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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Who's that I see walking in these woods?

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Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444)
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Cape: River Island
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Hamble Oak brogues: Clarks
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Beret + Tights: Primark
I know that capes are probably a taboo subject this week, but this was one of my favourite outfits from the past week or so, so here it is. I think this outfit consists of a lot of my current wardrobe fall-backs.

I've worn this Little Red Riding Hood print dress quite a few times already, since I made it. I love the fact that the range of colours lend themselves to being matched with all kinds of colours. And obviously I couldn't resist teaming it with this cape.

I've been loving these brogues a lot lately as well. And thick coloured tights are always a winner whilst the weather threatens to turn snowy, again.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Friday Favourites 133..

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001: Loveheart Coat: Tara Starlet - price tbc

001: Argh, really what I need to do is avoid all shops, because everytime I browse, I end up seeing something I cannot-possibly-live-without. How can one be expected not to spend money when this absolute beauty of a coat is being released soon by Tara Starlet. Due in the next couple of weeks, apparently. As a self-confessed coataholic, I may have to sell my own soul for this one.


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002: Dinosaur Necklace: DesignosaurYEAH, £72.76
002: I saw this necklace on HelloDODO's Instagram feed recently and fell completely head over heels for it. Bright, colourful dinosaur charms - what could be better, As it was a one-off birthday commission, I'd not expected to ever be able to get my own version, but as luck would have it, three one-of-a-kind designs are being released into the Designosaur Etsy shop. Now all I need is a fairy godmother...

What's caught your eye this week?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

It's not what it seems In the land of dreams..

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Book Clutch Bag: ASOS // Lady and Dog Brooch: Tatty Devine
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Dress: Jolie Moi*
This week really seems to have it in for me; I'll be glad to see the end of it. However, pretty new things during the spending ban are few and far between so these have cheered me up no end. I'm finding that the spending ban is making me more resourceful - I'm setting up and taking part in clothes swaps, which is where I got this brooch from. I swapped it for a different Tatty Devine brooch which I'd won in a competition but never worn.

I took inspiration from Gemma's post for outfit ideas - having absolutely fallen for the Buffalo shoes she used, I knew I'd have to find a green pair of shoes to wear with it. So I unearthed the Oz heels and went with a green cardigan, too, as I thought the brooch would show up better on a pale colour. 

The dress itself is lovely. A fabulous 50s shape, as with all of my Jolie Moi dresses so far (I say that as though there are more than just the car print and swan print ones..) and a chunky zip, which seems to be a signature detail which I'm rather fond of on their dresses. The print is lovely, and the quality is really great - so good for the price point, in my opinion.

How would you style this dress? 

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Oz heels: Irregular Choice
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Cardigan: H+M

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Stop the world, I want to get off..

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Dress: Handmade (Christine Haynes Emery Dress)
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Necklace: ASOS
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Spatz Ankle Boots: Irregular Choice
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Magic Pony Bag: Irregular Choice
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Jumper: H+M (gift)
I'm struggling for words today, to be honest. I feel as though I'm fighting a losing battle. Work stress is getting on top of me and feels a little like treading water. I'm still not sleeping more than a couple of hours per night and I don't think that's helping me recover from feeling like an absolute zombie, all of the time.

I feel as though I'm rotten company at the moment, so have been avoiding social engagements I'd usually be attending, then feeling guilty about missing them. It's a stupid situation.
I'm sure my friends would understand how I'm feeling, if I explained it, but I feel as though by doing so I'd be burdening them, which isn't what I want to do. So it all, like everything else, stays locked away in my head. Ugh.

Anyway, this was yesterday's outfit. I wasn't feeling too inspired, but dragged this dress out of the wardrobe because it's one of the handful that I usually turn to when I'm lacking ideas. This jumper was a Christmas present so I've not really had it that long, but has fast become one of the things I'll grab when I want a cosy layer.

I've not used this bag for a little while, so it seemed time to switch back to it. I've had to take a set of pliers to it in order to try and tighten up the top clasp, which seems a little better now, but still does sometimes pop open when I'm wearing it.

These boots are one of the first pairs of Irregular Choice I ever bought. Who ever knew my collection would grow so much over the past ten years?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Tuesday Titles 038: It Felt Like a Kiss

It Felt Like A Kiss
It Felt Like a Kiss - Sarra Manning
Another week, another book to share my thoughts on. I can't believe how quickly Tuesday seems to have come around once more.

I can always rely on Sarra Manning to come up with the goods when I want something light and enjoyable. It Felt Like A Kiss tells of Ellie, a London art gallery worker with a secret to keep; her celebrity father. Flashbacks between chapters to her parents' romance work to give the reader the background information of how their worlds collided and how they were torn apart once again.Ellie's life is pretty great. She has a great job, is surrounded by wonderful family and friends, what could go wrong?

When an ex-boyfriend lets slip to the press who Ellie's father is, the shockwaves are fairly huge and her father's solicitor gets involved in the case. Cue not entirely unexpected romantic attraction, which neither of them can really act upon. Your typical chick-lit set up, really.

It works, though and I found myself whiling away a couple of evenings last week wanting to know what was going to happen between Ellie and David. A feel good read if ever there was one.


Monday, 23 February 2015

Is it summer yet?

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Dress: Handmade (Sew Over It Betty Dress)
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Dara Coat: Louche
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Shoes: Irregular Choice
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Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins // Hair Bow: Topshop
My latest make might be a little summery for the sleet we've been having this weekend, but it sort of filled me with joy when I'd finished it, so I wasted no time in wearing it for a day with friends and a 4th birthday party. I've certainly been favouring the Sew Over It "Betty Dress" pattern lately- I'd say half of the dresses I've made thus far this year have been a Betty.

I wore this with a petticoat underneath for some extra volume as I love how full the circle skirt is. I picked out this cardigan because it seemed to pick out the colour in the floral print quite well. This fabric was one of the ones I came back from Goldhawk Road with last summer.

 I'm pleased to report that I seem to be making some headway with the fabric stash - I cleared out some of the pieces which I know I'll never use - some are listed on my sale page if fabric is your thing...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

We're going to the zoo..

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Coat: Marks and Spencer // Camera Bag: Grafea // Dress: Handmade (NL 6223 in Liberty Queue for the Zoo fabric //
Hat, gloves, tights: Primark // Secret Garden trainers: ICED by Irregular Choice

Last weekend's guiding adventure was a trip to the zoo with the guides, as part of their Kenya challenge badge. I'm trying to think back and reckon it was probably six or seven years since I last went to any zoo, and more like 12 or 15 years since I'd been to Chester Zoo, which had changed a lot from what I remember. 

It was a fairly cold day and the girls I was accompanying managed to have a few tears and tantrums between them, which was annoying, but on the whole we had a good day and saw plenty of animals. I'm not entirely sure I'd go again. I liked the butterfly house best, but my photos all turned out pretty blurry in there due to the humidity making my lens steam up. Annoying.

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

High Tea..

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Coat: Topshop
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Dress: Handmade (Sew Over It Betty Dress)
I bought this fabric from Frumble back in November and it arrived whilst I was in America. Since then, it's sat around waiting patiently to be used. Finally, this week I made it up into a Betty dress and I'm wondering why I hadn't done it earlier. I really love the print, despite it being a lot larger than the fabrics I usually opt for.

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Tights: New Look // Oz heels: Irregular Choice
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Bag: F+F*
I wore it with my trusty Oz heels and this Topshop coat, which I picked up on eBay last year but haven't really worn much. I'm also really liking patterned tights at the moment and these heart ones are up there with my current favourites as they seem to be lasting for more than one wear without any sign of laddering. I do realise I sort of missed a trick by not using my teapot bag with this dress, but sort of wondered if that would be going a little too far..

Friday, 20 February 2015

Friday Favourites 132..

Chi Chi Rose
001: Chi Chi Rose Dress, £66.99
Hazel Marble Print
002: Emily and Fin Hazel Dress, £75
Ugh, the spending ban is, quite frankly, becoming a bit of a bore. Until now, i'ts not been that difficult to stay away from spending, which is good. I've stopped wandering around the shops for want of something better to do, as frankly I've not had the time. Or perhaps I've been using my time more wisely. Any spare evening and weekend time has been spent attached to the sewing machine, catching up on orders I've taken for items to be made. Or, things for myself. I'm slowly working my way through my fabric stash as well, which is good.

But, every now and then I'll see someone tweet a link to a cute dress or something, and get a bit frustrated that I can't just mindlessly add it to my wardrobe. I'm sure that before long I'll have ditched the habit completely, so I won't be so annoyed about it.

001: This Chi Chi dress stole my heart ever since I saw Law looking absolutely beautiful in her birthday outfit. The colour is just perfect, as is the lace detail. It's the perfect length to be demure rather than tacky, which is a fear with some lace dresses I've seen. I just think it would be perfect for parties.

002: This is a new Emily and Fin style to me: the Hazel dress. I've not seen this shape before but it's cute collar detail is appealing me to, for sure. I love the quirky, but not too in-your-face marble print. And the V-shaped back, which I'm favouring a lot lately with dresses I'm making.

Not sure that putting wishlists together is a helpful deterrent to shopping. What are you wishing for lately?

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Just overhead on the old trapeze..

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Dress: Emily and Fin // Cardigan: Matalan
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Belt: New Look
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Heels: Irregular Choice

This was Monday's outfit, but the acrobat print sort of seems appropriate for today. I'm off to Bounce Below, which I think is a cave full of trampolines. I'm really excited about it, although also feeling a little sad that I've been feeling so rotten lately due to lack of sleep and energy, that I'm sure I won't enjoy it as much as I'd have liked.

Sadly, that seems to be the case with so many things lately, and I'm not really sure how to change that. I've cut right down on the coffee I drink, so where I was drinking seven or eight cups per day, I'll maybe now have one or two. I've also decided to give up sugar for Lent, which I hope will help my diet. I'm not getting enough sleep because I'm really struggling with the actually getting to sleep part. I hope this passes soon.

Outfit-wise, I'm not sure there's a lot to say. I rediscovered the acrobat print dress the other day when I was clearing out some clothes for a swap parcel. I decided it would look OK with this beaded belt, and the sandals just seemed to be the right combination of colours. I guess I was feeling more matchy-matchy than usual.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

#frockswap15 - Donna's parcel..

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Dress: Donna's (Influence)
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Clutch: Donna's (Marc B) // Secret Garden Trainers: ICED by Irregular Choice
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Necklace (worn as belt): Dorothy Perkins
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I mentioned last month that I was taking part in #FrockSwap15, where we each send an item of clothing on to the others for them to style up. I was excited to receive my first parcel, last week, which came from Donna. She sent this bird print dress and yellow clutch bag, which I thought actually go quite nicely together. I'm not sure if the two items are supposed to be worn together or not.

The dress is long-sleeved and fairly straight cut, so not exactly the shape I'd usually be drawn to, as well as being a little shorter than I'd usually choose, so I decided that I'd style it with flats. These Irregular Choice trainers, which I like due to their fabulous faux flower detail.

I figured that the colours in this blazer were quite close to those in the bird pattern and likewise these tights. Rather than narrow waist belt, I decided to try and add some detail to the waist with this corsage tie (it's actually a necklace, apparently), which I thought would work with the shoes, despite being totally different flowers. 

I finished the outfit off with this cute brooch, which was a lovely Christmas present a couple of years ago. 

How did I do? How would you have styled Donna's dress?


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Brooch: Gift from Caroline
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Blazer + Tights: Primark

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Tuesday Titles 037: I Capture The Castle

I Capture The Castle
I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
A couple of weeks ago, when I was hanging out with Alex, I'd just finished the book I was reading and she offered me this. Shamefully, I'd never read it, but I really don't know why.

I Capture The Castle is the journal of Cassandra Mortmain, who lives in the crumbling castle and writes about her family and life in 1930s England. On the brink of poverty, Cassandra and her family make the most of everything and refuse to give up. She and her sister Rose dream of what life would be like if they married handsome, wealthy men.

Could their dreams be realised when the Cotton brothers move in next door after inheriting the Hall next door?

I loved the way that Cassandra's writing "captured" every aspect of her life and the people around her. I found myself longing for the object of her affections to return her feelings.

I absolutely loved this, but don't want to say too much, as I'd urge you to read it.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Affinitas Parfait Charlotte Underwear review

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Large Cup Lingerie

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A lovely Valentine's Day treat was waiting for me when I got home on Saturday evening. I'd been chatting to Sian recently about the fact that I don't think I've been wearing the right size bra lately, and she sent me over some tips to make sure I was getting my measurements right. I know that my body shape has been changing a lot with the amount of time I put in at the gym, and I've sort of been ignoring it.

Once we'd decided on the right size for me, Large Cup Lingerie offered to send me this Parfait Charlotte set to review. After one wear, I can announce that I adsolutely love them. The colour is lovely and I'm a big fan of all of the black satin bow and edging details, which I think gives them a much sexier look in contrast with the ice blue. 

The bra fits so much better than I'd expected - I've gone down a back measurement and up a couple of cup sizes, which I'd never have realised I needed to without Sian's advice and it really has helped. I'd also definitely recommend Large Cup Lingerie for their speed of delivery and the helpful advice I received from them too in helping me find the right set for me.

I'd definitely give them a browse if you're looking for something with a better range of sizes than your regular high street stores.


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Parfait Charlotte Underwired Padded Bra*
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Parfait Charlotte High-waisted Brief*

Sunday, 15 February 2015

You came in with the breeze..

Isn't it always the way that you tend to take the place you live for granted? I found that when I went to Uni, I didn't do any of the tourist-y attraction things I'd always associated with living in that city and when I moved back to my home town after graduating, I felt as though I'd missed out a little.

Likewise, there is no doubt a lot which my surrounding area offers, which I don't even consider. I know there are heaps of National Trust properties across the region which I've not yet explored, for example.
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Langley Gatehouse
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So, when Alex and her mum were due to stay less than 30mins up the road from me, a few weeks ago, I couldn't really pass up an opportunity to do a little local exploring, could I?! And look how pretty the place was, even when we went for a little explore and it was getting dark? Obviously Alex took better photos than I did.

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We did some antiques shopping during the day - I was talked out of buying the cutest bird cage ever, and then came back and did some exploring around the house and the hayloft. I found lots of moths, which terrify me a little. 

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Then, after an evening dinner of Scouse, and lots of rounds of Articulate in front of the fire, I headed to bed under the best sloth-beam ever (see Alex's post for an explanation). 

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