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Saturday, 27 February 2016

#IrregularAlice

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Yesterday I hot-footed it to the Irregular Choice store in Carnaby as I was invited to the VIP unveiling of their new Alice in Wonderland collaboration. I've been very excited about this collection, as I've always been a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland - my favourite movie as a child, by far!

Although I had a fair idea of what styles I was expecting, the shop itself was dreamy. Behind a curtain lay this amazing spread of tea party themed accessories, displaying all of the pairs in the collection. Just like the Mad Hatter's tea party. We were offered refreshments in the form of weird and wonderful flavoured popcorn (rhubarb and custard, anyone?!) and the atmosphere was that of such excitment and wonder. 

Before long, everyone was picking out their favourite pairs to try on, but how to choose just one...?! Immense pressure! It was lovely to be there along with other stalwart fans of the brand, some of whom I've interacted with online for years now, and most excitingly to meet the lovely people who work for Irregular Choice (hi, Amy!) and to meet Dan Sullivan, the brains behind the brand itself. 

It's unlikely to surprise anyone that I did not return home empty-handed. I'll share my new additions, soon!

A big thank you to Irregular Choice for the invite to their magical tea party.


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Friday, 26 February 2016

Friday Favourites 184..

Friday Favourites 184..
Irregular Choice // Dress 

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about today's launch of the #IrregularAlice collection. They go on sale at midday. How is one meant to pick a favourite?! 

In other news, the long-awaited Collectif mermaid print has arrived, and I love it. 

What's caught your eye this week? 

Thursday, 25 February 2016

I am revenant..

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Dress: Handmade // Cardigan: Matalan
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Stag Brooch: Sugar and Vice
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Tights, Bag: Primark // Boots: Bata
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Coat: Vintage // Snood: H+M

Well, I went to see the film the other day and when I got up to leave, a woman in the row behind told me she thought I was part of the film. Um. So, apparently the title speaks truth. 

Anyhow, this outfit began with the tights. I'm not sure that I've worn them before. If I have, I can't remember it (also, incidentally, I won't be wearing them again, as they ended up with such a ladder in them that they're now in the bin). 

And then, one of the dresses I made this year, in that first flurry of productivity. It seems so long since I sewed for myself, although I was hoping to find some time this week to put something together for Friday. Time eludes me. 

This week's been pretty lovely so far. Work things are good and I'm still mulling over the new possible venture. I've also had quite a few dress commission enquiries, and have listed a bundle more things from my wardrobe onto my clothes sale page. We shall see. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Yarn Along {3}

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 Finally I finished the blanket, which means I'm on to the next knitting project. I made a good start in front of a movie at the weekend.

My current project is another Sincerely Louise pattern (what can I say? I'm a fan!). This time I'm making myself the Diplodocus Scarf, and I'm hoping to get a lot more of it done when I'm on the train to London on Friday.

My book of the moment is This Must Be the Place , by Maggie O'Farrell. A new author to me, but having finished this off last night, someone I'll certainly be reading more of. Review to follow soon.

Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Tuesday Titles 081..

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The One-in-a-Million Boy - Monica Wood

Oh, I don't even know where to start with gushing over this week's book. If I could afford to pre-order one for all of you I certainly would, as it's a must read. And that's not something I say lightly. 

Ona Viktus is 104 years old. She's had one of the local Scout group appointed to assist with her day to day tasks and our story begins with her first encounters with The Boy. It becomes clear that these encounters are flashbacks of a relatively recent time as The Boy stops attending her house. Ona fears that he is just not very dedicated and his attention span has waned, like the other boys before him. But this boy is different. He's one in a million. He likes lists and has something of an obsession with Guinness World Records. 

Thereafter, chapters flick between recordings of conversations Ona had with the boy, in sharing her life story, and the present day, where Quinn (the boy's father) has taken over the day to day tasks left undone by his son. These events are also peppered with lists and lists of world records and I found this flickering between everything really helped to pique my interest.

Somehow everything just flows together and the melancholy truth becomes clear. Yes, it's an emotional book and it deals with such heart-breaking subject matter in a wonderfully eloquent way. The repercussions of the event, and how characters Belle, Quinn and to a certain extent, Ona, deal with their grief at they come to terms with what has happened, are just fabulously written. 

The One in a Million Boy is due to be published on 4th April 2016, but you can pre-order it now. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

#BeSelfless



 


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I mentioned last month in my 2016 goals post that one of the things I've pledged to do is at least one random act of kindness per month. This could be something as simple as sending a care package to a pal who is going through a rough time, donating blood (this is something which I try to do when I can anyway, although was turned away in January as I wasn't well enough) or something a little more complex, like taking on a new volunteer project. I love the idea that sometimes the little things can make a big difference and that even whilst I don't have any spare cash available to me, that shouldn't stop me from doing something good.

So far this month, I've made a couple of gifts for people I knew needed cheering up, have donated lots of items to a friend who is starting afresh in a new solo home, and am posting out these little mice. I've rebooked my blood donation appointment in the hope that I can donate with success last time, and I've bought coffee and bacon sandwiches for the homeless couple who live on my route into town. Taking part in #lettermo has meant that I've been inspired to write and catch up with friends I've fallen out of touch with, or just to send some written messages of love.

If you're inspired to take on the challenge, I've found a lot of great ideas in this infographic, produced by NRS Healthcare, who launched their #BeSelfless campaign last month. Their hashtag and feed has been filled with ideas of small and larger suggestions on ways you could do something for others. I can definitely get on board with the volunteering thing - as I must have mentioned many times, I've been volunteering with Girlguiding for many years now.

Have you done anything to #BeSelfless lately? Any suggestions?


infographic version amended

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunday Shoes 099..

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With the recent addition of this lovely IKEA Fabrikor display unit to my living room, and the addition of the Irregular Choice Pretty Poodle heels to my collection (shout-out to the ever-lovely Amy in the Brighton store for acting as my shoe-angel and tracking down the pairs I've been searching for in my size!), I decided that I'd try out a little display of a selection of my Irregular Choice poodle shoes.

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I say a selection as I know there's at least one more pair, possibly two that I haven't tracked down for this, but which I know that I own. That said, I don't know that I'd have found space for them on the shelves anyway.

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Ludicrously, if you asked me, I'd say that I'm not really a dog fan, so why I'm so drawn to a poodle print is anyone's guess. I love the pastel cuteness of the standard poodle print used on so many of the earlier IC styles and have always searched for that fabric (I once saw a Get Cutie skirt in a matching print, but have never seen it in my size, but it proves that it's out there, in existence).

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As with so many Irregular Choice shoes, there are endless little details to catch your eye. Embroidered poodles on the fronts of the green flats and the backs of the pink heels. Lace edging on the heels, scalloped edging on the wedges and cute little faux t-bar shaped on the fronts of the pink flats. As for the plethora of detail on the newbies, Pretty Poodle, they'll get a post of their own soon enough. 

Any favourites? My Little Sis always tells me that I have too many poodle shoes - I haven't told her about the new ones, yet..! 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Brockhampton weekend..

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Last weekend I hotfooted it over the Worcestershire border to Herefordshire to join Sarah and some of her friends at The Oast House - a National Trust holiday cottage on the Brockhampton Estate.

The weekend came at just the right time for me as I've had a particularly stressful few weeks at work, with more to follow. so two days of pizza, cake and lots of hilarious chit chat was just what I needed. 

Since we were staying on the estate, we were all allowed to explore the Brockhampton Estate itself and headed to the tearoom for lovely lunch on Saturday before heading down the hill to take a look around the house itself. I didn't take many photos and the weather wasn't super, so we didn't stay that long, then stopping in Bromyard in the hope of finding somewhere for afternoon tea, but no such luck, so we headed back to our cosy log fire in the house.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Friday Favourites 183..

Friday Favourites 183..
001 // 002 // 003 // 004




 It's getting to the stage where the sunshine is getting brighter when I leave the gym after my morning swim, which is rather nice and making me think that Springtime is definitely on it's way.

001: What could be more Spring-appropriate than this lovely lamb sweater from Sugarhill Boutique? I'd team this with a full skirt with yellows in it to match the lamb's bow, and it would keep me warm whilst hunting for Easter eggs.

002: I'm a little reluctant to share this one with you, as I've not been able to order my own yet, and I'm scared the limited run will sell out. But this is Georgette, HelloDODO's new chameleon necklace - girlfriend of George (the necklace who goes with everything). She's super!

003: Pretty new things are hitting all of the websites and I'm easily swayed by a novelty bag, as we all know. This shop front cross-body from Accessorize is the perfect size to carry all of the essentials, as well as being a lovely pastel colour palette. 

004: Ah, I'm so pleased that the lovely team at Lindy Bop have brought these ice-cream stripes back. I missed out on last year's Matilda dress but this skirt would be perfect with a petticoat and some bright heels.
What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The lonely tourist..

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Dress: Vintage // Coat: Topshop
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Tights: New Look // Bag: Ollie and Nic
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Wedges: Irregular Choice
All of the things seem to be conspiring to shatter my plans to be more organised. I'm basically the queen of lists at the moment; busy times at work and figuring out future ventures means that my life is held together with post-it notes and I know that if I'm not careful, other things could slip. 

A combination of taking time out last night to sort out some technology issues for a friend, and returning home to find the building likely to be without power for the night, it seemed pointless staying there which meant I'm falling a little behind on this week's dress commission. Hopefully there'll be time to get it finished and posted off to it's new home at the weekend, though. 

Although the skies are looking brighter, it's still jolly cold, so cosy wool tights are my current go-to. I'm still in two minds about this dress, I do love the colours, but the fact that it fastens only with the buttons at the front makes it fiddly and I'm never sure how flattering button-fronts are on my funny shape.

The green furry coat is another thing I'd forgotten I owned. Turning the wardrobe room upside down has been a rather super way to rediscover things. I'm still working on my final touches for it, but am happy with the way it's all looking thus far.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

On the last of your pick 'n' mix..

 


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Lilac tights: Thighs the Limit
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Dress: Monsoon // Cardigan: New Look
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Dolly Mixture: Irregular Choice

 It's been a rather full week already. Plenty of work dramas, trying out a new local eatery for my bestie's birthday and checking out some potential new walls (in the form of a building, not actual walls).

I think I decided that I'd had enough of rotten weather (it's been the most miserable day for a while, here) and decided to opt for some lovely lilac tights with this floral dress and my cheerful Dolly Mixture boots, which I haven't worn enough of so far. 

How's your week going?

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Tuesday Titles 080..

Fixing Kate
Fixing Kate - Amanda Murphy

I spent a lovely lazy morning on Saturday reading something a little quick and easy. In fact, my whole weekend was pretty relaxing and this was just what I needed. 

Kate, in her high-flying career has her life pretty much sorted. Although still searching for her perfect man, she is surrounded by a superb bunch of friends who never fail to keep her entertained. In fact, things are pretty great for Kate.

Until, that is, she has an accident at work and ends up in hospital for many months. Her friends rally round and try to make sure that Kate is OK and well on the road to recovery, bringing her regular care parcels and swooning over her dishy doctors. 

Although almost entirely set in Kate's hospital bed, enough happened for it not to get too boring. A cheerful, easy story to please just about any optimistic romantic, I'd say.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Sequins and sushi..

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Dress: Laura Ashley // Sequin Jacket: Monsoon
It's been all go for the past few days, and this week has me truly freaking out - lots of big things in the pipeline so plenty of sleepless nights, business proposals and frightening meetings. Things like this keep you on your toes, I guess. Hopefully this time next week I'll be able to actually do fun things again. And, y'know, sleep.

This Laura Ashley dress has been hanging on my dress rail for goodness knows how long, yet I'd never worn it. I'm not sure why. Whilst I often find I shy away from white or pale backgrounds when I'm buying dresses or fabric, the print on this one makes it for me. I do have a rather similar dress which Roisin gave me, which I've worn a lot, so maybe that's why this particular one has been overlooked a little. 

Anyhow, it was off to the ballet with me on Thursday - Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty at the Hippodrome, to be precise. I saw Edward Scissorhands last year and there was no way I could pass up this one when it toured. I loved every second of it; the costumes and set design were just amazing and the dancers just take your breath away.

I love to be a little dressed up for the theatre and sequins are my go-to favourite. Speaking of favourites, I took my current favourite bag, which seemed to coordinate nicely with the colours of my sequins and shoes. As it was utterly freezing, I also wore my vintage fur coat, which is kind of like wearing an actual bear, and struggling into the teeny theatre seat with it.


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Wiskers heels: Irregular Choice*
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Sushi Shop Bag: Vendula London*

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sunday Shoes 098..

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I managed to take advantage of the Irregular Choice mega sale last week by ordering this pair of Nimbus heels. I'll admit that when these first launched, they totally passed me by. In fact, it was only recently when I saw someone's pair on Instagram that I even noticed these. There is just so much detail in this pair that I'm not sure where to begin, so it's no wonder they were released as part of the "Gold Star" collection.

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The main fabric on the upper of the sandal is a textured (almost jacquard?) blue with dashed print, but also with gold metallic polka dots across it. All of the straps are finished in a sparkly gold braid, which adds to the opulent effect.

More gold can be found on the fronts of the sandals which boast bows and a piece of gold rope, which is home to the carousel rabbit charm. The name of the shoe, Nimbus, obviously makes me think of clouds, so perhaps it's a cloud carousel. Stranger things have happened!

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Onto the backs of the sandals and you can see they are adorned with a tassel fringe. The bottom half of the shoe is pretty much entirely covered in glitter and the heel is reminiscent of the inverted heel on styles such as Prom Princess and Izzy Bear.

The soles of these sandals are quite possibly the most quirky element of all. It's not quite a sole, more a tiny strip of sole under the front platform which is a kind of diamond shape. Oddly, they're still pretty comfortable to walk in and feel totally stable.

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Saturday, 13 February 2016

Date Night Cookbook..

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So, it's that there Valentine's Day weekend and I suspect there are already lots of lovely plans being made for the day itself. But what if you need a little inspiration in order to plan something special and a little bit different?

 I was recently asked to try out the Date Night Cookbook, which is an absolute visual feast of photography and recipe ideas, peppered with little nuggets of dating advice as well. From beach picnics to cosy nights in, this has a selection of simple but tasty recipes to try out.

Given that it was also Pancake Day this week, I decided to give the Under-the-Covers pancake recipe a try, with various toppings on offer. The batter is easy to make, but turned out a little thicker than I tend to prefer, so I added a little more milk after the first couple of pancakes. They were yummy though and just the way to celebrate pancake day. I'm looking forward to trying out more of these recipes - a beach BBQ sounds great when the weather picks up a little, no?

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What's your favourite pancake topping? I'm all about the lemon and sugar.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Friday Favourites 182..

Friday Favourites 182
001 // 002 // 003 // 004

This week's wishlist has something of a summertime seaside vibe, but I can't help it - I've been looking at long overdue sunny weekends away - exciting times!

The print on this Dolly + Dotty dress (001) just reminds me of a traditional deckchair print. Super cheerful, right? 

I'd totally team it with either of these Lou Taylor necklaces (002) and (003). A new find for me, online, but I would certainly love to add both of these necklaces to my collection. I love just anything nautical, and the art deco styling of this wonderful swimmer necklace. I do love swimming.

Amy shared these glittery clutch bags (004) with me; what's a wishlist without a little glitter?! I love that these are large enough for all of the essentials for a night out, as well as being available in a rainbow of colour..!

What's caught your eye this week?

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Vendula Sushi Shop..

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Sushi Shop Grab Bag*

 It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the Vendula London brand - they come out with some frankly amazing designs every single season. So of course, I was eager to share one of my favourite pieces of their new collection here. 

One of this season's new ranges is this sushi shop. As with most of the Vendula London unique bags, the deign is available in the full range of sizes, from grab bag to purse and with all sizes in between.

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The sushi shop front features the attention to detail I've come to expect from this brand. As well as the cute shop window scene which features cats preparing and enjoying sushi. There are sushi motifs stitched onto flaps to form the canopy over the window, so these move a little. The top of the bag is shapped like a roof, and the main compartment fastens with a clasp.

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There's a detachable shoulder strap, in the same black snakeskin look faux leather as the base and grab handle of the bag. Seriously, every time I look at this I spot another cute detail, like the little dustbin on the back of the bag.

Inside, you'll find the standard London-print lining fabric, which I believe is used on all of their bags, and there is plenty of space for all of the essentials (even for me, who carries my whole life around with me).

What's your favourite bag in the new Vendula collection?

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The search for inspiration..

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Dress: Jolie Moi // Cardigan: H+M 
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Boots: Irregular Choice // Bag: via a blogsale // Brooch: Tatty Devine
 

 It's already one of *those* weeks. One of the ones where you can't quite get your head around the fact that it's already Wednesday, but your list of things to do just seems to be growing by the second, whilst you battle permanent exhaustion. But y'know, life goes on. I seem to finally be rid of the horrible concussion from last week, so that's all good and I have plenty to look forward to in the next few days.

I wasn't feeling hugely inspired at the prospect of finding outfits, so when I remembered this dress after a cursory flick through my Dressed App, I wore it with the same cardigan and brooch that I'd used last time. But I went for these boots, which I'd sort of forgotten about until I added them to my new shoe shelves the other day (they'd been languishing in a shoebox under the sofa for goodness knows how long!) and my favourite heart print tights, so as to get involved with Erica's hearts for Valentine's Day efforts.