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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Amongst The Clouds..


Because I know what you're all thinking right now is "Yes, Char. You really needed a new handbag." Not. 

Well, perhaps not. But I love it nonetheless. This is another of the new season Yoshi bags - told you they were onto some good stuff, right?! - and as usual, of course the level of detail is amazing. 

Although I'd ordinarily perhaps not opt for such a light background colour - cream, with my propensity to spilling things?! - I actually think the cream colour leather is perfect for this design. 

The hot air ballons are appliqued on to the bag, flying above the cityscape, which is in contrast, printed in a monochrome below. 

I failed to get a photo of the back, but there's a solitary hot air balloon on the other side - I love the fact that there's always a little extra detail. Yet another beautiful Yoshi bag.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

DIY: Bleach T-shirt..

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Since it seems like an absolute age since I actually shared something which I'd made, I snapped some photos of how an idea we'd come across for a craft we could do at our recent camp turned out. 

We'd seen a Pinterest-style photo of bleach-art t-shirts and decided that we'd get some black or navy (note: navy doesn't work as well as black!) garments and give this a try. 

In my head, we'd use some fun foam to cut out letters and a message and/or any design we liked, then fix them to the shirts and spray bleach around them, to get a kind of negative effect. We tried this and it only kind of worked - the bleach kind of soaked everywhere, which meant the designs didn't really come out. 

I had a re-think. 

For this one I still used my foam letters, pinned on to my shirt, and painted around them messily with neat bleach and a paintbrush. This sort of worked although I'm not sure the TINK letters on the front are all that clear. 

Not quite a Pintrest fail, but I'd certainly work on it in the future..

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Monday, 21 August 2017

Best in Show..

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Yoshi Best In Show Shoulder Bag

 Wah, how I wish things would just slow down a little. I have so many lovely ideas floating around in my head, but the time to actually do them...well, that's harder to come by. 
 I've been meaning to share some of the new things from Yoshi for a good few weeks now. I think, despite the fact that I don't really like dogs (I didn't realise *just* how controversial it was going to be to say that on my IG post), that this design might be my favourite of their new things...!  

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As ever with Yoshi, the attention to detail is amazing. The design is a dog show, with dogs in the background playing through the tunnel and performing agility tricks. The three main dogs on the podiums are appliqued onto the bag, making them a little more three-dimensional than the rest of the background.

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Really loving this teal coloured leather which provides a lovely background and the straps are long enough that you can carry the bag on your shoulder with no bother. The colour seems to work really nicely with the muted palette of the design - very harmonious.

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The bag closes across the top with a long zipper, and the main compartment is nice and roomy - more than enough space for everything I carry to work with me on a daily basis, which includes an A5 diary. Inside, there's another little zipped pocket and two slide-in pockets on the other side; perfectly sized for phones and iPods etc. Because of it's size and the shoulder straps, I'm finding that I favour this one most days. 

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On the back, Yoshi have kept up their usual tradition of adding an extra little detail. In this case, it's a trophy, again raised because it's appliqued on. 

Do you have any Yoshi bags? I love them. 

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Sunday Shoes 141: Bunny Hop

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I mentioned that I'm most defnitely falling behind with things. These shoes, one of three pairs which I ordered in the Irregular Choice sale, for example. I can't think how long they've been sitting around in their box waiting to be admired. 

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Bunny Hop came in a few different colours and I liked the yellow best of all. It's a kind of pastel mustard shade, I think.  There's a low block heel which is a metallic rose gold colour, and the uppers of the shoes are covered in embroidered flowers and bunnies.

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The edges are all trimmed with the tiny scalloped details I've come to expect from recent IC collections and the front of each shoe has a bow. I love a good bow. I also love the fact that the bow has an embroidered rabbit on the outside, and these details are mirrored across the shoes, unlike some I can think of in the past where the left and right have been the same. 

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Saturday, 19 August 2017

#FOQ2017..

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This time last week, I was whizzing my way down the motorway to collect Sarah. We then headed to the NEC for the Festival of Quilts.

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Now, I guess you'd be right to be a little confused at that. I'm not a quilter. Despite the fact that I've still not finished my postage stamp quilt, I really don't think I'd ever consider myself one. But there were going to be fabric stalls, of course. 

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We did have a little look around the actual quilt displays as well. Some of them were just amazing - I think that this above, depicting a two-person prison cell, was one of my favourites. 


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There were some quilted items on display which weren't traditional quilts, too. This pirate ship, which is being attacked by The Kraken, was hands down my favourite - and I posted more photos showing some of the amazing details on my Instagram, here.

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This skirt reminded me of one I used to have in my teens, which had appliqued Alice and cards and also a teeny tiny pocket watch. I wonder whatever happened to that.. 

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I loved these chickens - again, so much detail on them all. 

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And technically not on display in the competition categories, but I snapped a photo of this robot backpack because I loved it. Maybe one day I'll progress my skills ebough to make something similar..

Friday, 18 August 2017

Friday Favourites 257..

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001 // 002 // 003

Another week, another wishlist. This week I seem to have just focussed on one outfit which I think would work rather nicely as the weather gets a little worse.. 

001: I spied this new Lindy Bop dress on the Thunder Egg site a couple of weeks ago, although haven't noticed on it on the LB site as yet. I love a good cord pinafore dress (I have a couple of cords stacked up to make my own, but never seem to get enough sewing time, so this would be a good alternative). 

002: I think a peplum blouse would look pretty good under this dress - this one from Zaful would be prefect to pick out the blue in the embroidery, no...? 

003: And finally, these shoes would match perfectly. Maybe with some colourful tights, or just some warm black ones.. 

What have you been thinking about Autumnal clothing? The shops seem to be full of Back To School promotions and I'm just wondering how time started to go so fast..!


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

We're the captains of our own souls..

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Dress: Dresslily*
It's been a funny old week. This dress was another which arrived from Dresslily the other day, although for some reason they seem to have sent everything out separately. I was reminded of this necklace when I saw the mix of colours and think it works quite nicely with the V shaped neckline.

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Shoes: Irregular Choice
I wore this for a fairly decent day at work and then to meet a friend for a drink. We sat around in the beer garden in a local pub for a little while, watching the players on the bowling green in full swing until the sun went down. It was rather nice to have a catch up, although a little bittersweet when it became apparent that some people never change.

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Caravan Bag: Vendula London 
This might be one of my favourite novelty bags of all time. I think this might be the first photo I've shared of it (the shame!), but it was a birthday present, and as I've come to expect with anything from Vendula London, it's just awesome. Such attention to detail. The cross-body strap has lovely little tassel details on and the caravan itself is chock full of little details.

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Necklace: eBay
I've had this necklace for a good few years now - one of those "few pence from eBay" ones, which would take so long to arrive that you'd have pretty much forgotten you'd ordered them. As for the shoes (which you can barely see), they're a pair of Irregular Choice which I've had for years and still adore - the fronts of the sandals are adorned with little jewelled frog charms.


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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Tuesday Titles 139..

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White Lies: Ellie Holmes

I love it when you come to the end of a book and yet still feel as though you're deeply embedded in the story. I read this over the weekend and was still thinking about it on Monday morning. 

A wet night; a car crash; three lives are changed forever..

When Sam Davenport and her husband, Neil are involved in a car crash on their way home from a party one rainy night, they can't possibly know how long they will have to live with the consequences. Each faced with a moral dilemma; Neil has to decide whether to flee the scene, whilst Sam has to decide whether or not she can bring herself to lie for him. 

Decisions are made and the Davenports have to try and carry on with their lives as normal, but this proves nigh on impossible. Their marriage, which was already at breaking point, might not be able to take any more...

****

I was keen to know what inspired Ellie to write White Lies and here's what she had to say: 

I am fascinated by deception in all its forms and I wanted to write a story where someone is faced with a moral dilemma (I chose the car crash) and makes a snap decision as to which path to take.  Then, once they are on it, they have to carry on down that path.   I also wanted to explore the idea of one lie leading to another and another so that a character becomes imprisoned by their own lies and somehow has to find their way back to themselves.

I think everyone will at some stage in their lives have told a white lie but even the simplest lie can have unexpected consequences.  Hopefully readers will put themselves in the shoes of the characters and think 'What would I have done?'

I also wanted to explore how our parents imprint themselves on our lives both in good ways and bad.  All of the main characters are shaped by their parents' failings/lives - Neil because his own father failed in his profession driving Neil to succeed in his place, Sam being scarred because of her father's infidelity and David because he lost his parents at a young age and never came to terms with the grief.  This also gave me the opportunity to explore the idea that sometimes the biggest lies we tell are often the lies we tell ourselves.  In White Lies the characters only become true to themselves once they face up to their parents' influences and move beyond them to become their own people.

I was absolutely hooked, all the way through this book. It has an almost creepy undertone; I was suspicious (mostly of David's motives) and keen to find out what happened to all three of them. I vacillated between Neil and David in a bid to try and decide who was most worthy of Sam's attentions, although was conscious all the way through the book that her actions weren't entirely blameless. Even at the end, I wasn't sure whose side I was on and therefore how I felt about the way things turned out. But I'd absolutely implore you to read it and see what you think... 

Monday, 14 August 2017

I hold the sky in my hands..

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Want to see something awesome? I was hoping that the photos I took when I tootled down to the pub with this last week would come out a little better but they're rather blurry, so here are some close-ups of the newest addition to my Vendula London collection. 

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This is The Crown Grab Bag: similar in style to the old favourite, The George pub, but with a bunch of new details. Just check out the roaring fire through the window, and that leather armchair. 

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As usual with the grab bag, the top of the bag takes on the roof shape, with clasp and hinge in the middle of the roof. Again, the level of detail here is amazing. I honestly don't know how the team at Vendula keep coming up with such lovely designs and making them so, so perfect..! 

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As well as being plenty big enough for all of my essential daily bits and bobs, there's a back zipped pocket; a good size for tickets, phone etc. There's an inner pocket, too, which I tend to use for my iPod. 
The Crown comes with a detachable top grab handle, and a cross-body strap which can be clipped on and off, as required. The shoulder strap is adjustable so can be worn across the body or on the shoulder as preferred. I tend to favour the grab handle but like the option of being able to add another strap just in case. 


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All in all, I'd definitely recommend this bag to anyone looking for something a little quirky but a decent size. You can get the full range of bag sizes in the Crown design, but this is the best one, in my opinion. Bravo, Vendula London!


Saturday, 12 August 2017

I wear my heart on my sleeve..

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Hermione jumper: Joanie Clothing
As a treat for the end of a superbly successful long weekend at guide camp, we headed out into the rainy town after the most long-awaited showers ever to catch a movie. Dunkirk, to be precise. More on that later. 

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Heart Bag: Topshop // Blind Love brogues: Irregular Choice
These shoes arrived just before I went away and I couldn't wait to wear them, so had spent the day planning an outfit in my head to go with them. The blue fishnets (again, I know!) to pick out their blue bows, and this heart shaped handbag to go with the mesh hearts across the shoes.

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Trench Coat: F+F 
I've always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve, in some respects. Figuratively, of course. I'll fight for what I believe in, to the end and I'm not afraid to speak my mind, even if that gets me into bother. And yet, there are certain situations where I should probably speak my mind a little more, on emotional matters anyway. Because sometimes people don't know the things you assume they know.

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Skirt: Book of Deer // Tights: ASOS

Anyhow. Less of the DMC; I dug out this Book of Deer skirt, last worn here, and the recent Joanie picnic jumper, as I often find I'm cold in the cinema. After a weekend of wearing shorts and either walking boots or wellies, it felt nice to get back to my kind of normality..

Friday, 11 August 2017

Friday Favourites 256..

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001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005 // 006


This week, since it's Flower Show week and that obviously means that we have a weekend of constant rain ahead, and I've seen far too many "Hello Autumn" posts about already, I'm letting my mind wander to holidays and sunnier places. Man, I want a holiday. Which seems to have become a bit of a theme in this week's cutesy jewellery picks.

001: I am always *that* tourist with their camera around their neck when visiting somewhere new, otherwise I know I'll get to the end of the day having taken no photos at all. So I don't know whether I could wear this necklace as well - would that be too much? - perhaps for the times when I'm just out for dinner and not sight-seeing?!

002: I'm not sure what llamas have to do with the holidays theme, really, but I liked the fiesta-colourful tassels and decided I'd include him anyway. I've been a fan of EE jewellery for many years now. 

003: Sugar and Vice never fail to come up with awesome and original designs and I love these flamingoes, on their pink cord. Super holiday vibes, here. AND they're in the sale.

004: What's more holiday-ish than a dinosaur on a speedboat? Loving this for it's Family Ness vibe. (Please don't tell me I'm the only one who remembers this show?!)

005: Little Moose, who I absolutely love, have come out with the most awesome beach party collection. This pool necklace is just amazing; how much do I want to be floating about on an inflatable croc right now...?! 

006: Possibly my favourite pick of the week. I saw this little adventurer on someone's IG page recently and really want to add him to my collars. Particularly for escapades with my favourite adventure buddy, where we never know where we might end up. 

What are you loving this week? Make me jealous with all of your holiday plans. 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

To bathe in the glorious light of your star..

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Fishnet Tights: ASOS
Hmm, you know when you don't really pay as much attention to the finer details of something when perhaps you should have, and when it arrives with you you're a little surprised. Well, this new dress falls into that category a little.

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Dress: Dresslily*
Whilst I'm liking the cute print, I have to admit that from the photos on the website which claims to have the "best floral dresses on sale" I was expecting the colour to be more of a yellow, and I hadn't read that it was polyester rather than cotton. Never mind, though. I still really like the Peter Pan collar and the button front detail. Annoyingly, it also turned up with a few marks on it, so I've tried to be a little inventive in my photos to try and hide them until I've tried to get them out in the wash.

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Coat: F+F Clothing 
For it's first wear, though, I grabbed this trench coat, which I've been wearing quite a bit this week when the weather has looked like rain (i.e. often).

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Shoes: Irregular Choice 
I seem to be all about the fishnet tights lately - they're pretty good for hiding the fact that my legs are such a mess lately (covered in bruises and insect bites which I seem to be super allergic to). These cobalt blue ones are down to £2 in the ASOS sale, so definitely a bargain, in my book.

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Bag: Kate Spade
And, of course, what outfit would be complete without a pair of Irregular Choice heels and a Kate Spade bag? I'm becoming predictable in my old age, I fear.. 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

And if I go out tonight, dress up my fears..


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Pour Moi Contradiction Bra*
To be honest, I've been sitting on these photographs (metaphorically, you understand) for a while now. I'm really not feeling all that confident lately. Despite upping my game when it comes to running, lifting and gym stuff in general, which is seeing my PBs being improved upon here and there, I think I'm at an all time low when it comes to my body image, of late.

Trust me, I *know* how irrational that probably sounds. To me, too. I have a wonderful group of people stand behind me (another metaphor, don't worry - they're allowed to live their own lives, too), and give me the reassurance which I need, a lot of the time. One of my favourite people spends almost all of his time telling me the things which so many women long to hear, and I fight to allow my brain to let me accept, let alone believe. And I know that this is tiresome, for all of them, as well as for me. 

But anyway. Something in me, when I was reading all of the inclusive body-positivity which seems to have resulted directly from this Boohoo debacle, gave me the push I needed to do this. 

After my recent wishlist, UK Lingerie asked if I'd like to tell them what I think of the Pour Moi strapped set which I'd featured and I was happy to take them up on the offer. I adore lingerie shopping; it's probably one of my favourite past-times and is something I've been asked to advise on by several people recently.. I know what I like the look of and love the look of all of the seductive strapped items about lately. I just sometimes don't know whether I like what I look like in anything. 

However, here is the Pour Moi Strapped Contradiction set, and here are my thoughts:

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Pour Moi Contradiction Strapped  Brief*
The bra is absolutely lovely, featuring those triangular straps across the top of the cups, which are also strapped. This bra isn't padded, but the straps on the cups give them the structure to give you a lovely shape (as a not-very-well-endowed-in-the-chest-department person, I'm often a little wary of the wispy, barely-there bras you get sans padding. But with this, there's nothing to fear.

As for the briefs. First of all, I love the design. High-waisted knickers are always my favourite (despite their granny-pants connotations), because of the retro, waspie feel you get, and I love the ides of these, which have layers of elastic straps held in place at the centre front and back. I had a bit of a panic when they arrived that perhaps I should have sized up, for fear of the elastic straps digging in and making me look more ham than human. But they're true to size and I think they're okay. (By which, I mean, when I look at this photo, all I see is flaws. But those flaws are most definitely with me and most likely in my head). 

What I'm saying is, I'd absolutely recommend UK Lingerie, for their next-day delivery and for their products. There's nothing I'm not loving from the Pour Moi range and it's incredibly good value for an affordable sexy range. 


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Tuesday Titles 138..

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: Becky Chambers 

Oh, this book. 

When I was in Paris, one of the places on our itinerary was Shakespeare and Company; an English bookshop just across the river from Notre Dame. And I bought this, predominantly because the other three were all reading a copy whilst we were in Paris and it seemed like a cute thing to do. Plus, Alex assured me that it was great and she's usually a pretty decent authority on books. 

Frankly, she was absolutely right. I loved it. For some reason, although I got home and was about halfway through, I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to finish (apart from the few weeks I'd left it at a friend's house, which didn't help). Because, I really enjoyed every page. 

Rosemary takes a job on a small space ship which basically creates wormholes in space for others which follow. The ship's crew is made up of some colourful characters and there's so much description of the different species and their emotional interaction with one another. I almost found it a little hard to keep up with who was who and what.

Rosemary has a secret, which she's hoping she won't ever have to share. Surely escaping from her home planet is what she needs and this new job gives her the chance to leave her old life behind. But things have a way of catching up with us and even travelling to the other end of the stratosphere isn't quite far enough. 

It was impossible to grow up in my house and not develop a bit of a love of science fiction; my mum is a sci-fi and fantasy reader to the end. And this, I'd say, fits in pretty well to that genre, if a little more approachable than a lot of others. I absolutely wanted to be part of this world, a crew member on the Wayfarer and am definitely keen to read the next books in the series. 

Honestly, I adored it and would recommend to any reader, whether they'd consider themselves a space opera fan, or not.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Mermaids, poodles and roses, oh my..

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Cardigan + Dress: Collectif 
I'm not sure how much this outfit actually works, but I kinda like it. This dress is lovely; even more so than I thought when I actually put it on. And I've teamed it with the Lucy cardigan I snapped up from their sale this time last year.

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Coat: Daisybee Necklines
This coat is something I snapped up from Lottie's IG sale recently - so lovely and both made and lined with Cath Kidston fabric. It's lightweight so perfect for when the summer evenings get a little less warm.

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Shoes: Irregular Choice
Continuing the kinda-mermaid theme, I love these shoes (check yesterday's post for close-up photos). Irregular Choice seem to have some awesome designs coming out lately.

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Collar Clips: You Make Me 
Because the coat is a lovely light, loose fit on me, I figured that some collar clips might work nicely on it. I didn't manage to get them straight for the photo, but I like these little poodles, which were part of a sample sale on IG lately, but I've put a link to the Etsy shop above.