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Monday, 29 August 2016

NYC Twilight Cruise

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One of our evenings in New York was spent on a 90-minute twilight boat cruise to see the skyline as the sun went down. We had a 48-hour tour bus ticket, which covered us for the hop-on tour buses around the city and were told that this cruise would also be included in our tickets.

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In fact, when we got to the ticket office at the ferry pier, we were told it wasn't, but having walked to the end of the island (literally!) in the blistering heat, we weren't prepared to miss the opportunity and paid ten dollars each to upgrade our tickets. 

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Being there about an hour before the ferry began to board was a grand idea as it meant we were at the front of the queue, but actually that didn't really help us, as there are more people than seats and whilst we got on and sat on the top deck, people continued to fill up the edges of the deck, making it impossible to see anything from our seats, which was a little annoying. 

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We managed to wait for a space and I proceeded to take about eleventy billion photos of the skyline in the gradually fading light.

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The tour lasted about 90 minutes and we were given plenty of information about the things we were passing. It went down from Pier 78 and along Lower Manhatten past the Brooklyn Bridge, and then did a lap of Liberty Island as the light was fading so that we could get some lovely photos of the Statue.

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This cruise was a great way to spend one of our New York evenings! 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

My souvenirs from America..


Although I still have lots to share following my trip to the States, the one thing I keep getting asked about is what I bought. Although the itinerary was quite full, and we had so much to see and do every day, we did manage to fit in a little shopping. 

All of the tourist attractions we hit up had gift shops (of course!) so we'd peruse all of those as we left. I bought a badge for my camp blanket from just about every place we visited. And here's what else...


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I hadn't really planned to buy anything in particular. I knew there'd be no opportunity to hunt down a Kate Spade store, so I was pretty much content with just seeing what caught my eye. I spotted this orange t-shirt when we were at the Capitol in Washington and decided I's like to add it to my gym gear. (Which is definitely in need of a serious overhaul). 

I then stuck with the trend and bought myself a t-shirt from the CN Tower gift shop, and one from the NYC souvenir shop on the night before we came home. I also bought a Toronto Blue Jays tee from the merch stand at the baseball game I went to. So, four (!) t-shirts. Which for a girl who only really wears t-shirts to the gym, should be me set for life!

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We managed an hour in Macy's on the Sunday we were in New York and I wasn't wildly impressed with it, if I'm honest. There are probably other, nicer department stores over there but Macy's was the one the girls requested, so that's where we went. And I totally expected to leave without purchasing anything, until right before we were due to meet them all and we found the cutest selection of Marc Tetro bags. I bought myself a shopper bag and matching wallet. The bag kind of became my travel bag, and was super useful for the coach journeys on the trip, and I used it for my hand luggage on the way home. So much space! 


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Finally, I bought myself a little silver moose charm, to go onto my charm bracelet. I don't wear my bracelet that often and to be honest, it's been a long time since I added anything new to it, but it was a present for my 14th birthday (we all got one when we were 14, same as my mum and aunt had when at their 14th birthdays) and I love it. The moose came from a gift shop at Niagra Falls. 

So, that's about it - a lot less than I'd expected to come home with, although we were quite short on space with just one rucksack each, I suppose. And we had very limited shopping time, really. It wasn't really that kind of trip, though. 

Friday, 26 August 2016

Friday Favourites 210..

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So much for a last ditch attempt at the summer weather, then. If anything, this past week has served as a reminder that autumn is on it's way. But, always looking on the bright side of life, it seems to me that a change of season is the perfect time for a wardrobe overhaul. This week, plenty of lovely Autumn essentials have been catching my eye on the Esprit website and I've decided to share my favourites...

001: Always a sucker for a statement necklace, this one in shades of gold and bronze has definitely got the autumnal vibe. I could wear this with just any outfit for a sparkly little finishing touch. 

002: Long-sleeved dresses are perfect for layering up in the autumnal weather. I like to wear them with thick tights and flat ankle boots when things are miserable and rainy. Plus, I can't get enough of flamingo prints. I liker that this one is mustard in colour as that's a shade I always associate with the change of season.

003: Glitter shoes add a little sparkle to just about any outfit, whilst still giving you the option to keep things casual - I like the classy, gently-pointed front on this pair.

004: This floral print sweater would be perfect for layering up over a long-sleeved blouse for work, or under a pinafore for a weekend look. So versatile!

Have you thought about new autumn looks, yet? Do you dress differently when the seasons change?

Thursday, 25 August 2016

12 things I learned in New York..

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I've been back for over a week now and I'm well aware that I haven't yet shared any of my photos, but there are just *so* many to sort through, plus life has continued as it has a knack of doing, so there is plenty to keep me busy. We had lovely weather for the few days we spent in New York and it was my first visit there, so I was happy to just try and take in as much of it as I could. I thought I'd share a few of the things I learned when I was in the great NYC...

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  • If you look up, the crazy mixture of architecture, old and new, could confuse you and you might think you were somewhere else - it's a lot like London, until you see one of the iconic landmarks.
  • People are really friendly. Unlike London, they'll stop and chat to you; they're happy to provide you with directions and the armed security people, who are just about everywhere you look, are always happy to help (or have their photo taken with you). Not just public servants, though, we had lovely conversations with people as we were eating in restaurants, shopping and queuing for things.
  • American queues work differently. It seems you can stand one person in a queue, who is basically acting as a place-marker for every member of their family / class / travel party / anyone they know (delete as applicable).


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  • Your tour bus seems to be the only one which doesn't come past every five minutes, when you're waiting for it. 
  • Just about everything is within walking distance. The grid system is amazing and made a lot of sense to me. Everything is measured in streets and avenues (except for Broadway, which confuses the system a little). Anything under twenty streets away is definitely walking distance.
  • Times Square is horribly busy, no matter what time of the day you pass through. 
  • August is hot - and this one seems to be hotter than usual (so much so that just about everyone seems to pass comment on it). It's so hot that your rucksack will leave lovely damp patches on your shoulders. You understand why genuine New Yorkers "summer in the Hamptons" and you stop caring about your hair, so long as it's out of your face.
  • So many New York smells. A lot of the streets are piled up with litter in the evenings, which I guess is collected in the early hours. There are plenty of rats around and they're not afraid of people. Also, cockroaches.
  • It's a lot more difficult to buy what I'd consider a "packed lunch". In fact, it's generally not cheaper to buy things to make lunches than it is just to buy food out, which seems alien to me. 

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  • Comfortable shoes are a must. I took three pairs of shoes with me for my trip - some running trainers, which I wore in the morninngs, some regular trainers, and these Miss L'Fire sandals from Spartoo, which I wrote about here. Although my trainers were perfectly comfy, I was glad of these to give me a break from wearing socks and trainers all of the time - I wore them a little before my trip, but the wearing-in process wasn't extensive and I found them super comfortable for a day of walking, which I put down to the fact that they're leather and have a decent, sturdy sole.
  • The queues for things aren't as bad as you'd think. We expected to queue for the most touristy of destinations - the Top of the Rock and the Statue of Liberty. But, in fact, what held us up most at either of those places was the airport-style bag checks and security procedures. Once through those, the crowds seemed to disperse. 
  • The parks are lovely. There are more than you think. Central Park was hands down my favourite - mostly down to it's size and the sheer amount there is to see (personal favourites including the turtles in Turtle Lake and the Alice in Wonderland statue). I ran there each morning we were in the Big Apple and every day I saw something new. But, Union Square Park, where you can sit and play chess as you watch the world pass you by, is also nice.

I'm sure I'll think of more; these are just the things I noticed well enough to remember to note down.


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Be yourself, so long as it suits us.

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Assemble heels: Carvela
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Blouse: George // Skirt: Topshop  // Necklace: New Look

This week has been a bit of a rough one thus far, I'm sad to say. Things are busy busy (when are they not?!) but I'm also facing some rather weird....shit, for want of a better word. What can only be described as backlash for being honest. Unsure how it's all going to pan out, but I'll share more when I know.

Anyhow, as a way to cheer myself up, I dug out some old favourite heels - I remember tracking these down in Birmingham on the way home from a blogger meet-up, I figured they'd go quite nicely with this new planet shaped bag, which I've recently welcomed into my novelty handbag collection. Hard to resist at less than £10! 

I made something of an error of judgement with the weather as well - I'd assumed that the grey start to the morning was as good as things were going to get, so opted for this long-sleeved bicycle print blouse, which I regretted when the temperature in my office rose to the mid-twenties. Ah well. Maybe we are set to have something of a mini heat-wave after all.

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Planet Bag: Gamiss*

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Tuesday Titles 103..

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Curious Minds : Janet Evanovich + Phoef Sutton


When I first posted this book on one of my recent #YarnAlong posts, it was clear that I was in the minority as this is the first Janet Evanovich book I'd read. 

Curious Minds is the first book in a new detective series starring Emerson Knight - a wildy rich eccentric who also happens to be rather handsome and clever, but fails completely at social etiquette, and Riley Moon - newly graduated from Harvard, she's given an internship and a rubbish parking space at an investment bank and is keen to learn, until her first assignment happens to be babysitting Emerson Knight. 

Events spiral out of control as Emerson discovers that he can't access the gold in his deposit account, and the bank realise that something untoward might be going on. Emerson and Riley make an unwilling duo but are dispatched to see if they can find some answers.

Frankly, I really enjoyed this book - it kept me entertained during a long Greyhound coach journey and I liked the fast pace. Reminiscent of the Artemis Fowl series, I'd say this had potential to be another great adventure series and am looking forward to future releases.

Read anything great lately? Please share!


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Lemons and cloves to keep the bees away..

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Dress: Gamiss*
After a week or so of wearing shorts and trainers, I couldn't have been more pleased to get back to normality where my wardrobe was concerned. I was pleased to arrive home to this little lemon print beauty from Gamiss - it can't have taken long to arrive, despite travelling across the oceans to me.

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Blair Elfglow boots: Irregular Choice* // Hat: Atmosphere

Frankly the quality is really great - a nice, thick cotton fabric and the dress has a button front detail although also zips at the back, so you don't actually have to fiddle with them all to wear it, which is nice. I like the button detail to the straps as well, which give it something of a pinafore dress look. It's got a lovely full skirt, which ticks all of my boxes and works nicely over my trusty Hell Bunny petticoat. 

I figured the colours would go rather perfectly with my Blair Elfglow boots; navy and yellow go so nicely together, I think. And I really liked it with this hat, which I made recently and posted about here

Friday, 19 August 2016

Friday Favourites 209..

So, I know it's still August and therefore technically summer but the weather certainly seems to have taken a turn for the worse - plus, I'm off camping this weekend which pretty much guarantees that we're in for three days of rain.

Frankly, coming back from somewhere which has been averaging temperatures of 32C to this rainy miserable-ness, plus a few other things, are making me feel as though I need a bit of a metaphorical hug. And what better way to do this than to make the place a little more homely in readiness for the change of season? I keep being reminded that there are only 127 days until Christmas, and have already begun shopping for the big event. Madness? Maybe.

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001: This little candle holder is a lovely festive red, but not too festive that it couldn't be used at any time of the year, I think. 

002: Love the vintage look of this bee cushion and I think it would be a very welcome cosy addition to my chaise lounge. 

003: The greens of these plates make me think autumnal earthy colours, whilst the bug print appeals to my all prints, all the time nature. A welcome addition to my mismatched crockery collection.

004: Cooler autumn nights are always made better by snuggling up under a blanket, whether that's on the decking in the garden, or on the sofa in front of the fire - this pom pom one caught my attention and the colour is kinda festive. 

005: Endlessly waiting for the Christmas shop to open up, but HoF still have some bargains from last year - what could be better to get one into the cosy autumnal mindset than a new candle in Festive Treats scent..?

Am I the only one ready to embrace the change of season? Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but the cosy nights ahead also appeal.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

She sells sea shells..

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Dress; Atmosphere // Cardigan: H+M /./ Sandals, Bag: Matalan

Last night, I was starting to feel the effects of the jet lag catching up on me, so I allowed myself thirty minutes to nap before my alarm sounded and I needed to get changed and head into town for tea and the cinema.

It's actually been goodness-knows-how-long since I wore this dress; I remember Gemma and I chatting about trying to track it down in Primark when it was released. The weather was pretty lovely so I decided a sundress was ideal and took a cardigan as I knew I'd be out quite late. 

This bag was a gift and is the perfect colour to match this dress and I wore my trusty gold sandals which broke on the walk into town, so have met their untimely demise with the bin. They've served me well, I guess. I gather this is part of the "mini-heatwave" I kept being told that Britain was experiencing whilst we were in the States. 

I'm excited to download my USA photos and share a lot - soooo many buildings! I'm just about catching up with work things, so that's a start at least.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Pink and Blue..

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Dress + Cardigan: Collectif
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Pretty Poodle shoes: Irregular Choice 
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Necklace: Punky Pins
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Book Clutch: ASOS

I mentioned that I was very pleased with my Collectif sale buys, no? Well, I could not wait to wear my Janie dress and decided that it goes pretty well with the Lucy mermaid cardigan. I have a habit of wearing things I've bought at similar times together, and sometimes I struggle to mix things up when I'm wearing them again in the future, so hopefully that won't happen this time around. 

It's been a really long while since I last used this book-shaped clutch bag and it's a lovely size, so there's no real reason not to use more of it. I have worn this necklace recently - I'm really liking it and the colours seemed perfect for this outfit. 

My Pretty Poodle shoes are immensely comfortable and attracted quite a few comments - I love the curly texture of the poodle and how bright they are. They make me happy; in fact, this whole outfit did. 

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Sunday Shoes 118..

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It's not all about the new shoes, y'know. Sometimes I'm just as happy picking up a bargain. These Irregular Choice kitten heels aren't a style I've ever seen before but they were in my size and look to be in super condition; possibly worn just once or twice. 

I do tend to shy away from kitten heels and from pointed fronts but I made an exception on both of these points because the quirky shape and angle of the heel appealed to me, as did the bow on the front (I'm a sucker for a bow!).

The majority of the shoe is a floral patent finish, although the striped edging is fabric and the insides are the metallic pale mint lining, which seems to be a good few years ago now. They came in their original box (a robot print one) with a style code rather than a name and I'm fairly sure that a lot of the styles at that time didn't have names as such. Hey ho. They're lovely, nonetheless. 

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Friday, 12 August 2016

Friday Favourites 208..

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If you've been living under a rock or something, you might not know just how popular enamel pin badges seem to be at the moment. Over the past few months, I've seen more and more cute designs crop up on Instagram and Etsy sellers making more and more of them. I also see a lot of limited edition pins being offered in those subscription / lucky dip boxes, but I've never really had a lot to do with those. 

Anyhow, I had a little browse recently and came up with a shortlist of my favourite enamel pins - you might even say I've listed the ones I found most pinteresting here.. (See what I did there?!) Also, I don't know if I'm breaking the wishlisting rules as I've actually already ordered some of these, but there you are. 

001: I couldn't put a list together without first adding Lucy's soda pop pin. I've followed Smile and Make on Instagram for a long while and have read her blog, and frankly I'm in awe of her positive outlook on life. Lucy has designed and created her collection of pins in memory of her husband and she is donating a percentage of the profits to the charity set up in his memory, so I'd urge you to support this one. 

002: This little narwhal is adorable - another Instagram find for me (I used the "Explore" page on there quite a lot). 

003: One of my favourite Etsy jewellery sellers is DesigosaurYEAH so I was pleased  to see that they have a lovely dinosaur pin design. Love the bright colours on this little guy!

004: This is the other one I've already actually ordered - I follow Holly on IG as well and have seen her little triceratops crop up many times. I added him to the straps of my homemade dungaree shorts so that he could join my America adventure.

005: Jellyfish kind of freak me out in real life, but I'd be more than happy to house this little one. Cute, no..?

006: This tiny fox reminds me so much of a little fox cartoon we used to watch as kids, so he's appealing to me for reasons of nostalgia, which are always good reasons, right?!

Do you have any pins? Which are your favourites? 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

My Turia Dungarees..


One of the patterns I've had on my radar for a while now has been these Turia dungarees, by Pauline Alice. I'm a big fan of dungarees - they hold a bit of a nostalgic charm for me, but the disproportionate shape of which I recently spoke makes it a little more tricky to find a pair which fit me all over. 

So, a pair of dunagrees was one of the things I put on my #2016makenine list of goals. I feel I ought to point out that this is not the fabric I meant when I said I already have fabric for these - I've got some pink cord, which is much thicker than this, which I'm going o make another pair from but for NYC in August, I decided that I would be better off with something a little thinner. Also our t-shirts are pink and blue, so I reckoned that the print on these would go with either one of those. 

So, I traced out the pattern pieces, which I tend to do with all new patterns these days, just in case I need to make some alterations - I don't feel so bad about hacking apart a traced piece. The pattern instructions are really great and the construction was very straightforward/ 

Also, I learned a new technique, which I will definitely be using again in the future - I'd never done a flat fell seam before, but they're so neat and they give such a lovely finished look. 

In terms of silly mistakes - I hadn't looked properly at the buckles I'd ordered, which I now know don't come with buttons. Cue a little sigh of sadness when I realised this, and a last-miute, before the trip panic that I'd need to go and buy some. Not too tricky though - good old Dunelm!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Review: I Sea Pasta..



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I Sea Pasta - Seamore*

A lot of my evening meals (and lunches for that matter) follow a common theme, it has to be said. Chicken or fish, with some pasta or rice and some veggies - usually broccoli. Lately I've been adding a handful of spinach to just about everything (smoothies included) as I'm really struggling to retain my iron intake, so I'm working on an every little helps basis. 

I've never really been that fussed about pasta, really. I do eat it, but it's one of those things I could easily take or leave. I don't really mind it, although recently I'm trying to lower the amount of carbs I consume, just a little, in the hope that it might get my metabolism moving a little as my weight-loss seems to have hit a bit of a standstill. 


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So, I was intrigued to hear about a new idea from Seamore. I Sea Pasta is a dried pasta alternative, made entirely from seaweed, so more fibre than carbs, and full of anti-oxidants.

Obviously there are a lot of pasta and rice alternatives about lately, with people using "cauliflower rice", "courgette spaghetti" and the like, but I've not come across any of these which are dried in the past, hence my intrigue.
 To try it out, I decided to use it in a perfectly standard dinner, in place my usual pasta. 

When I opened the bag, I got a whiff of seasidey-salt smell and was almost a little put off, which is odd because I *love* the sea. I added a handful of the sea pasta to a pan of boiling water and during the cooking process, it's colour changed from black to a dark green. When I drained it, it also seemed to have lost it's sea-watery odour, so that was good.

As for the taste? Well, I was pleasantly surprised. It doesn't really taste particularly green at all, if that makes sense... I can totally understand how someone, if it was eaten with a sauce or something would mistake it for actual tagliatelle. 

I will definitely use this again in place of regular pasta - a little variety never hurt anyone.

Below is a puntastic little infographic which Seamore have produced to help outline the benefits of their sea pasta. My pasta was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. 




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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Sunday Shoes 117: Irregular Choice Savan

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I've kind of dropped the ball a little with Irregular Choice's new releases. In the past I've known exactly what's been due to hit the website and when, but to be honest, the first I heard about today's pair was when their teaser email landed in my inbox a few days in advance. I guess, given the summery seaside theme of the box and the tissue paper, you'd be forgiven for thinking these were the tail end of their Spring/Summer collection, but I believe these are actually the start of Autumn/Winter 2016. The lobsters are just reminding me of how much I'm still lusting after the Thermidor bag, to be honest.

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To be honest, as soon as I saw the new swan heels shape, I knew they'd have to be the pair I spent this month's clothes sale money on. I just had to narrow down my choice (I know other fans like to collect lots of styles of character heel, but to be honest I'm content with one design, if it's a heel which I like. And I really like these. 

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Savan  heels: Irregular Choice
Having been immediately taken by the shape of the swan heel, and it's proportions, I was even more pleasantly surprised to discover upon it's arrival that the main body of the swan is actually a fuzzy flocked texture. I know that there has been a bunny heel released with a flocked finish, but I didn't get any of those, so this is Cuuuute! In terms of style, I went with Savan over the green version of Fenella, and it was probably the bow on the front which swung the decision for me. 

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The main part of the shoe on Savan is made from layers of textured sequins, in a mixture of green, pink and gold and also a mixture of sizes and I think this is a lovely combination, reminiscent of water lilies on duck-ponds. I really like that the gold sequins are a kind of dull gold, the bows being the same colour but made from long, thin sequins instead. Even though there *is* quite a lot going on with these, somehow everything works together to look quite normal and understated when you look at them, so the focal point really is the beautiful swan heel. 

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The swan heel itself feels nice and solid, most like the original rabbits, I suppose. They're a similar height to these, as well. One piece, with no pokey arms or legs to worry about when you're walking in them. They do come with a little warning card, telling you to be careful that the glitter detail on the crown of the swan could come off, but it seems as though it would be okay so long as you don't scrape it against anything and it's so far under the back of the heel that frankly, I don't know how you would...

Friday, 5 August 2016

Friday Favourites 207..

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This week's list of pretties includes some of my favourite brands; the ones I keep coming back to time after time.

001: I've been a fairly loyal fan of Irregular Choice for a good number of years now. Although there have been occasions where I've been disappointed by them, they do seem to be coming up with some lovely new designs (I have one to share with you on Sunday) and these are a new style which I'm very taken with. A little more monochrome than the kind of thing I'd usually go for, but I love that despite the muted colour palette, there's oodles of detail here, with the bow, glitter and scalloped edging. 

002: Vendula London come up with some frankly amazing handbag designs. I have several now, and would be more than happy to grow my collection. I really love the black and white awning on the florist box bag, which contrasts so nicely against the brightly coloured flowers. 

003: ASOS have been coming out with some cute little accessories of late - I didn't notice these little pom pom creature keyrings until the flamingo had sold out, but I love this cheeky monkey - he'd be a cute addition to just about any handbag. 

004: This collar choker necklace from Kate Spade is hinged at the back, which I think makes it look so dainty and classic, and just a little out of the ordinary. So beautiful, although so pricey. 

005: I'd love a pair of the wonderful Hetty and Dave dinosaur shoes - they're sold out at the moment but I'm perpetually crossing my fingers that they will be restocked some day. 

Anything caught your eye this week?

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

My Collectif Sale Buys..

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I'm a big fan of Collectif - they have some really beautfiul designs and I'm lucky enough to already own a few of their dresses (including this one which I wore to Rosie's wedding). They feature quite often in my wishlists and I've recently added the mermaid dress and flamingo cardigan to my wardrobes. 


Last week they began their summer sale, where you can get 50% off just about everything on their site, using the code SUMMERSALE50. You'll have to be quick, as it ends at midnight tonight. 





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Janie Paint Pot Print Dress // Flora Daisy Cardigan // Lucy Mermaid Cardigan
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Faye Mesh Overlay Doll Dress


My order turned up on Monday and I couldn't wait to share it. I've been very tempted by both of these dresses for a while now - the Faye dress in particular has featured on my wishlist for so long and I have the perfect occasion to wear it coming up in September, so at £30 with the summer sale discount I decided it was totally worth buying. I'm so glad I did; I hadn't realised just what lovely quality it would be, but there are so many layers of tulle petticoat and the detailing at the back of the neck is just so dainty that I really love it. The perfect party dress and an absolute steal at it's current price.

The Janie dress is one which I've been super tempted by as well - the appeal of this one is mostly the super full circle skirt with the double straps which have bows at the shoulders. This one was £21 in the sale which makes it much cheaper than I could buy the fabric for to make anything remotely similar. Again, the quality of this one is really great, the fabric is nice and thick and the length is just where I like it to be on me with a pair of heels. 

The fact that I've worn my flamingo Lucy cardigan *so* much since I bought it really swung it for me to order the mermaid Lucy which matches my dress. I love the fact that as well as the little mermaid on the front, there's an embroidered seashell on one elbow. This one was a no-brainer, whereas the Flora cardigan had me deliberating for a little while, as I'm not usually a fan of short sleeves on knitwear. I decided to give it a try anyway and pair it with one of my dresses and the verdict is that I'm pleased that I added it to my order. 

Have you ordered anything from the Collectif sale? If you're considering it, you've got about twelve hours to go! 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Tuesday Titles 102..

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All Things Cease to Appear : Elizabeth Brundage 

Oof, where to start with this week's book. I guess I should just throw us straight in, since that's what the book does.

We begin, as George Clare arrives home to find his wife has been killed, leaving their infant daughter unattended in the house for goodness knows how long. Immediately, the police consider George a suspect as he tries hard to figure out the reason for his wife's murder.

Jumping back into the past, a little, we are introduced to the previous residents of the Clares' farmhouse; could these brothers, bitter from the loss of their home due to foreclosure, be involved in some way. They still have a strong connection with their childhood home.

What this book really isn't, is fast-paced. It's slow going, to the point where it could be off-puttingly difficult to get into. Another thing which irritates me in books is the lack of quotations to mark characters' speech. It becomes increasingly tough to establish just when people are interacting, but I tried hard to stick with it nonetheless.

I'd definitely advise readers to stick with this as although it perhaps doesn't fall into the regular thriller category, I'd put it more into psychological thriller, I guess. The ending wrapped things up in a satisfying way, and the majority of the book kept me guessing.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Above all, send the bees love..

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Sometimes my favourite little projects spring from something I've seen somewhere. That idea will stay in the back of my mind, sometimes for a while, until I actually get around to executing it. 

A few months ago I came across a link in someone's wishlist (I think it was probably She and Hem) to this amazing sun hat from Modcloth. I bookmarked it on my phone to have another look on my computer when I was back in the office, but when I did so I realised it was out of stock. 

Since then, I've seen a few other hats with cute embroidered detail - this and this from Kate Spade, for example and this H+M one, but I couldn't quite decide on a phrase I'd like, and decided that the bees were still my favourite. 

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So, when I was getting out some of the things I wanted to pack for the upcoming trip, I decided that this plain sunhat could be a good start point for my own version. I'd not worn this hat before, but being from Primark it had only cost me £2 so I figured I could happily experiment on it and see what I thought. 

I have heaps of embroidery thread at the moment, as we've been making friendship bracelets at Rangers to help with our fundraising efforts so I got started right away stitching out some yellow ovals, and adding some simple black detailing to them. I picked this up for about half an hour each evening for a few days and it was one of those lovely little tasks which are just repetitive enough to be relaxing. I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. and will likely wear it in America (if I have space in my bag - things are getting tight in that respect). 


160717 BP weekend 009


All this bee talk has reminded me of this photo I took a few weeks ago now when we were running the last guides BP weekend. I think this guy is actually a wasp - it's part of the town sculpture trail and sits in the middle of a wildflower garden which hosts a bug hotel in the middle. The wasp(?) also spins around in the wind and we were quite taken with it.