order from Marks and Spencer. I am really quite excited about these Christmassy kitchenware pieces. Having recently managed to break my previous mixing bowl, I know I'll get a lot of use from this one, but for the time being it looks rather festive with these reindeer lights in them.

And, the perfect way to start a morning in the lead-up to Christmas, no? This robin print mug and cereal bowl are going to get a lot of use over the Xmas season, I'm sure, as I catch up on my reading (I'm creeping closer to that 52 books goal, with each and every day) and my letter-writing. Apologies for the delays if you're waiting for a snail-mail letter from me, but I will be back to it as soon as the decorating chaos subsides. I am learning that these types of thing take a lot longer that people initially tell you they will.

Thanks again to M+S for inviting me to be part of their festive campaign. Also, if you go on the website, I do believe most of these things are down to half-price today, so get in there quickly in time for Christmas!


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

There's a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well..

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Dress: Monsoon Fusion
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Heels: Irregular Choice
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Blazer: H+M
This dress was one I picked up from eBay recently, having not noticed it in the shops in the past, so I don't know when it was first available. Although I'd thought about putting it away for next year with the rest of my summer clothes, I thought I'd give it a first try with some Irregular Choice heels which I've not worn for a while.

I think the colours of these Disco Heaven heels lend themselves quite nicely to being worn with the print of the dress. I decided to keep the rest of the outfit black, other than throwing on a necklace at the last minute - I am getting a little better at remembering to wear jewellery,at least.

On Twitter this morning, everyone seems to be getting most het up about the loss of GFC. I seem to recall a similar kind of fuss previously. If it's gone and you are wondering, you can follow me on bloglovin' here. I'm a bit hopeless with anything technical.

I'm hoping to be able to return to the flat soon and find all of the decorating finished, but it's probably not going to be complete until the weekend. I am feeling seriously stressed about all of the things I need to get done before Xmas and posting things etc. I still have some wrapping, carding and sending to do. I feel as though I'm failing at Christmas, this year.