Thursday, 31 March 2016

Pterodactyl Pie..

Brooch: Erstwilder // Dress: Rosegal*
Tights: F+F // Cardigan: New Look
Coat: Cath Kidston
I'm Bossy heels: Irregular Choice // Bag: Primark

 Well, today is certainly a fabulous day. It's been a while since I last wore this dress, but I noticed it this morning because the colours seemed spring-like and the sunshine has been bright. To be honest, most things are pretty bright at the moment, which I'm pleased to record. A lot of the things I've been stressing about lately have been resolved, and I feel pretty happy of late, which I'm hoping is set to stay.

This coat is one I received for my birthday last year but have barely worn. Figuring it was the perfect light layer over this outfit, I kind of matched it to my shoes - loving all of the Spring-y things lately. 

I popped into town last week with an hour to spare between collecting a parcel from the depot and a meeting to go to, which gave me the chance to have a leisurely browse of Primark. I picked up this (lonely) milk carton bag for £1 on the sale stand. Yes, it's tiny, but it's cute and I'm all about the aesthetics. 

Another thing which I'm finding aesthetically pleasing at the moment is my fast-growing collection of Erstwilder dinosaurs. This is the first brooch to feature - Pterry the Pterodactyl - which matches the pie background so well in my opinion. I'm clearly having a bit of a brooch moment, of late. 

Anyone else having a fabulous day?

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

She likes big boats, big yachts, designer throws..

Coat: White Stuff // Dress: Handmade // Flopsy heels: Irregular Choice
Tights, Choker: ASOS // Cardigan: Primark

A fairly thrown-together Easter outfit. This weekend seems to have been full of (wonderful) last-minute and impromptu plans and I got to Sunday evening and felt completely exhausted, which shouldn't be the point after three days off, surely. Ah well. 

Anyway, nothing much changes; I think I wore this dress last Easter, too. I love it for it's Spring-time colours and cutesy budgie print

So, the Flopsy heels were an obvious Easter choice - these are by far my most worn character heels from Irregular Choice. I'm not sure why they're so much more comfortable than the others, but they really are. I've worn these for day trips to London with no bother. I did wonder if the rabbit tights were overkill, but decided that Easter was the day for excess.

Finishing touches included this ASOS sequin choker and a new pale blue cardigan picked up from Primark last week. Plus, I dug out this coat which I haven't worn in goodness knows how long. I have too many coats? Possibly. 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Tuesday Titles 086..

Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom - Catriona McPherson

Oh man, Tuesday again already?! Time seems to be speeding by at the moment. 
Thankfully, the long weekend gave me plenty of time to make a dent in my reading pile, although I did add to it a little after a trip to my favourite second-hand bookshop in Llangollen. 

Anyway, one of the books I managed to devour over the course of the few days off was this:

Set in 1930s Glasgow, which seems to be in the throes of a ballroom-dancing fever. People are getting excited about competitions, and despite the fact that there has already been some blood on the dancefloor with the murder of one of last year's competitors. 

When one debutante begins to receive death threats, her parents call upon sleuth Dandy Gilver and her sidekick, Alec, to assist. 

I loved this, despite the fact that it's the tenth book in the series - I don't think that matters at all - and just loved the writing style. Think a mix of Wodehouse and Christie which will keep you guessing.. 

Monday, 28 March 2016

Rolling in the deep..

Apple Bag: Ollie + Nic // Ring: Gemporia*
Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444)
Tulle + Tights: Primark
Shoes: Kurt Geiger*

In need of an outfit for an evening at the theatre this week, I turned to these shoes and went from there. I don't wear these enough, and had forgotten how much I loved them (although perhaps not so much at the part of the walk that involves a rather steep lane between my house and the theatre). 

I decided to give these new tights from Primark a try - apparently the little hearts should change colour with the heat, although I have to admit I didn't notice this. I did attempt to straighten these seams a little better before leaving the house, don't worry.

I love this dress and think that this tulle skirt works really well with it - it's the perfect length and the colour seems to contract well with the print of the fabric.

I kept my jewellery choices to a minimum with my pretty new Gemporia ring. I only have a small collection of what I'd call "proper" jewellery (i.e. not plastic or from Topshop) and my collection was missing a green tone, so I decided to choose this kayanite and white topaz number. I was quite surprised with how pretty this is - all of the designs are made in limited numbers and their prices are very affordable. 

This ring seems to be of lovely quality and the colours of the stones seem great; just what I'd hoped for. Definitely a website I'll be visiting again in the future. 

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Sunday Shoes 102..

Passionate sandals: ASOS
I'm far behind with my Sunday Shoes posts; I've had a lot of new additions of late. 
These ASOS Passionate sandals - the perfect Valentine's present if you ask me. I don't own many white shoes, but I don't think these would work so well in any other colour. 

The slingback strap at the heel offers several size options and the heel is so delicate, which goes nicely with the pastel pink glitter used on the front for the heart. 

I'm thinking these would be perfect with these tights, no?

IMG_7317 IMG_7318

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Book Review: The Night That Changed Everything

The Night That Changed Everything
The Night That Changed Everything : Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice
Welcome aboard! I'm super excited to be today's stop on the blog tour for The Night That Everything Changed. I'm in such good company as well, taking over the baton from Miss Bookworm. 

Onto the book: 

Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn't cry at the end of Titanic. 
Ben is the only man he knows who did. 
Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. 
Ben is laid back but Rebecca keeps him on his toes. 
They're a perfect match. Nothing can come between them. Or so they think. 
 When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten. 
 Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

From the off, I decided I liked the sound of this book. I loved the way the chapters were written, alternating between Ben and Rebecca, written alternately by authors Jimmy and Laura. Immediately I was drawn into their lives and what I think sets this book aside from those of a similar genre, was that I felt as though I could relate to the characters. I guess they're the right age group for me, and remind me of friends who are in similar situations. 

So far, so standard, you might think. Well, you'd be wrong. It's a new twist on your traditional boy meets girl tome with it's happily ever after ending, but that for me made things more enjoyable. I hate predictable and The Night That Changed Everything is frankly anything but predictable. I was shocked by a couple of the plot twists, but they just worked to make the story more compelling. I read this in an afternoon as I was so immersed, I couldn't leave it alone. 

You'd be crazy not to add this one to your reading list. But, if you need more convincing, be sure to stop by GeorgeLesterWrites tomorrow.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Friday Favourites 188..

FF 188 Collage
001 // 002 // 003

Oh, Collectif, you have stolen my heart this week with your beautiful new arrivals. I've added all of these onto my internal wishlist along with the mermaid dress I recently featured

001: This dress is just beautiful; it's got to be my favourite party dress spied for a while now. It has that super tulle overlay and then embroidered detail on it, and I just love the base colour. Perfect for a spring time wedding or garden party, I'd say.

002: Yes, it's possible that I already own one flamingo cardigan, but I still can't get this one out of my mind. Such cute contrasting button detail as well. 

003: I'm seriously in the throes of a hosiery obsession of late and these teeny flamingo ones are just amazing. 

What's caught your eye this week?

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Living like life's going outta style..

Dress: Handmade (Fabric here)
This week I've mostly been burning the candle at both ends, but to be honest, it's been totally worth it. Pretty happy of late, it has to be said, down to lots of exciting new things happening. 

I know I've worn these boots with this dress before, and not even that long ago, but they're such an easy combination and for an over-tired early morning, that has it's benefits. 

Floral Sequin Bag: ASOS
One thing which is new is this beautiful ASOS sequin bag. I was quite surprised at how much bigger this is than you think. It's a kind of flat shape, and then when you close up the popper in the middle, it gives it this pretty globe shape. I love that it's like clutching a little posy of flowery prettiness. Pretty over practical, yet again. 

I'm super excited for a four day weekend, even though work has been rather good this week. Perhaps knowing it was a shorter week has been the reason for that, but still.

Cardigan: Tu Clothing
Tokyo boots: ASOS

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

I wish that I could be like the cool kids..

Dress: Monsoon // Blazer, Tights: Primark
Robot Bag: Accessorize // Scarf: Oasis // Heels: Irregular Choice

I'm not sure what it is about this outfit which I don't quite love. It seemed as though it worked quite well in my head, but somehow I'm not sure when I look at the photos. Ah well. 

The dress was a sale purchase from Monsoon last year (a gift from a shopping trip with my mum as I was mid-spending-ban) and I can't recall when I last wore this panda print blazer but it's certainly been a while

Any excuse to give my robot bag another outing, along with these heels which I've only had a few weeks but have worn a good few times already

Separately, I like all of the components, (apart from perhaps the sequin scarf which had turned my neck a funny shade of pink by 10am) but somehow together I'm not so sure. Ever feel like that?

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Tuesday Titles 085..

Where There's Smoke
Where There's Smoke : Jodi Picoult
Thankfully, I've been doing a lot more running lately on the treadmill at the gym, which means a little more reading time, as I can set my Kindle up and read as I run. Time certainly seems to pass a lot more quickly when I've something to take my mind off the fact that I *hate* running. 

 I recently read a short story by Jodi Picoult, which I think I was sent as a free download voucher at some point. Where There's Smoke introduces the character of Serenity, who has made a career from her psychic gift and now has a television show. When she invites a war widow onto the show and promises to make contact with her husband, things in Serenity's life take a turn for the worse and suddenly she can't escape from the effects of her special gift.

Although the book would stand alone by itself, it became apparent at the end of the forty or so pages that this was just a teaser for a future Picoult release. It clearly had the desired effect on me as I wasted no time in downloading Leaving Time. 

Leaving Time
Leaving Time : Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time for me was up there my favourite Picoult books. As with just about all of the others I've read (most of them), I got the feeling that so much research had gone into this, particularly to do with the elephants, and as ever it dealt with a plethora of tricky subject matter. Picoult seems to have a talent for weaving complicated emotional issues into her novels and I've never known it not to work for her.

We see Serenity again, as part of the team of people who try to help Jenna in the search to find her mother. After the disastrous effects on her TV career, it was nice to see that she was still happy to embrace her psychic abilities in an attempt to help.

Honestly, I'd thoroughly recommend both of these. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Sincerely Louise Diplodocus Scarf..


 I mentioned a little while ago that I was working on the Sincerely Louise Diplodocus Scarf, and this weekend I finally got it stitched up together, just in time for the.....first day of Spring. Ugh.

The pattern itself was probably the easiest Sincerely Louise pattern I've put together. None of the colour changing of the badger scarf and much less fiddly than the pterodactyl bag, which I've just realised I've not posted about yet! 

I have been knitting this with no pressure, which made a nice change. I took it with me on the train to London, in the car (again to London) and to various friends' houses for evenings spent in front of the TV, but I wasn't in a rush to get it finished, unlike previous projects, which made the whole process quite enjoyable. 

This took almost exactly two balls of wool, which I bought from Wilko when I was in there for something else, so was super cheap. I had an eye left over from the packet I bought to use on the previous patterns and stitched the nostrils on with some scraps of black wool. A rather low-budget project, as I also bought the pattern on Etsy when it was on sale. 

I've attached a brooch pin onto the back of the face section, so that I can pin it on, but I think I might need to alter the placement of the pin. But, all in all, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. A really cute pattern which I'd definitely recommend.


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday Shoes 101..

IMG_7100 IMG_7101

I've fallen behind with my Sunday Shoes posts lately, but have finally made some progress in tackling the shoe mountain. This pair has been sitting in the background for a while, and were in my photos on this post, but I haven't talked about them in much detail. 

When I first saw Pretty Poodle, I almost dismissed them as being too much like my Tiny Ted heels. I mean, they really are quite similar. But then I realised how much I really like my Tiny Teds. I've worn them so much since I received them and I really like pink, so I was pretty easily swayed, it has to be said. I then popped online to find that my size had already sold out. Bah. 

A quick call to the lovely Amy at the Brighton store and I had a pair on the way in the next day's post, though, and I certainly had no regrets when they arrived.

The similarities are there with the Tiny Ted heels - the perspex heels, ankle straps and bows on the back are all shared features. The upper of the shoe is a lovely irridescent pink colour, finished with scalloped edging which is such a cute touch and I've seen on a lot of new styles lately. 

The soles are this season's polka dots. I have to admit, these polka dot boxes and soles are probably my least favourite of all of the IC shoe box designs over the past few years. They just seem a little less imaginative to me than all of the other lovely themes we've seen. 

What does win it for me, is the super poodle on the front - a curly haired cutie with a flower in it's hair. I love the fuzzy texture of this and just how fitting I think it looks for a fifties theme. I so often think I was born into the wrong decade. 

What do you think of Pretty Poodle?


Saturday, 19 March 2016

He loves me not..

Dress: Lindy Bop // Hat: Vintage
Tights: SockShop* // Bag: Vintage
Cardigan: Primark // Shoes: Ruby Shoo*
 I love finding new brands, and what's even better is when those new brands find me! 

Take Ruby Shoo, for example - a shoe brand which I've been vaguely aware of for a little while, but have never actually tried. Their SS16 collection is out and when they asked me to choose a pair to try out, the tassels on these Willow heels really swung it for me. 

Willow have floral fabric uppers which are finished with some faux suede edging and then ties at the front which feature these cute coral tassels. I love the idea of wearing shoes like this with colourful or patterned tights, so when these Johnathan Aston ones arrived from Sock Shop within the same week, the timing couldn't have been better. I really like how they look together as I think the writing on the tights matches the colour of the shoes rather well. 

So, back to Willow. I found them super comfortable, and perfectly sized in my normal shoe size. The ties stay tied (which is important, as you wouldn't believe how many pairs of shoes I've had which come untied, unzipped or un-Velcroed whilst wearing and it's really frustrating.

I decided to match the coral to this Lindy Bop dress, which I haven't worn since receiving it for Christmas. It's an Ophelia, which I have in other colours so know that I'm already a fan of, and the bird print is rather cute.

Then only part I'm not so sold on is the hat, which is a vintage one made from layers and layers of tulle net. I really like it, but am just not entirely sure I can pull it off. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

Friday Favourites 187..

FF 187 Collage
001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005 // 006

We had a little sunshine earlier in the week and frankly it was enough to start me thinking about springtime and pretty shoes for sunny days. Here's what's been catching my eye.

001: I love  pom poms - since receiving a pompom maker for Christmas I've been trying to add them to just about everything. Combine them with glitter, like on these sandals, and I'm definitely sold. 

002: These might be my favourite pick of all this week. I love the chunky flowers on these sandals - they remind me of some I had as a kid - and the bright colours. Bravo, Miss L'Fire!

003: I love the colour of these loafers, and they're currently in the sale with only my size left- this is fate, no?

004: I don't know that I'll ever be a trainers convert, but if any pair was going to tempt me, these could be they. 

005: What's not to love about these Kickers brogues? The bow on the front is the perfect finishing touch and the mix of pastel colours just screams springtime to me. 

006: I really like the lucite heels on these Irregular Choice sandals. Plus, of course, another bow!

Noticed anything superb this week?

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Spending less on the weekly shop..

As well as spending less money on things in general, (budgets are getting ever tighter around here), I've also decided that my weekly grocery shop is something I could save a lot of time on.

I've talked already this year about making a little more time, so that I could spend it doing the things I want to, rather than those which I feel I must. I know it's one of those never-ending battles, but I've been getting a little better at this and figured I'd list some of the things I've found to be helpful in my quest for more spare minutes in my day.

  • Planning: I've found that sitting down at the start of the week (Sunday evening) and making a plan for the coming seven days has really been helping me. I use a weekly planner to note down when I'll be home, when I'll be at the gym, and which meals I need to prepare in advance, that kind of thing. I think it's helping, as it gives me a little more time where I'd ordinarily be wondering what to cook, where I can challenge myself to catch up on the ironing, or reply to a letter. For someone who only spends about two nights per week at home, that's a real help. 
  • Stricter budgeting: A tip I read on a money-saving site once suggested that if you took only cash with you when you went to the supermarket, you'd have to stick to your shopping list. Likewise, we all know not to head to the shops on an empty stomach. I find that having a list I stick to makes me quicker - I detest supermarket shopping anyway, so anything to shorten the process is fine by me! 
  • Self-service checkouts. When I go to Tesco, I prefer to check in with my Clubcard and partake in their Scan and you Shop method. This saves time as it means I can pack up the items I've scanned as I go, with no need to transfer them from basket to bag when I reach the till. 
  • Online grocery shopping: Leading on from the tip above, ordering online is something I've been considering for a while now. Even Amazon have recently begun selling groceries online in competition with the usual stores, but despite the endless offers and promotional codes for free delivery offers and other penny-pinching deals out there (check My Voucher Codes for the latest deals). That said, despite all of the deals and points to be earned, most people still don't seem convinced by the concept of ordering online. The part that puts me off is when you hear about the ridiculous substitutions people are sent. 
Do you have any other tips for saving time and money with your weekly routine? 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Tuesday Titles 084..

One Summer Night
One Summer Night : Emily Bold
Described as a love letter to life, One Summer Night spans the course of an evening in the company of Lauren and her friends and family, interspersed with flashbacks to the important points of her life. 
Lauren has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is trying to make the most of the time she has left, before coming to terms with a very difficult decision. Should she make the decision for herself as to when the time comes?

Friday, 11 March 2016

Friday Favourites 186..

FF 186 Collage
001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005 // 006
The end of the week has certainly crept up on me. I feel as though there's so much to fit in and I'm running out of time. I managed to get a wishlist post together at least. I'm off to the seaside this weekend running a guiding event, leaving after work on the train and of course I haven't packed yet - queen of last minute, as ever. Here's what's been stealing my heart this week.

001: Collectif dresses are just so luxurious; I love the fabrics they use, and this polka dot tulle overlay dress is no exception to this. {The dress I wore last year to Rosie's wedding is one of my very favourite dresses, ever!} I think this would be a lovely wedding outfit and wouldn't look out of place at a garden party, or a day at the races. 

002 and 006: I'm so excited about the new Bryony and Co collection - so many cutesy prints, which I've come to know them for. I think the zoo collection is my favourite - this red print with the zoo animal stripes is just so jolly, but I love the pink border print version as well: collar love!

003: Another stunner from Lindy Bop, The Audrey is my favourite LB style and border prints are becoming a new obsession of mine. 

004: Emily and Fin are definitely back on my radar with their new designs. My current favourite is this swimmer print Jenny dress, which is available from Lilac Rose

005: Lady V London is a brand I've been admiring for a while and this green floral number is a good example of why. So pretty! 

What's on your wishlist this week?

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Living next door to Alice..

Dress: Handmade // Cardigan: H+M
Shoes: Irregular Choice // Bag: Topshop
Brooch: Tangerine Menagerie // Necklace: George
Coat: Tara Starlet // Tights: Thighs the Limit

 OK, so one of the dresses I have managed to make this year, rather last minute and in order that I could wear it to the #IrregularAlice launch in London a couple of weeks ago. The Alice fabric has been sat in my fabric trolley for a while now and I'd originally bought it with my sister in mind, who then decided that she wanted something else entirely last time I made her a dress. This meant I had plenty of fabric, and I went with my go-to Bette pattern. Partly because I know I can knock it together in a couple of hours and had very little time to get this one made, and in part because I like this pattern best at the moment, hence why I return to it all of the time. That said, I'm looking forward to adding to my dress pattern repertoire when my new Gertie Book arrives. 

I've already worn this dress a couple of times. Although I tend to shy away from  paler / white background fabrics when I'm fabric shopping, I actually like that the mix of colours in the print lends itself to a lot of colour. I am totally embracing coloured tights lately and am pleased that I recently managed to track down a new lilac pair in a local shop, to replace my old favourites.

Any chance to wear my favourite Tara Starlet coat has to be a winner. And speaking of wins, I was pleased with these shoes, which I managed to win on eBay for a mere £10.50 recently. I've been trying to track a pair of them down for years now!

This week has been a bit of an odd one. Super, crazy busy, with all kinds of work dramas but also kind of lovely at the same time, so I can't really complain. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

My sewing essentials..

 Finally, last weekend I managed to find some time to get back to sewing. Sadly nothing for me, as I have a couple of commissions I'm currently working on, but it was nice to get back into the swing of things. It feels like a long while since I last spent a good few hours at my machine. Although I haven't quite finished anything I can share photos of (the one item I did complete is a surprise for someone who is likely to read this, so I can't share until she has it), I decided I'd put together a list of the things I can't function productively without. 

Sew Lovely mug: Tea Please*
 Obviously, I run on caffeine, so I always have a pot of coffee on the go before I settle down to some stitching. I now have a new favourite sewing-themed mug as well. TeaPlease have a lovely selection of mugs which cover a range of themes and I'll be certainly going back when I have to shop for birthday presents etc. I've used this mug almost daily since it arrived a few weeks ago, and the design shows no sign of fading, despite being washed both by hand and in the dishwasher on numerous occasions, so it definitely gets a thumbs up from me!


One of my favourite sewing-related items is my rotary cutter. Admittedly, I was a little skeptical at first, as I'd never really thought that scissors were that cumbersome, but since trying out my rotary cutter a year or so ago, I've never looked back. I was talking cutting mat sizes with Sarah the other day and mine is 45 x 60 inches, which is pretty much large enough to suit my requirements. I might look at a larger one at some point, but it's not a necessity. Another thing I'm considering is some pattern weights; are they much better than pins?

  Box Swet Collage

I'm not very good at working in silence, so when I'm not listening to The Archers (or anything else on Radio 4, particularly if it features Brian Cox). I'll set my laptop up nearby and work my way through just about anything on a box set. A selection of the things I've recently marathoned above.

I've also just signed up to Love Sewing magazine, as they're currently offering the new Gertie book as a subscription gift. I've been hankering after the book for a while, and I enjoy the magazines, so it seemed a good deal for me! 

What are your sewing essentials?

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Tuesday Titles 083..

This Must Be The Place
This Must Be the Place : Maggie O'Farrell 

Another new author to me this week; I love that I've been discovering so many new writers of late. When I mentioned this book, a lot of people suggested other O'Farrell books which I'd enjoy, and based on this one, I'll certainly be looking out for them. 

So, we're introduced to Daniel, who lives in the remote wilds of Ireland, where it takes travelling through twelve gates to reach the road.

With each chapter of the book, we learn a little more about Daniel, his past, his present and a secret which has haunted him for a considerable time. I really enjoyed the way that the narrative skips through time and the different moments of his life history are pieced together like a jigsaw. I often shy away from books like this as I sometimes find it hard to keep up, but no such issue here - O'Farrell's superb writing style keeps everything running smoothly.

This Must Be The Place really explores the concept of the way in which those you leave behind can haunt your life as it goes on and the struggle everyone faces to find the place you really belong. An utterly compelling look at those loves you've lost, and how to move on without them.