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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Flower Girl..

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Dress: Orla Kiely at People Tree
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Necklace: George @ Asda
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Percy Pig heels: Kandee Shoes
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In the spirit of all things Mean Girls, on Wednesdays we wear pink.

Now, it's only recently that I've really started finding Orla Kiely pieces that I like. I had just the one dress, which I bought from ASOS last year and still haven't found an occasion to wear, although I have altered it. Which took guts, I can tell you. Just like with their homeware collection, I'd found a lot of the older styles to be a little too 60s-70s for my liking.

As soon as I saw the images for this People Tree / Orla Kiely collection, I knew I'd have to order the pink dress. I deliberated for a little while over which style to go for and settled on the sleeveless one, as I liked the cut out detail to the back so much.

It arrived around the same time as these Kandee heels did, which is the only reason it crossed my mind to try them together. I think that the pale print on the dress persuaded me to wear it with the pale pink of the shoes, as usually I'd settle on a contrasting colour to wear with pink.

But in for a penny, in for a pound, I decided to finish the outfit off with this necklace I picked up in Asda. I've been really liking all of these retro flower necklaces about at the moment, and this one really appealed to me on it's pink cord. Something to set it apart from all of the regular chains I've seen lately. For someone who rarely used to remember to wear necklaces a few years back, I'm definitely making up for that lately. I guess I've just got more used to adding one to my outfit as a finishing touch.

What do you think? Too much pink? What would you wear this dress with? 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The amazing George..

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Tuscany Dress: Great Plains*
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George Necklace: Designosaur
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Cardigan: Primark
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Shoes: Irregular Choice

A fairly typical office-friendly outfit, although it feels a little weird to be wearing flat shoes for work when I'm usually in heels. I need to run some errands in a very limited lunch break though, so flats are best for covering a lot of ground between banks in a short space of time.

These shoes are remarkably comfortable considering their pointed fronts, which ordinarily I'd shy away from because I'm always convinced they make my feet look even bigger (not something I need any help with!) I wonder if it's something to do with the strap which makes me not feel so self-conscious about my silly clown feet. A little more casual than the last time I wore this dress.

Shamefully, I have to admit this is the first outing for my Designosaur "George" necklace. My sister gave me George for Christmas and considering he is dubbed as "the necklace which goes with any outfit", it's taken me a long time to find one to wear him with. I think I'll be wearing a lot more of him, now, though!

Happy Tuesday, folks. Feeling super stressed at the moment, so I don't have a lot more to say. 

Monday, 28 April 2014

On a picnic morning..

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Pane Check Dress: Laura Ashley
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Love & Magic Heels: Irregular Choice
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Necklace: George @ Asda
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Cardigan: Miss Selfridge
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I remember saying when I first got this dress that it would be perfect for picnics, and it really still does. Sadly, I don't have any picnics scheduled today, so I dressed it for work instead with a black and pink cardigan and almost matching shoes.

One thing that my #irregularchoicechallenge is doing is making me think about what I wear most often. These heels are fab, as I think all of the recent perspex heel ones are, as well as being super comfortable. There seems to be one pair left on Let's Buy Shoes, (one of my favourite IC-selling haunts) so if you're a size 39, snap them up - you won't regret it!

I couldn't resist this necklace when I popped into Asda (for something else entirely) last week. I don't often visit as it's a bit of a trek for me, and I don't rate their food quality, so if I do find myself there, I make sure to have a little look in their George section. I can't find a link for this necklace on their site, but it was £12 and I was rather taken by the cord detail.

Back to normality today with the start of the new term and therefore our first guides meeting (of my last term altogether). It's been a hard decision and clearly hasn't gone down very well with some of the other leaders in the area, who decided to disregard my plans to tell the group and drop the bombshell on them early, despite my asking them not to. Annoying, much? All that's done is make me sure that I've made the right decision in moving on as it gets me away from this controlling force. But it's a bit sad, nonetheless. We are rising above it anyway, and have plenty of excitement planned for our last term.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sunday Shoes 044: Kandee Shoes Percy Pig

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Something ever so slightly different for this week. A break from Irregular Choice!

I'm still doing my #irregularchoicechallenge and have been put off buying most of the shoes I've seen from other brands, simply because it's going to be so long until I have a chance to wear them. I did make this one exception to that decision when Kandee Shoes posted some sample sale images on their Instagram account recently.

I snapped up this pair of Percy Pig heels as I thought the design was really cute, as well as being a little different to anything else I have. I paid £20 for them as they were a sample pair which I was told had been used in a shoot. 

Kandee Shoes are a brand which have been on my radar for a while, but I'd never purchased from before. I have heard various things (not all good) but I thought that at this price, they were cheaper than a pair of high street heels. I like the concept that all of the styles are based on sweets - cute.

When they arrived, I was impressed with the quality of things like the box and the shoe bags which they came packed in. I wasn't surprised to see a few signs of wear to the glitter soles and a small nick in the leather of one of the heels, as these are the sorts of things you'd expect after a wear or two if they've been used for a photo shoot.

The heels are nice and high. I was wary after reading Gem's post that they would be tricky to walk in, but I didn't find that at all. I must admit that these are a size larger than I'd usually buy my shoes in these days, partly due to the fact that I've been between sizes for many years and sometimes still err on the side of caution if I am trying a new brand, and partly because that was just the size which was available in the sample sale.

Overall, as the shoes themselves go, I'm happy with them for the price I paid, but looking at some of the finishing and quality of the materials used, I don't think I'd be buying them at full price.

Have you bought any Kandee Shoes before?

Saturday, 26 April 2014

How to make bunting.

Recently I was wondering about other things I could do with my leftover fabric scraps. I mentioned that I've been making bunting like it was going out of fashion and was asked if I would explain how I make it. It's super simple and this is the way I started doing it - I've never looked for a tutorial or anything, so it may not be the "correct" way, but hey ho.

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What I use:
  • scraps of fabric
  • a triangle template, which can be drawn onto and cut from paper (I made several as I find it easier to get the most from my fabric scraps by tessellating the triangles on).  Another thing to remember is that you'll want to draw the triangle about 1cm larger all around than you actually want your flags, as they'll get smaller when you stitch them together.
  • pins 
  • scissors
  • bias binding 

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I start by pinning my templates onto the fabric, fitting as many in as I can, or moving them around to get the print that I want in the middle of the flags. Once all pinned into place, cut them out.

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When you have a pile of triangles, pair them up and pin them together, right sides together (with the printed sides together on the inside) and stitch around the two long sides 1cm from the edges. You can leave the top side unstitched. Turn them out so that the printed side is on the outside and iron the flags.

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Next, pin your bias binding, along the top edges of the flags, so that the edges are level. The outside of the bias binding will be stitched down on the first side, then folded over the raw edge to seal it.

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Stitch along the top line of the bias binding, onto each of the flags. Remember to leave some space at the ends to tie it up with, and an even amount of space between flags.

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Wrap the bias binding over the top edge of the flags and pin it down on the other side. You'll then need to stitch all the way from one end of the bunting to the other, making sure the flags are completely contained in the binding as you go - slow and steady seems to be the way, I've found.

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There you have it - a string of bunting to decorate just about anything!
I hope this all makes sense - please let me know if anything needs to be explained better. Also, if you make some, I'd love to see it :) 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Friday Favourites 092..

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001: Bumblebee Hair Grips, £12
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002: Map Print Backpack, £17.92


Feeling a bit rushed this week, there hasn't been a lot of shopping time or anything, so putting together a list of things I've bookmarked has been fairly easy - there have literally been these two!

001: I saw these bumblebee hair grips in Rebecca's post and think they are so cute. I'd love to learn to do a beehive, or at least do something a little more adventurous with my hair sometimes. I'd not really noticed Little Nell before, but now that it's on my radar, there are plenty of little cute things I can't live without.

002: My obsession with all things map-printed looks set to continue. Not content with one, but adding  two map print dresses to my "wardroom" recently has not quashed the map print thirst. I want this rucksack for adventuring and would fill it with picnics, string and lashings of ginger beer, a la Enid Blyton books.

What's on your wishlist this week?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.

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Dress: F+F
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Earrings: Oasap
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"Oz" Heels: Irregular Choice

A typical daily outfit to head back to work on Tuesday. I have to admit I felt rather relaxed after a long weekend of baking, dressmaking, catching up with friends and getting the allotment more in order, as well as spending some rather rare time with the OH, who has been working away more often than not, lately. I'm not really complaining as I relish my own space, if I'm honest, so a little distance can be a good thing.

Back to work and it's shaping up to be the busiest week in a while, which is crazy as it's a short one. Guess that's just how it goes, though. I'm stressed almost all of the time recently, and struggling to remember everything. To Do Lists are my friend. This seems ludicrous as all of the extra-curricular things like Rangers and Guides don't even start back up until next week, but allotment committee stuff has been keeping me busy, with a lot of plot turnover at this time of year.

Anyone else feel as though they've taken on too much, sometimes, and yet find it impossible to say no to things?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Daphne, don't be so cavalier..

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Daphne Dress : Emily + Fin
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Ring : Oasap

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Bunny Tights : ASOS
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Carpe Diem Heels : Irregular Choice
The third and final Emily + Fin dress I'd decided I needed to add to my wardrobe this season, when I saw them all at Pure, was this one. Meet Daphne. I think she may be my favourite yet. I particularly like the Bardot neckline and the bow detail to the shoulders, and the skirt is the perfect length and volume for my liking.

Daphne is another new design for this season and I knew I wanted this green tropical palm print. Sadly, again, none of my regular haunts were stocking it, but the helpful folks at E+F managed to send me a list of the shops who were (roll on being able to purchase directly from their site, by the way!) and I sent a few emails out asking about whether people would be able to let me know when it arrived with them. I receieved a reply almost immediately from a lovely lady from Irene's and managed to purchase over the phone, and Daphne was with me the next day, so that was wonderful!

I couldn't wait for an opportunity to wear it, which is often the case with my very favourite dresses and I decided it would be perfect teamed with my new bunny tights. Purchased from ASOS last week after seeing them on Sarah's wishlist post, I knew I needed them for Easter. I just wish they looked a little more like bunnies on my chunky legs, but I think they were too stretched.

Although I added this ring because I had to photograph it, it had broken in transit so I couldn't actually wear it, which seems to be the way with all of the jewellery I've ordered from that site - I should learn.

Instead of the obvious shoe choice, which would have been my Flopsy heels, I went with a lesser-worn pair. My Carpe Diem shark heels, as for some reason I was thinking Hawaiian prints and sharks went together and mostly because I have another outfit planned for the bunny heels, at some point.

Anyway, that was my party outfit for Sunday, which was definitely grey and tights-weather but a lovely day nonetheless. After the soiree, we went to see Spiderman at the flicks, which was rather nice. I mostly liked Emma Stone's amazing collection of coats (obsessed) but as comic book films go, it wasn't so bad, either.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

#irregularchoicechallenge Days 1-36

ICC Days 1-9
ICC Days 10-18
ICC Days 19-27
ICC Days 28-36
So, in case you hadn't heard, I've decided to take part in my very own Irregular Choice Challenge. Each day, I've been wearing a different pair from my collection of Irregular Choice challenge, and posting the photos on my Instagram page.

Since I know that not everybody has IG, I decided that I'd make a collage of the first 36 of my daily shoe collages and post a round-up over here, every now and then.

One thing I have learnt since I began, is just how little information I seem to know about so many of the styles - particularly the earlier ones. I don't know many of their names, and since I've picked up a lot of my collection second-hand, they haven't always come with their original boxes, so it's hard to know what their code numbers were either. A lot of the folks on Instagram undertaking their own IC challenges are much more knowledgeable about the names of the styles than I am, though, so it's been useful to have their help!

As a huge fan of Irregular Choice shoes (I know that, particularly with the more "out there" styles, I can be in the minority, as a lot of people seem to hate them), it's been a lot of fun so far to do this challenge. I've already rediscovered a lot of pairs I'd forgotten I had. (Days 6, 9, 23 and 36), I've got rid of one pair which really didn't fit anymore (Day 2) and I've worn a few more recent additions for the first time (Days 19 and 16 have been some recent and very lucky eBay wins and Day 33 was a recent voucher spend).

There are a lot more pairs to come, and I'm looking forward to sharing my favourites, but what I am finding is that I have been saving some of the more often worn pairs, my fallback ones as it were, for things like work events, and I'm trying to be strategic, so that I'm not left with several pairs of cowboy boots (of which I think there are at least 4 pairs) when the summer sun gets here!

Which day is your favourite, so far? Or are you not a fan of the brand at all?

Monday, 21 April 2014

We all scream for ice cream!

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Isobel Dress: Emily + Fin
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Trinkletina Heels: Irregular Choice
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Cardigan: Matalan
I took these photos shortly after hitting my head pretty badly, which is perhaps why I look in so much pain in them. I couldn't miss an opportunity to take photos of this dress, though. When I went to Pure, I knew that one of the things I wanted to look for was the new Emily and Fin collection, as I'd seen lookbook photos of this dress, but wanted to see it in real life, as sometimes these things don't quite look the same.

I wasn't disappointed. Well, not with the dress anyway. The dress I loved. What I wasn't too thrilled about was the fact that I had to wait eight weeks before it would be available to buy. I pre-ordered my ice lolly print Isobel dress (this print also comes in the button-front Jessica style, which Sarah has) from Aspire and when it came through the letterbox, I have to admit I'd almost forgotten about it. It was a lovely surprise and I wasted no time in wearing it. Also, if you do check Sarah's version out, she is giving away an Emily and Fin dress on that post, too!

Dressed with my most-worn basic neutral cardigan, which in my head makes just about anything office-friendly, and my recent pair of Trinkletina heels, the Isobel dress took me from the office to a little party in the evening and seemed to work OK for both. I guess I'm rather lucky with my relaxed dress code.

I'm definitely looking forward to wearing this dress in the height of summer, sans cardigan, to eat ice cream in the park!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Sunday Shoes 043: Irregular Choice Casino Wedges

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The beauty of ebay listings, is that you just never know what is going to come up. I spotted this pair, a style I'd never seen before and placed a bid a couple of weeks ago without much hope of actually winning them. I did, for a fair amount less than my maximum bid, which was nice. I was pleased.

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When they arrived, I was even more pleased. They look to be in near perfect condition, and I really like the detail on them. The speckled green and white finishing, the punched edging and the casino style motifs around the edge of the wedges. Not to mention the amazing playing card embroidery inside the shoes. That might well be my favourite feature.


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I really like the Mary Jane style look to the front, with the cute buckles which make me think of dolly shoes. I'm desperately trying to think of the perfect outfit to wear with them for their day of the #irregularchoicechallenge, over on Instagram.

I'm not sure what they are officially called, but have unofficially named them Casino Wedges. Having looked back through the Gallery on the Irregular Choice website, the only information about the style I can come up with is that their style code is 2371 Pearl.