Wednesday, 30 November 2016

You can't cage a wild thing..


Sometimes, when you're having a rotten week, a wonderful parcel of loveliness can change everything and cheer you up no end. A box arrived yesterday containing the recognisable print of a Yoshi dust-bag and frankly, it cheered me up no end.


This is the amazing Into The Wild tote bag, which reminds me so much of Where the Wild Things Are - did you read that book when you were young? I didn't, but I adored the film and would like to sleep in a pile, to be honest. 


The bag is beautiful. Aside from the lovely bears, bird and deer on the woodland design on the front, it's got some fabulous little details, like this fox peeking out from a tree trunk on the back. The grab handles of the bag are such a lovely design (it sounds like a funny thing to say but they just feel right) and it's got a detachable cross-body strap as well, which clips onto the loops by the top zip. 


If you're looking for something amazing to give someone as a present this Christmas, I assure you you could do a lot worse than choose them a Yoshi bag. I've loved every one which I've seen thus far and have bought two as presents so far, as well. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

Blog Tour: All I Ever Wanted..

All I Ever Wanted : Lucy Dillon

Nancy is four, nearly five. She talks all the time: in the car, on the way to nursery, to her extrovert older brother, to her collection of bears. But then, one February morning, everything changes. Nancy's mum and dad split up. Her father Patrick moves away from their Bristol home to Newcastle. And Nancy stops talking. 

Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She didn't expect to be the third wife of a much-loved household name, but eight years ago, she and semi-retired bad boy Michael Quinn fell in love. Eva knew marrying a much older man meant compromises, but it was the love of a lifetime for them both - until Mickey dies suddenly, leaving Eva alone with his gossipy diaries, their two pugs, and a distressing voice in the back of her mind, wondering if perhaps she's sacrificed more than she meant to. 

While Nancy's parents negotiate their separation, the question of weekend contact is solved when Patrick volunteers his sister Eva's house. It's in Longhampton, an hour out of Bristol, with plenty of room for her to get to know a niece and nephew she's barely met - even if Nancy continues to refuse to speak. Patrick is sure it's just a phase but his soon-to-be-ex-wife is worried that something more traumatic lies at the heart of their daughter's selective mutism.


I was thrilled to be asked to host a stop in the blog tour for Lucy Dillon's new book, All I Ever Wanted. I've heard great things about her writing, although this was my first of her books and I couldn't wait to take it away with me for the weekend. Reading it in front of the log burner, I was transported from my cosy armchair to Caitlin's Bristol home as her world begins to fall apart.

Eva, Caitlin's sister-in-law is finally finding her feet again after being widowed two years previously. Suddenly, her brother Patrick makes a suggestion that she could host his contact weekends with the children and she worries about the chaos which will no doubt ensue. How will she cope with the chaos?

I found all of the characters in this book totally endearing, with the exception of Caitlin at certain points where she seemed a little irresponsible for a mother of two. Most of the time she seemed to be quite a normal person, sometimes overwhelmed at life and I guess I found that quite endearing. 

The children were written in a lovely way, as was the way in which Nancy's issues were resolved. All in all, I found this a rather lovely read, despite dealing with a few things you might not expect from a regular chick-lit novel. Definitely give it a read! All I Ever Wanted will be released on 1st December 2016.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Black Friday Favourites..

I didn't think it would be right to pass up an opportunity to share my favourite Black Friday sale picks with you, so here we go..

BlackFri1 Image
001 // 002 // 003 // 004

001: Aspire Style's Black Friday sale section is the place to snap up this Emily and Fin Florence dress - love the cute print on this.

002: Lindy Bop are adding more and more items to their Black Friday sale, including this lovely matryoshka print skirt. 

003: Marceline has 20% off everything on her website, with up to 40% off some selected items. This little Mount Fuji enamel pin is one of them. 

004: Amazing acrylic jewellery makers, La Vidriola are offering 20% off their site until 29th November, with free gifts if you spend over a certain amount. This Rudolph necklace is amazing - his nose lights up! 

BlackFri2 Image
005 // 006 // 007 // 008

005: Joanie have all kinds of reductions going on - their Black Friday sale is up to 50% off, so head over there and find your Christmas party outfit - sooo many pretty things!

006: Damaris and Mimi Holliday are fast becoming a site I drool over most days, so I was super excited to see that they have some huge Black Friday reductions.

007: Yoshi are offering 20% off all full price items today only with the code THANKYOU20 and I'm so tempted by this jammy biscuit bag. 

008: Collectif have 25% off everything in their own brand lines, until midnight on 28th Nov. This dress has been in my dreams for so long now - perhaps it's time to take the plunge!

BlackFri3 mage
009 // 010 // 011 // 012
009: Playful Promises have a huge sale on at the moment - I might need to be restrained.

010: Little Moose are offering 20% off everything with the code LMBF20 until midnight on Monday.

011: Kate Spade also have 20% off your purchase with the code SKYLINE. Also ends midnight on Monday.

012: You can pick these Irregular Choice x Alice heels up from Schuh with 32% off in their Black Friday sale. 

Other offers to be aware of:

  • Hannah from Doodleheart is offering 25% off her prints until tomorrow with the code "BLACKFRIDAY16".
  • For fabric lovers, there's up to 70% off in Miss Matatabi's fabric shop on Etsy, whilst The Village Haberdashery have 25% off for today only with the code BLACKFRIYAY25.
  • Searching for wedding shoes? The code BLACK20 will get you 20% off shoes on Elegant Steps.
  • Vendula London have 30% off selected products on their site until Monday.
  • Book of Deer have some beautiful clothes on sale in their Black Friday selection.
  • Sugar and Vice have 20% off the site with the code BLACKFRIDAY, which ends midnight tonight.
Have you spotted any amazing deals?

Thursday, 24 November 2016

#novbagnov round-up Days 10-18..


Crikey, this month seems to be speeding by and it seemed high time for another round up.

I've used some favourites here (my Kate Spade train clutch is still one of my favourite ever things) and also some bags which I don't use nearly as often as I should - my Irregular Choice rabbit bag was great to take to London last week. It has a tiny zip pocket in one of the ears, which makes the perfect place to keep your travel pass. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

You made me feel as though I was enough..

Dress: Collectif // Cardigan: H+M
Bag: LYDC // Shoes: Irregular Choice

I feel as though there's nothing particularly new or exciting about this outfit, but I still love this dress and I don't seem to have taken any new outfit photos in a while, so here we are. Absolutely loving my #novbagnov challenge for encouraging me to use more of my collection, although I fear I'm nearing the end of the month and have so many bags I still need to use. I'm rather failing on keeping up with some of my other challenges, though. November was always going to be a busy one, but I've not managed to write my way past 5000 works on my "novel" for Nanowrimo, so I'll perhaps try that one again next year. 

I've also been quite lax with my #BPSewvember photo challenge. I haven't had very much time to sew lately, although this week I'm feeling more inspired to, after spending a day with Sarah learning the ways of the Lady Skater dress (more on that later) and sorting through some of my fabric stash in order to send out some fabric parcels this week for people wanting scraps for quilts etc (there have been a few request hashtags over on Instagram of late). 

Anyhow, this week is flying by, quicker than usual. Which always seems to be the way when I have heaps to do and not enough time. I have some lovely things planned, though, so all is good. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Tuesday Titles 113..

A couple of books for you today - I've recently delved into Sierra Cartwright's Donovan series, which if you're not into fairy explicit BDSM content, is not going to be your cup of tea. (Seriously, graphic content to follow.)

As someone who isn't afraid to ask for what they want when it comes to relationships, the recent rise in popularity in this genre has really intrigued me. Are we getting more open with our relationship chat? Or are we living through the books we read on the subject and secretly wishing we could be more like these characters...? I know which side of the fence I sit on, but what about you? 

Bind - Sienna Cartwright
"You remember that we talked about safe words?"

She couldn't believe they were having this conversation. "Yes."

"Unless there are words you want to use, we can use red and yellow. Red for stop immediately, yellow for slow down, we need to talk, I'm scared, or to let me know you need something."

"That works for me."

Bind, the first book in Sierra Cartwright's Donovan Dynasty series really sets the scene. Lara, whose family is facing financial ruin, comes up with a rather risky business proposition and is a little surprised when entrepreneur Connor takes her up on it. 

Full of fairly graphic BDSM and dom / sub references, this is not a book for the faint of heart, and the second in the series picks up where Bind leaves off, with a focus on some of the other characters in the company. 

Brand - Sienna Cartwright

He wants her subject to his will. She’s scared she may never want to get away. The first time Sofia McBride meets the strong and determined Cade Donovan, he warns her to keep her distance. She tells herself to heed his words, but she’s stunned to realize her depth of attraction to this intimidating man.

Brand continues the Donovan series in the same way - sexy, heated scenes and graphic descriptions of the relationship forming between Sofia and Cade. 

To be honest, there are so many series' of books in the BDSM fantasy category (we're well into 50 Shades territory here) that it can be hard to find a stand-out writer, but I think Cartwright does well here to put her own stamp on the genre and I'm keen to read the third installment. It's clear that she has a real passion for her subject matter and she's written a guest post, on BDSM and how it fits into her relationships, which I'm keen to share, as something which has always intrigued me is how we find out if the other person in our relationship is into the same fantasies as we are:

I Like to be Spanked - Sierra Cartwright

"“I like to be spanked” is not something I ever imagined saying on a first date! But since my divorce, it’s something I’ve said…more than once.

When I’m having dinner with a Dom whom I met at a munch (an actual term for a casual meet and greet, typically at a restaurant or other public place), at a lifestyle club, or through mutual friends, it’s an expected, even necessary part of the conversation.

It’s much more difficult, embarrassing, even risky with a man I’ve met through friends or standing in line at a coffee shop. I’ve heard a range of responses, from, “Really? You want me to tie you up? Hell, yeah. I can do that!” To, “I could never treat a woman that way, not even for fun.”

The normal response from men who have never experimented with BDSM is a ton of questions. “Doesn’t spanking hurt?” Uhm. Yes. It does. “Why do you want to do that?”

It would be easy to not bring up the conversation so early in a potential relationship, but I’ve always been intrigued with BDSM. When I was a young married woman, I learned my husband had little to no interest in exploring my kinky side. I told myself that I could read books and fantasize about various scenarios and still be happy, even though I’d never get to experience them for myself.

But after recovering from the utter devastation of a divorce I never wanted, I made some decisions. And one of them was to explore the thing that had intrigued me for years.

Even though I didn’t know it at the time, a new male acquaintance was a Dom. We were discussing our failed marriages, and one evening on the phone, I had confessed that I had always wanted more, sexually, from my relationship.

He pressed for more information. And since I had the distance and anonymity that comes from being on a phone rather than being face-to-face, I admitted that I had read some of Anne Rice’s material, as well as the Story of O. Since I still had no idea he was dominant, we had a bit of an intellectual discussion.
And then, very deep into the conversation, he told me to slide my hand into my panties to see if I was wet.

I froze, somewhere between shock, disbelief, and excitement. But there was something in his tone that hadn’t been there previously, a command, a demand, and he was totally uncompromising.

My heart raced at his implacability. I protested. I asked him if he was crazy. But I was reeling. This was exactly what I had said I wanted, a feeling of arousal that left me giddy.

He asked if he needed to repeat his order.

“No,” I whispered.

“So. Are you?”

“You’re a Dom?”

He laughed. “What do you think?”

My knees weakened, and I sank into a nearby chair.

“Do it now!” he snapped

And I did.

Delirium made my world spin. Nothing has been the same since.

That night, before I went to bed, he told me to masturbate, but not to orgasm. I did…and I thought I might die from the exquisite torture. I tossed and turned, and the little sleep I got was fitful. Even though I was exhausted, I’d never been more vibrantly alive or curious.

We never had a formal dating relationship, but he was the Dom who taught me, in a very real way, when to use my safe word, and he helped me find my limits though a lot of discussion and experimentation.

Once I’d tasted this kind of excitement, I was committed to having a life that included at least some elements of BDSM.

As a novelist of romantic BDSM fiction, I’m lucky. When I meet men who know nothing about it, but my needs don’t terrify them, I give them a copy of one of my books. If he’s interested in me, he will likely read it. At the very least, he’ll skim it to get an idea of the things that intrigue me.

The most important thing I’ve learned is that BDSM is extraordinarily empowering for the submissive. At first, that idea struck me as an oxymoron, but before scening with a Dom, there’s always a discussion about consent and about the things the sub enjoys, the things she’s willing to do, the things she might consider doing, and the things she will never agree to. There’s an extraordinary amount of conversation and discussion. And it’s raw and honest, emotional in a way I’ve rarely experienced in a non-BDSM relationship.

In fact, it’s not unusual for there to be several long discussions before the couple even engages in BDSM. Doms as well as subs will want to know the person they’re going to play with. He might want to know her personality and build-up trust. I’ve gone on as many as four different dates with a Dom before venturing into his dungeon. (This isn’t necessarily true in a club setting.)

There is always an agreed-upon word that will immediately stop a scene. There’s a word that will allow for a pause because something isn’t working, perhaps a fear has thrown a submissive out of the scene, or she has a cramped muscle, or something is no longer pleasant. After connecting and talking, they may continue, the couple can move onto something else, or they can agree to end the scene.

No matter what, the Dom must remain in control of himself for the duration of the time he’s together with his sub. It’s his obligation to protect her and care for her, especially if she is so far gone with the pleasure of endorphins that she is no longer thinking straight.

Can I share one of the most delicious secrets about BDSM? It’s all about the sub! Many people believe that BDSM is about a submissive serving a Dom, and there’s certainly an element of that involved. But first and foremost, it’s about her. He focuses all his energy, time, thoughts and attention on her. And that can be a heady experience indeed.

Another thing that surprises some people is that no two BDSM scenes or relationships are the same. People can meet for scenes and never have a romantic relationship. Intercourse is not always part of a scene. Even among committed couples, relationships are unique. Some live a dynamic twenty-four hours a day. Some keep it in the bedroom or only on weekends. Just as every relationship you’ve ever had is different, so, too, is each BDSM union.

And even though that initial conversation can be terrifying—more than one man never wanted a second date—I’ve learned that I have to take risks in order to get what I really want in life. So, yes, I like spankings and floggings. And while you’re at it, grab a blindfold. You can skip the gag because now that I’ve started talking about what I want, I’m afraid I’m never going to stop."


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sunday Shoes 125..

Irregular Choice Magic Pony heels
A recent addition to my IC collection, these are apparently called Magic Pony (which gets a little confusing as so is one of my bags). I don't think I can remember these first being available, but I'm very pleased with them. A rather low heel, polka dot uppers and a cute |Mary Jane strap to the front. And, the cutest part of all? The little rabbit detail to the front. 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

If you go down to the woods today..

Dress: Lindy Bop // Bodysuit: Primark
I've been waiting so impatiently for what seems like forever for this woodland print to hit the Lindy Bop site, that when this one arrived, I snapped it up even though I was supposed to be waiting for the long-sleeved Holly version...

To be honest, I kind of wish I'd waited, as when I put this one on, I realised that it's so low cut in the bodice (and I'm so lacking the boobs department) that I was forced to wear this lace body underneath. Eep! It's a really cute print, though. 

Tights: ASOS // Hat: Handmade
I continued the woodland theme with my owl bag, some fox print tights and these questionable woodland critter shoes (fox? wolf? squirrel? I've had this debate before, but I'm still unsure..)

Shoes: Bocage // Bag:: LYDC

Also, a first outing for my new me-made hat, which I'm quite pleased with...

Friday, 18 November 2016

Friday Favourites 222..

FFYoshi Image
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It's rare that an entire wishlist comes from the same place but Yoshi Bags have just released their new collection and frankly I just couldn't pick one favourite, as all of their new styles are just amazing. 

I only discovered the brand earlier this year, but I've bought several people's Christmas presents from them already and I'm trying to justify buying myself at least one bag, too..

Here are some of my favourites: 

001: This is my favourite of the new collection. The between the trees design gives it a slightly eerie, slightly Where the Wild Things Are feel, I think, and I love that. I also don't own a lot of brown, but I'd be on board with it if it had this cute design on the front!

002: I love that the handle of this bag is the cat's tail - such a cute design.

003: This little owl would brighten up any set of keys. I love the mix of blues and greens.

004: Matching owl iPad case would make the perfect Christmas gift - there's a whole wonderful range of owls (I've bought my mum one of the handbags as she's a big owl fan!).

005: This whole range is just so wonderfully festive - the warm shop-front windows and snowy scene makes me feel all warm and glowy inside. 

006: Who doesn't love biscuits?! This bag is just awesome and I'm so glad that they've included pink wafers, which used to be my favourite as a kid.

007: This design is pretty quirky as it shows a lot of the past season Yoshi designs, in a gallery style showcase. I really like this idea, although it makes me a little sad that I've apparently missed out on so many gems. 

Which is your favourite? Are you (like me) hoping for some Yoshi magic under your Christmas tree?

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A hat with hearts..

(Pattern: Ruby Red Heart Hat )
So, I mentioned in my post on Monday that I'd done some knitting whilst I was away at the weekend. On Friday evening as we sat in our little cottage chattering, I cast on my first row of stitches, counted them about a billion times and had a go at following this hat pattern. 

I found it on Ravelry as I was looking for something to do with this lovely ball of wool; a present from my friend's recent trip to the Falklands. I wanted something which I could make from the ball of wool and which I could wear, and I'm quite the fan of hats.


I used circular needles when I was making my Miette cardigan, so I thought I'd be OK, but on my first attempt I managed to end up with an inadvertent moebius loop, so I had to frog it all and start again. But after that, it went OK.

I managed, with some assistance from the much more accomplished knitters in the room, to use double point needles for the first time, to finish off the crown and I'm rather pleased with the result. The pattern was easy to follow and I maybe spent a couple of hours on it on Friday and Saturday, so it didn't really take too long, although I did have to concentrate quite hard on the pattern when I was creating the hearts. Particularly Row 3, which is a pain.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ten things to do in Toronto..

Toronto1 Collage

So, seriously HOW long has it been since I got home from my US trip in the summer? Finally getting around to rounding up the last of my photos and I thought I'd share ten things which you should probably do if you visit Toronto...

001: Visit Casa Loma - it's an old stately home (described as a castle), which is situated a little outside of Downtown Toronto. If you're accessing it from the subway, it's almost worth it just for the view from the Baldwin Steps.  

002: See a free concert in Yonge-Dundas Square - this always seems to be busy. Our hotel was right off the square and when we arrived we had concerns about the noise, but despite having a room overlooking the square we didn't hear anything from the square. There was live music every night, though. 

Toronto 2 Collage

003: See a baseball game! - This one was probably the highlight of my time in Toronto; watching the Blue Jays. The whole ballgame atmosphere was just great - so much fun, and even though they didn't win, I was super glad we managed to get tickets and that there happened to be a home game on whilst we were there. 

004: Visit Tim Horton's. Apparently it's *the* Canadian Starbucks and there are rumours that it's making it's way over to the UK. I'd never heard of them before, but they do some little doughnut cakes called Tim-bits, too, which brightened up a coach journey.

Baseball Collage

005: The CN Tower - I feel as though we did a lot of towers on the trip, but it was great to see the city from above. There's a lot to do whilst you're up there, including various restaurants and even a section where you can walk along the outside, strapped to the edge, if you're feeling brave. The tower lights up at night, and the top restaurant revolves.

006: Toronto Zoo - they have baby pandas. The zoo is a fair way out of the city - it took us about an hour each way on the bus, but did I mention the baby pandas...?


007: Take in the statues and monuments - I went for a run each morning around the city and every day saw something new and unusual. I found this blog post which has a bundle more, but Toronto definitely seems to be full of obscure art installations and statues. 

008: Ripley's Aquarium - Situated right next to the Roger's Centre (home of the baseball!), the aquarium has plenty to keep you occupied if the weather is rotten (we headed here after pizza on our last night in Toronto to shelter from the rain and there was plenty to see).

Niagra Collage

009: Food - So much food. We tried a beavertail (kind of like a churro, I think (although I've never eaten a churro, so I'm not sure) and a corn dog, which were both part of our list of challenges, but also had a birthday breakfast at Denny's (where you get to eat for free if it's your birthday!). We also had amazing stone-fired pizza and ice cream from Cows: the best ice cream parlour I've ever visited, in Niagra-on-the-Lake. 

010: Last but not least, you can't be so close and not visit the amazing Niagra Falls, right? We did it as a whole-day event. We were collected in a mini-bus from our hotel in the morning, stopped at a vineyard on the way, and then arrived at Niagra shortly before lunch, to take photos of the falls and do a little souvenir shopping.
We had lunch at a hotel overlooking the falls and then went on the boat ride into the Falls. On the way home we stopped off at Niagra-on-the-Lake and I'm sad I didn't get any photos (think Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls - seriously, it was their annual town peach festival!) but it was quite rainy by this point and we were sheltering in our ponchos from the boat.

Have you been to Toronto? What else would you add?

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Penguins and polka dots..

Cardigan, tights: H+M
Coat: Miss Selfridge // Bag: F+F
Audrey Dress: Lindy Bop // Curtain Call heels: Irregular Choice

 I think this may well be one of my favourite new additions to my wardrobe in a long while. This Audrey dress from Lindy Bop actually has flying penguins on it. I love that the background colour is a little different to just about anything I can think of in my wardrobe, and that the print is so obscure, yet super-cute.

It seemed fitting to wear it with my penguin bag the other day for my #novbagnov challenge, and I added these tights to pick out the colour of the belt, With sparkly shoes, just because. 

Also, a new coat. Yep, I've added to the coat avalanche (although I have actually got rid of one this week, so we're kinda coat-neutral.) Apparently I have too many coats. But, this one is so fluffy at the cuffs and collar. I was powerless to resist. 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Things I learnt this weekend..


On Friday, I ran some errands and had a little last-minute panic, double checked about four different lists, loaded approximately one trillion bags into the car, and then finally pootled over the hills to the Peak District to spend a weekend with my fellow unicorns. 

After some hold ups with a work thing and some rubbish news from my most recent blood results, I was definitely in need of a weekend away from everything. With no phone signal or internet. I packed my knitting needles and a new project (more on that soon!), my running trainers and my walking boots. And very little else. 

Some things I learned this weekend: 

  • Blanket stitch - I can't understand how it's taken me this long to pick this one up, but my camp blanket thanks me.
  • I'm rotten at running up hills. 
  • I can't read maps. 
  • Curry powder has gluten in it. 
  • Walks of any distance can be enhanced by playing "peloton".
  • Double point needles are less scary than I thought. 
  • Parkrun marshals are always friendly and encouraging.
  • Frankly, a weekend full of laughter, crafting and cake can make you feel a lot better about most things.


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Sunday Shoes 124: Red or Dead Starship..


Red or Dead are a brand which seem to have a special little place in my heart. I remember (long before I discovered and fell in love with Irregular Choice) purchasing a pair of Red or Dead Mary Jane heels to go to my school prom. They matched my dress rather perfectly, and were like nothing I'd ever seen before - a kind of brocade burgundy print over a pale pink background, with metallic plum heels and straps. They were wonderful, and I wish I'd kept them, if only for the lovely nostalgic appeal they hold.

Anyhow, they're a brand which has always been on my radar, but of whom I don't seem to own very much. In fact, other than a pair of tights and these Olivia heels, I can't think of anything else I own from them (although I'm desperate for a reason to buy this). 


Anyhow, when I saw these boots for sale online, I could not resist them. These are the Starship boots, which were apparently exclusive to Schuh when they were released and I think they're just wonderful. 

A lovely, high stiletto heeled boot, covered in leather stars and finished with a zip at the back (eep, I have a bit of a fear of those, but it's worth looking past that). I love the little star detail on the zip pull and was super pleased to discover that these arrived with me in brand new condition (for a fraction of their original cost). I frankly cannot wait to wear them!


Saturday, 12 November 2016

Squirrels read books..

Martha Book Dress & Squirrel Cardigan: Joanie Clothing
I'm not sure why it's taken me such a while to share these amazing new Joanie clothing picks - I snapped them up just as soon as they landed on the website and I'm about to do the same again! Have you seeeeeeeen the new Christmas range? 

Frankly, Joanie Clothing are fast becoming one of my favourite sites - the "new kids on the block", they've been gradually adding more and more pretties to their site and I check it on a regular basis. Although it's been a little frustrating to see some of the prices creeping up over the past week or so, it has to be said that they're still super affordable and the quality - as I mentioned with my Harper dress - is amazing.

Jacket: Violet Rose Vintage
I loved the book print on the Martha dress as soon as I saw it - book prints have been popping up everywhere of late (see my recent wishlist post for examples) but this is by far my favourite mix of colours and print. The dress is elasticated at the waist, but somehow still hangs nicely (I sometimes have issues with elasticated waists) and there's a side zip so that the buttons on the bodice can be just for show. 

The squirrel cardigan was the other thing which stole my heart. It's a tan colour, which I can't say is something I have a lot of in my wardrobe, but it works well as a neutral and I love the squirrel detail and the stripes around the neck and the cuffs. This is quite a generous fit - I should have sized down, probably, as the sleeves are quite long on my arms. It's great, though. 

Boots: Irregular Choice // Bag: ASOS

Some old boots and a new (to me) jacket. I was supposed to be returning something to the vintage shop (I wasn't able to) but ended up coming away with this as well. Oops. I couldn't resist it, though. I love the detail which goes into vintage tailoring. Extra hooks and hidden buttons to keep the jacket fitted nice and tightly; I think it will be perfect for evening trips to the theatre when the weather drops a little more. Apparently we're due some -14C temperatures, and I sort of can't wait. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Friday Favourites 221..

FF Xmas2 Image
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You'd be right in wondering just what had come over me this week. Never normally a festive soul, I've been pairing up for this year's #bloggersecretsanta and in shopping for my parcel, a lot of festive bits and bobs seem to have caught my eye.

001: Oh, Radley have done it again with their wonderful picture bag. I already have a festive one and I can't justify another, but it's soooooo pretty! 

002: Erstwilder have a whole bundle of new things out now, including a whole Christmas range.

003: Lindy Bop are coming out with some lovely festive designs- like these ice skaters!

004: Punky Pins have so many cute pin brooches at the moment. This snowglobe has melted my heart.

005: I love the fairy light print on the latest Emily and Fin dresses.

006: This skirt from Collectif would be perfect for Xmas parties...

FF Xmas 1 Collage
007 // 008 // 009 // 010 // 011 // 012

007: Because who needs an excuse to wear festive knitwear? I love the collar detail on this.

008: Cute, glittery snowman bag? I'm on it!

009: Cold weather means furry collars; this Joanie one is the perfect finishing touch to any winter outfit.

010: Palava have some amazing festive prints!

011: The superb winter ice skating scene on this skirt makes me long to be back in NYC!

012: Tatty Devine's Xmas range is awesome - I love this bracelet and also their party crown.

Have you got any festive pieces in your sights? Is it too soon to be thinking about this?

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on..

Holly Dress: Lindy Bop
I feel as though my life should be sponsored by Lindy Bop, lately. But seriously, their new designs are just *so* good. I've been trying so hard to be restrained but this space dog print was one I just couldn't bring myself to pass on. 

As soon as it arrived, I has visions of teaming it with my Accessorize rocket clutch bag, which I haven't used in so long. I'd almost forgotten about these shoes, too, but they live in the same box as the bag and I figured they'd go quite nicely with the colours in the dress. 

Juniper heels: Topshop // Bag: Accessorize
A pair of star print tights - Pamela Mann ones, (probably from my local tights shop) I rather liked the space-y theme I seemed to have coming together. I had to layer up in a thick coat to leave the house, though as it's still pretty Arctic. 

In other news, I realised today with the release of the new one that I've missed out on almost all of the previous John Lewis adverts (I remember seeing the Watership Down style bear / rabbit one, but none of the others) - I watched my way through ones from previous years and began to wonder if I'm the only person in the world who doesn't really get the hype...?

Tights: Pamela Mann

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

#novbagnov Round-up Days 1-9..

NBN1 Collage

So, it's been a little while since I wrote a little round-up post like this, but as finding the courage to take proper outfit photos has been rather lacking this week, here's the first leg of this month's novelty bag challenge. 

I've really been enjoying it so far - having more of a reason not to be lazy and just grab whatever's closest / I've used most recently and to actually think about what I would like best to combine with some of my favourite bags. 

I've been shopping a lot of late, but with a focus on getting the last Christmas presents sorted, rather than particularly for things for myself, which my overflowing wardrobes would no doubt confirm is a good thing. Although some of these outfits are proving that I've a lot of things bought in recent months which I'm only just getting around to wearing for the first time. My new pink coat (day 7) has been languishing on the coat hooks for a few months now, but it's finally turned cold enough to wear it!

I unpacked the taxi and the cupcake bags from their storage boxes and was keen to use those as I hadn't for months. I know that some of the others - the penguin and the planet - have been worn a lot more recently. There are lots more to come! Also it's been rather lovely to have others getting involved - if you're on Instagram, join in with the #novbagnov hashtag...

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Tuesday Titles 112..

The Easy Way Out : Steven Amsterdam

I'd never imagined that a book written about assisted suicide could be amusing and entertaining, but apparently it can. 

The Easy Way Out focuses on Evan, a male nurse whose job it is to administer a lethal final drink to those who ask for it. Landing in the job due as a result of circumstance rather than ambition, he is nervous, to say the least. 

With every moment of every procedure caught on camera for later dissection by his superiors, it's not surprising that Evan spends a lot of his spare time thinking about death. With his mother gradually succumbing to Parkinson's disease, and Evan himself coming to terms with his own lifestyle choices, it's safe to say that this book raises some emotive issues. 

I have to say, I enjoyed the writing style; fast-paced and witty all of the way through the book. I felt this was the perfect contrast to some potentially tough subject matter, so can't fault the writer at all in that respect. 

Everyone has an opinion on how they'd choose to die, I'm sure. I'd recommend this book as it gives a good look into an alternative viewpoint, deals with some challenging issues and somehow manages to remain entertaining.