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Friday, 28 September 2018

Friday Favourites 288..

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Oh, this week has been a mixture of sneezes and tissues so far. I couldn't be more pleased that it's the weekend once again. 

I've been falling for all of the new and amazing autumn / winter collections this week and here are a few of my favourite things..

001: I find myself drawn to anything ski print, and love this new CK dress. Although, truth be told, I can't decide how flattering I think this shape is likely to be on me. 

002: We have a little bit of an obsession with the llama song of late, so anytime anyone sees anything with llamas on it, we get excited. I know these are technically alpacas, but...still awesome, no?!

003: Another week, another IC release which sees the fans pitted against one another, Hunger Games style, in the hope of securing some sparkly new shoes. These are my favourite Carousel design, although they were a web exclusive and sold out almost immediately. A girl can dream, hey?!

004: It's absolutely tights weather, once again. And I for one am excited about adding to my collection of coloured tights. These striped ones from Gipsy have that sports luxe feel going on. 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Tour Montparnasse..


Finally, more Paris pictures. I've been meaning to upload these for a while but other things got in the way. Honestly, an inadvertent theme of our mini-break seemed to be "looking down on the city from the tops of tall buildings". Which, when I come to think of it, is something of a common theme for me in most places I visit. I guess I like being at the top of tall things. 

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Anyhow, rather than the most obvious tall tower in Paris (we'll get to that), I'd also booked us some tickets to ascend Tour Montparnasse. A relatively normal office building, which probably wouldn't look out of place in most cities, other than Paris whose surrounding buildings seem pretty low height. You can purchase tickets to go to the 56th floor, where there is a 360 degree viewing deck from which you can look out over the city. Also, you can then climb some more stairs up to the 59th floor - the top - where there's an open-air viewing platform and a champagne bar. 

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I'd bought our tickets online and went for the 48hour ones, which gives you the option to visit twice during a two day period. The tower is open until 10pm and it seemed like the perfect weather on Sunday evening to watch the sunset over the city. 

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I was surprised at how quiet it was up there, to be honest (in fact, I had the same thought on Satuday when we'd been there around lunchtime and were almost the only visitors. I guess the summer holiday rush was over, but even so, when you compare to the queues at the Eiffel Tower itself, I was amazed). We decided on a spot and set up our cameras, hoping for some lovely colourful sunset shots.

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Being wildly entertained by a couple of tourists next to us who were marvelling about "how clever" the sun was to know where to come up each morning and set each evening, we watched as the sun washed the skyline with it's fading rainbow colours and the lights began to switch on across the city. It's almost impossible to catch decent photos of this, but it was a sight to behold. 

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Friday, 21 September 2018

Friday Favourites 287..

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My goodness, the days seem to be speeding by lately. Friday again! My week seems to have been eaten up by meetings, wallpaper stripping and painting, but it's OK.

A little lunchtime browse of some of the websites I haven't visited in a while came up with a rekindled love for Sugarhill Boutique. I can't remember the last time I even browsed at their things, but my goodness I was pleasantly surprised by some of their new items. 

001: I'm not sure shirt dresses are all that flattering on me, but this one seems to be a decent midi length and the giraffe print is wonderful.

002: As the weather gets colder I live for chunky knits and this one is not only leopard print, but also super long and cosy-looking. 

003: I think this is my favourite Sugarhill print of recent memory - robots! I really don't need any more blouses in my life, but I'd be prepared to make an exception for this. I love the neck tie detail as well. 

004: Of course, I couldn't make a wishlist without adding at least one dinosaur to it. This jumper looks roar-some. (Sorry, couldn't resist!) 

Seen anything great this week?

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Tuesday Titles 162..



It's been a while since I've had the chance to do a fair amount of reading. When I'm at home, there always seems to be something else I *should* be doing, so I often let it slide. However, when I was in France recently, I had a lot of time to spare (on trains, buses, the metro, waiting in lines, etc) and little else to do, so I managed to work my way through a decent number of books. Here's a round up of some of the things I've read lately:

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  • The Hunting Party: I really enjoyed this. Set up like an old-school murder mystery, your typical group of friends are on holiday in a remote cabin in the middle of the Scottish Highlands for New Year's celebrations. They've known each other for years, so naturally there are plenty of secrets just waiting to come out and ruin the dynamics. When one of the party is found dead, surely there has to be something more sinister out there...? This kept me guessing until very close to the end, with plenty of twists and I really liked how the flashbacks to university life etc eked out little details about the friends.
  • Eve of Man: I've heard so much about this book over the past few months that it was top of my list of things to read. The world as we know it has changed, as one day all babies born are boys. Things stay this way for more than fifty years and the world is in a panic. One girl, born into these crazy conditions is protected high up in a towered complex, surrounded by sky. Her only interaction is with a virtual reality assistant, or the group of nuns who are tasked with looking after her. But the world is relying on Eve - the human race relies on her and they need to find a suitor. But there is also a group of people who are determined to see Eve freed from her tower. I really enjoyed the fast pace and feeling as though I was part of the dystopian world. Can't wait for the next part of the series.
  • I Invited Her In: It's been years since you last spoke to your best friend from university days. You'd been so close at the time, but life moves on and you both lose touch. Suddenly, an email out of the blue asking if she could stay for a couple of days. What would you do? Mel extends an invite to her old friend Abi and welcomes her into her family home. But what can she really know about who Mel is these days? Billed as a dark and unsettling thriller, I have to say I had high hopes for this, but thought it fell a little flat. Shocking twists which turned out to be fairly predictable, I wanted to enjoy this more than I did.
  • Baxter's Requiem: This was charming. A tale about a man, living our his twilight years in a care home. Upon getting some news about his ailing health, he decides that now is the time to go on a final adventure. He enlists the help of the hapless Greg, plodding but conscientious care home assistant, to carry his bags. Baxter, clearly used to the finer things in life, is an eccentric character whose secrets are revealed over the course of his trip. I liked the snappy dialogue in this, as well as the way in which things resolved themselves at the end.
  • The Distance: Have you ever met someone online who just "got" you? The great thing about the internet is that it can connect you with those people you have common interests with. The bad thing, is that you can sometimes fall in love with them, even across the other side of the world. Cecilie is hopelessly in love with Hector. The only trouble is she's in Norway, and he's about to get married to someone else. In Mexico.Flicking between their homes and also back and forth through their friendship's timeline, I found that Ceci's pining for her unrequited love really resonated with me and the way in which she wasn't quite sure where she fit into the world anymore, was one of the most apt descriptions of this kind of love. Another strand to the story, we meet housewife Kate, stuck in Suffolk and possibly entirely unrelated, until eventually things become clear. A story about loves, lost and found, and one which will keep you hoping for a certain outcome right until the last page. 
  • The Wives: Written by the author who created the now famous Devil Wears Prada, I had high expectations of The Wives and it didn't disappoint me on any front. We're thrown right in as one of our protagonists is arrested for a suspected DUI with confusingly fuzzy details. Has she been set up? Her friends Miriam and Emily will surely help her get to the bottom of this. An interesting, fast-paced insight into the lives of the wives of the suburbs. "Everyone's had their vagina done, darling." And a cameo role from Ms. Priestley, herself. Definitely worth a read!

Have you read any of these? Or anything else which you'd recommend, lately?

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Paris is always a good idea..

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Last week I headed over to Paris for a few days of sight-seeing and relaxing, which was frankly long overdue. It had been planned (in a way) for months - the flights and studio were booked back in March, but as for the finer details? Well, I had a vague plan in mind but left a lot of the exact timings etc down to us to decide at the time. 

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Arriving super late on Friday evening, it was all we could do to establish the whereabouts of our teeny home-from-home and unpack enough of the case that we could get some sleep. 

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On Saturday morning our first stop was the boulangerie about 200yds from our front door, for pastries, which we took to the nearest park to eat. 

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Then, we had a couple of hours free before our first scheduled thing, so we used it to explore some of the streets and shops around Montmartre, where we were staying. 

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I think this is my favourite area of Paris - I've explored it a lot over previous visits and stayed here with the THFC girls last year. 

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I adore the beautiful view over the city which you get from the steps of the Sacre-Coeur and even though we saw Paris from above from about three different attractions, it remains my favourite spot to watch over the city. 

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A few streets away is the Moulin Rouge, which is one of the most famous landmarks in the area, I guess. I've got to admit, I've never been, nor have I seen the movie. We've taken photos from the outside, like above, and I guess I'm just a little non-plussed by it, but it's one of those places one looks out for en route to the metro. 

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I preferred this signage, if I'm honest - a few buildings down from the Moulin Rouge, right in the heart of all of the sex shops and erotica, but I loved the neon retro vibes. Next up, we headed to Montparnasse for the next stop on our itinerary, which I'll get to in a future post. 


Friday, 7 September 2018

Friday Favourites 286..

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For the first time in months, I find myself sitting at my desk and feeling a little chilly. I stopped by the supermarket on my way home last night and found myself lusting over jumpers and coats. It feels as though the change of season is upon us and for once, I think I'm ready for it. 

Cool, crisp mornings and autumnal weather always has me thinking of ankle boots and layering up chunky jumpers. Here are a few which caught my eye as I was browsing the Spartoo site the other day (one of my favourite sites for shoe bargains). 

001: These are still topping my list of recent Irregular Choice releases. So much detail. So sparkly. 

002: I guess these are more heels than boots, but I love the bow detail and the dark green colours on them. 

003: These ankle boots are such a classic style that I think you could wear them for just about any occasion. I love that even though they have a huge floral rosette on the side, they still look pretty staid (by my standards anyway) and would be meeting-friendly. 

004: Miaow is a boot which is brought out time and again in new designs, and I love the floral print on this iteration. 

005: Another mix of florals and black, with the scallops around the uppers adding interest and also a big bow on the back of these pretty boots. 

I'm struggling to pick a favourite. How does your style change with the seasons?

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Tuesday Titles 161..

I've got to admit, I went into this moving house business a little naively, genuinely believing I'd be all unpacked and everything would be located by now. Instead, it's mountains of boxes everywhere and whilst I kind of know where the boxes are which contain the things I wish to find, I don't know how to access them. I know it will get there, I'm just clearly too impatient.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying here is that I haven't had chance to read as much as I'd like to lately. My to-read pile is crazy and of course I found more to add to that when I was packing up all of the bookshelves. Argh.

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But I'm rather pleased to be part of the blog tour for a lovely new book: The Incendiaries.

I struggled to get into this one because it uses the super annoying method: dialogue with no quotation marks, which I really struggle with.

However, once you look past that, it's a novel about fitting in. Our three main characters are Will, Phoebe and John Leal and the chapters whizz between each points of view. Will's main aim is to establish what had happened to cause Phoebe, his girlfriend, to be involved in something horrific. Since he spends a lot of his time leading up to the events being confused by her actions anyway, his thoughts can be rather hard to follow.

Eventually as the story unravels and things begin to make sense, with the reader left unsure who to actually tolerate, let alone like. Whilst it was good to get an understanding of things leading up to the horrific events, I'd have liked to get more of an insight into John Leal and the cult he was a part of. His story was only really mentioned by Will.

I read somewhere that this book was pipped to be another Little Fires Everywhere but I'm afraid I don't see it. I'd recommend it as an intriguing read, provided you can look past the flowery prose and the lack of quotation marks. See what the others thought on the blog tour, which continues all week.

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The Incendiaries: R.O. Kwon

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Sunday Shoes 153..



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It's been a while since I last did one of these posts, and to be honest, I'm not really sure why. Bad time management, rather than anything else. I've been working my way through my existing collection and also finding pairs I'd long forgotten as I go through to pack them.
But this week, a new pair to share.

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These are Mer Magic. Released a couple of weeks ago along with some other styles which also sport a star shaped heel, I was drawn to these overall because of their serious mermaid vibes. 

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The new season IC packaging is one of my favourite designs so far - also inkeeping with the mermaid theme. It features starfish and carousel seahorses and plenty of scallops. 

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The fronts of the shoes, which are made from a rainbow metallic leather, are embroidered with the mermaids and also embellished with little pearls. There's just so much detail on them - the ankle straps have a scalloped edge to them, too. 

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In fact, all of the glitter, rainbow coloured leather and embroidery are almost enough to make once not notice the part which I think might be my favourite feature - the star shaped heels. Irregular Choice are known for their wild and wacky character heels, which come in a variety of different character shapes and even their more traditional styles with the inverted heels, but this is something completely new. 

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The shoes themselves feel sturdy and definitely seem to be true to size (I am finding more consistency in sizing with the more recent releases, which is promising), and I can wear them for a day at work, shopping or sightseeing with no problems. 

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What do you think? What's your favourite pair from the new season collection?