Monday, 30 April 2012

pack up your troubles in your old kit bag..

giraffe necklace: present (I think from new look)
tshirt: h+m // blazer: ASOS
shorts: clothing at tesco // tights, belt, satchel: primark
brogues: H by Henry Holland
Friday's outfit, which turned out to be one of those crazy-mental days where you don't know where the time goes (hence my blog silence over the weekend; usually I get chance to schedule soemthing before I leave work, but I just didn't have time!)

 I really do like this blazer; I know it's quite oversized, but that sort of appeals to me with this. But it doesn't really lend itself to 'smart' outfits, so I tend to wear it with shorts, since I'm not a trousers girl. (I seem to be back down to just three pairs of trousers now after having an outsort of the pairs which didn't fit!).

So I figured this would do as a bit of a thrown-together, rainy, dress-down Friday outfit. My friend recently gave me this giraffe necklace, which I really like, and the brogues are nice and sturdy as well as being waterproof, although I can't help thinking they make my feet seem really big and mannish.

I still have lots of books for sale here, although I'm probably going to dump them off at the charity shop at the end of the week as I want to clear the space, so do let me know if any take your fancy!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend despite all the rainy weather - typically it's been dry all day today.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

here comes the summer..

How To Get Your Wardrobe Ready For Summer

Summer is finally on its way and it’ll soon be time to unfurl your picnic rug and get
outside into the long awaited sunshine. But first and foremost, you need to dig deep
into the wardrobe for those summer outfits that haven’t seen the light of day for
months on end. The new season inevitably comes hand in hand with the emergence
of new fashion trends; keep ahead in the style stakes with some simple summer
wardrobe updates for 2012.

Bright and Bold

The fashion world is in total agreement; summer 2012 is all about being bright and
beautiful. Forget the drab greys and blacks of winter, the warmer weather should
bring a colour assault on your style senses. Simple pastel tones are set to be huge,
with floral appliqu├ęs also proving popular in the spring catwalk shows across the
world. Cheerful and easy to wear, these trends are guaranteed to crossover to the
pavements, parks and beaches of Britain in the summer months.

Sun protection

Ted Baker Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

Summer is all about beautiful accessories that top off your outfit in the best way
possible, whilst also protecting your health. When the sun begins to blaze, it’s time to
dig out those sunglasses and straw hats. The 1920s are set to be a big influence on
summer accessories ahead of The Great Gatsby reboot, so think chic wide brim hats
and huge glasses.

Pack a punch

From sun lotion to your favourite glossy magazine, you need to be ready for
whatever the warm weather brings. Don’t stress about fitting all of your essentials
into a tiny shoulder satchel, instead invest in a practical and stylish summer bag.
Check out the Ted Baker selection for a wide range of designs to suit nearly every
taste, all of which transform the latest catwalk trends into an easy to carry accessory.

Ted Baker Hot Air Balloon Bag

Style state of mind

The summer is the perfect opportunity for you to express your fun and easy-going
side. It gives you free reign to be playful, to mix comfort with style and to enjoy
yourself. Remember that summer is as much a state of mind as it is a season, so
match a sunny attitude to your outfit to make the ultimate style statement.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

three cheers for tyranny..


top: forever 21 // trousers: warehouse
 Sometimes I feel the need to dress in something which I wouldn't usually turn to. This baggy ensemble isn't what I would usually plump for, but I was feeling thoroughly exhausted at the weekend and for a rainy Sunday of swimming, housework and little else, I embraced the "only just one step above sleepwear" look.

Sleep deprivation apparently continues; I can't wait for the weekend where I can relax with some lovely friends (you know who you are!)

Have you seen that I've posted my book sale?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

when we saw paris in flames..

jumper: primark
skirt: get cutie
shoes: irregular choice // necklace: gift
This is one of my outfits from last week; I figured it would double up as office wear and not-very-formal-party wear. The skirt is one of my favourites; I love the swish and the shape of circle skirts and Get Cutie has to be one of the best brands around for quirky prints like this.

The shoes are old favourites, in an old style, which I have worn a lot over the years, but my love for them reins strong.

I'm having one of thsoe weeks where I just can't get enough done, but hopefully it will get better.

Monday, 23 April 2012

get me away from here, i'm dying..

I have no idea what happened to this post the other day; I'd scheduled it, then tried to access it ot post a little earlier from my phone and managed to delete the content - oops. Here's what you should have seen..

shoes, bag: new look // top: primark // cardi: h+m

skirt: dorothy perkins // belt: asos

Basically this was another "meeting-friendly" outfit from a couple of weeks ago, the photos of which were taken after approx. 6hrs of driving and an hour or so of the worst meeting I've ever known, hence my looking rather stressed out and dishevelled..

Hopefully everyone has had a nice weekend..I've spent mine house-sitting. On Friday evening I baked lots of cake and went off to a party for a guiding lady I know who has just been awarded her 30yrs of service badge..I hope I still have her enthusiasm when I've been volunteering for 30yrs.

Saturday morning was spent painting at the local guides residential centre, then in the afternoon I helped to run our District heat for the County Cupcake Contest, which went well - we had a lovely WI lady who was a professional cake judge (she had her own white coat for judging and everything!) to decide who went through to the next round, and I didn't envy her as the standard was amazing.

I had a rather lazy Sunday by my standards, read a book and a half of the Hunger Games trilogy and wrote a few letters as well as playing some Wii Zumba with the little sis. I was pleased to get home last night and find that some of my seedlings have started to grow nicely.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

i'd like you to stay, want to keep you inside..

dress: handmade
shoes: primark
cardigan: h+m
(not entirely sure where the ridiculous expression came from)
So last weekend I decided enough was enough and I would finally pick up this dress and get it finished - I started cutting it out in January, and left my last sewing lesson (weeeeks ago!) with all the good intentions of having it finished that night, before getting home and letting my goldfish memory flutter onto something else..

It's a lot longer than other dresses I've made in the past, but I like that - I tried it on to decide whether to shorten it but I quite liked the midi length and where it falls with a pair of heels, like these pretty primark ones.

Someone asked me recently if making my own clothes works out more expensive or not, so I thought I would figure out a cost for this one. I got the fabric from Abakhan on a trip to Liverpool a while ago, and 3.5metres cost me £15.75 (4.50/m is good for cotton)- I used most of it because of the skirt being such a circle that it's made from two huge semi-circles, which are about the width of the fabric. Usually I work my pattern-laying out so that I'm as economical as possible with the fabric, whilst still taking into account the grain. Then for this I needed to buy bias binding, which goes around pretty much every edge on this dress, and forms the armholes and the straps, which tie at the top - I ended up with the end of the roll, which was a little more than I'd asked for, but it cost me £3. The pattern itself was a retro Butterick one (B4513) which was also from Abakhan, and I think was about £6, as they always seem to have at least 25% off their patterns.

So, altogether I'd say it cost me £24.95 to make this dress. I'd usually not think twice about spending that much on a dress which took my fancy, so that has to be a good thing, right? I know it's a bit more pricey than buying something from Primark, but I like the fact that I'm not going to run into someone else wearing the exact same thing. What do you think?

Friday, 20 April 2012

friday favourites 013..

Another week has sped by, during which I have been pretty tempted, but have managed to refrain from the need to buy..But the list of things which I've bookmarked for the end of the ban is getting longer and longer by the day - here are a couple..

LA rucksack
001: Floral Rucksack, Laura Ashley, £56
002: Florence Dress, Monsoon, £75
001: I don't think I even own a rucksack, I've never been much of a fan of the plasticky gym look, but recently have seen a few of these leather trimmed styles and I like this Laura Ashley one. It makes me think of picnics, walks in the country and would go rather well with my pretty pink bike..

002: I tried this beautiful dress on when I recently *had* to visit Monsoon a couple of weeks ago, so I even know which size I need it in. It's a definite for the birthday list.It fits like a dream, which may mean it's an essential.

What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

just l ike a nightmare i can't remember..

strawberry jumper: new look

polka dot heels: irregular choice

chinos: new look

This chilly morning felt like the perfect opportunity for knitwear, so I dug out this strawberry print jumper which I've had for years. In a stroke of luck I remembered this pair of polka dot Irregular Choice heels which seem a similar enough colour. I think these courtesan heels are my favourite IC style, they don't seem to make this shape in new styles very often, but I've collected quite a few of the old styles over the years and really like the ruffle detail around these.

These chinos are one of my favourite colours, but they're getting that little bit annoyingly large now; even with a belt to cinch in the waist I think they need to go in the "to get rid" pile , as I wouldn't know where to start with taking them in.

Hoping to make time for a swim this evening, as well as baking a cake for a party tomorrow evening, whilst house-sitting. I have taken my writing things with me, with plans to get all caught up with my penpals, too.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

walk on the cracks of the same old sidewalks..

sausage dog blouse: matalan

velvet + glitter sandals: matalan

pencil skirt: dorothy perkins

telephone necklace: accessorize
 Sometimes I wish some of my favourite items of clothing were a bit more flattering - ever see something and imagine it will look a certain way, and then realise that actually it looks nothing like you imagined when it's actually on you? I think this blouse is one of those; given today's photos I think it make me look like a sausage too.

Today I saw one of my old work colleagues and my brief conversation with them managed to cement some of the thoughts I've been having recently about the social acceptability of weight-related comments.

Obviously it's not deemed to be particularly acceptable to comment on someone's weight gain; I think almost everyone would agree that it's downright rude to tell someone they are fat or overweight, and I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't dream of it. But what about the other way? At what point does it become acceptable for people who don't know you that well (I'm not talking about family and friends' here, more people like ex-work colleagues, or bar staff who work in hotels you sometimes go to, the kind of people you would say a passing hello to but not much more) to point out how much weight you've lost, followed by comments about how healthy/unhealthy/better/worse you may look. I'm not sure there's a definitive answer, I was just merely voicing my thoughts about this.

Now off to have a last-minute panic shop in Asda to get things for Rangers this evening..   

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

indecisions lasting for years..

necklace: new look

shoes: new look

skirt: primark // blouse: h+m
Gaah, what a frustrating couple of days; yesterday evening didn't turn out quite as planned- when my friend and I got to the Town Hall, the early zumba session had been cancelled, so I still haven't tried it. Then I was told that the guides hall had been double booked, which was a bit annoying, but the weather was dry so we spent the evening playing rounders etc at the park (perhaps this can count towards somethingn in the Olympics challenge we will be doing this term).

Today has been a tought day of contract amendments, which are finally coming together but it's not helping my already hurting head. Also frustrated by a call from the doctors, who have now decided I need more tests - fed up of not knowing what is wrong with me. Oh, and the internet seems to be bringing out a whole bundle of horrid people today, the amount of abusive comments I've received today has been a lot higher than normal, although I'm not sure what I've done wrong. Oh well.

Today's outfit was a bit of a weird one, by which I mean things which I ordinarily wouldn't have thought to put together. The main hang-up I have with this blouse is that the front hem is cut so much higher than the back, so I don't usually wear it with anything which sits lower than my waist (except for one time where I was forced to safety-pin it to the trousers I wore it with, which had painful results). So it works ok with this high-waisted skirt. [Not sure if the skirt is supposed to be high-waisted, that's just where it sits on me due to my massive hips].

I love these shoes, but they are starting to feel too big on the feet - cam your feet shrink? Perhaps they've stretched. Other than feetwise, I'm feeling fat, so can't wait to swim this evening. 

Monday, 16 April 2012

i don't wanna lose you, so don't skip town..

dress: h+m (via ebay i think)
'harsh' shoe-boots: irregular choice (via ebay)

These boots have been waiting for an outing since I won them on eBay months ago (don't panic, it was long before the shopping ban!) and I finally decided they would sort of go with this dress, which has been one of my favourites for years; I snapped it up on eBay years back after not managing to track down the size I wanted in store.

Today's been another hectic one to start another no doubt hectic week, but I'm pleased that I managed to have a really productive weekend - got lots ticked off the to-do list, sold more things as part of my big Spring Clean, and planted plenty of seeds, both in trays on the windowsills and down at the allotment (and then worried about the little onions when it was cold last night).

Feeling a lot more positive after getting all upset after being criticised by my DC about guides. I have changed my plans in light of the concerns she's passed on, but how am I supposed to solve a problem which I didn't know about.

I'm also off to try out zumba for the first time this evening, after work and prior to my guides meeting. Wish me luck; I'm really not the most co-ordinated person.   

Sunday, 15 April 2012

i hope that it puts you through hell..

polka dot skinny jeans(!) : primark (gift)

tshirt: h+m // cardigan: topshop

shoes: primark
 After a conversation about jeans recently, my friend bought me a pair of skinny ones to prove a point. I was convinced that, since I don't have a pair of skinny legs, the skinny shape of jeans like this wouldn't suit me.

I wore them out to the shops with her on Good Friday and I have to admit I felt a bit awkward in them, but I didn't overly hate them. Which is a good job really, as I'm currently hating most of the rest of the contents of my wardrobes. I think it doesn't help that I've spent almost the whole week feeling sick and bloated, although I can't figure out what has triggered that, but it's not helping my self-esteem. Also the fact that 95% of the items will need taking in or altering before they will actually fit me properly just seems like a mind-bogglingly epic task; I really should have a clear out.

I haven't swum as much as I would have liked to this week, which perhaps hasn't helped my body-grumpiness, but I'll get back into it next week.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

call it what you want..

hat, shorts, tights, boots: primark

top: miss selfridge // cardigan: forever 21 // bag: nica (via tk maxx)

This was a really casual thrown-together outfit for popping into town last Saturday to run a lot of errands. I managed to drag one huge Primark bag and a cardboard box of car-boot leftovers to the charity shop, whilst also carrying a box to post off to a friend for her birthday; it was quite a juggling act!

I love this Nica satchel bag; I know they've become a bit of a cliche recently, but this was a total gem of a find in TK Maxx a couple of years ago, and I haven't got bored of it yet - it's the perfect size for everything i need, and even fits a book - or my kindle in it, which I find essential if I'm going anywhere which could involve a wait, or a coffee break..The best part was that it only cost £12, and I must have used it hundreds of times by now, so it was definitely a worthwhile spend!

This weekend I'm hoping that the frost isn't too bad, as I want to get asparagus shoots planted, as well as the onion bulbs which have been sitting around waiting to be planted for a while. The plot next to my allotment is putting mine to shame, they have paving, shed and rabbit-proof fencing. So far mine is not looking a great deal different to when I took it on, although there are some potatoes under a small portion of the ground. I feel behind, but keep reminding myself there is no rush, and that it's not supposed to be a competition.

Friday, 13 April 2012

friday favourites 012..

001: ASOS Floral Border Print Midi Dress, £35

001: ASOS are doing so very well at making thngs I like at the moment, my 'saved items' are getting longer and longer, but I'm so far holding out..I'm more than halfway through the shopping ban, which is having a good effect on me I think..If I was buying, this pretty dress would probably have been on it's way to me by now though..

002: Phase Eight Ava Dress, £99

002: Pretty dresses everywhere -this Phase Eight beauty is topping my "if I won the lottery" list at the moment..Look at all of the colours in it; it would go with any shoes!

I think the sunny spell today is definitely adding to my desire for pretty new dresses. What are you lusting after at the moment?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

drops of jupiter in her hair..

ring: topshop
dress: new look // cardigan: river island
heels: new look
Well, after all the stressing about it, I wasn't able to donate any blood after all; I have to wait six months before I'll be able to again, and I'm trying not to feel guilty for being pleased about that.

Have had one of those crazy days, where the hours seem to zip by.

This morning I found this dress on the rail and realised I hadn't worn it for ages - after trying it on and having to make several darts in it, I decided it fitted OK and it's definitely one I plan to keep.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

hiding from the world..

blouse: tu clothing

short + pumps : primark

green lace up ballet pumps : office
One of those odd outfits today, I'd forgotten I had this blouse, but the other day I had a bit of a clothes rage as I couldn't find anything to wear which fitted me, so I had thrown a lot of items out of the wardrobe and into a heap on the floor, which this blouse was on the top of this morning - you can't really tell from the pictures but it has a pussybow tie at the top, which I should imagine is why I was drawn to it..I decided it would go ok with this pair of shorts, then had a bit of a dilemma as to whether or not I should tuck the blouse in / leave it out..

After that, and a quick shoe swap to these green velvet pumps which I'd also forgotten about, I was finally ready to leave the house. Have since spent the day doing battle with my iPod and panicking about giving blood this evening, which I totally feel sick thinking about, but will hopefully be ok once I get there.. 

Monday, 9 April 2012

that's why the lady is a tramp..

dogtooth skirt: river island
dog cardigan: laura ashley

shoes, sunglasses, vest, necklace: primark


Sometimes I really struggle with putting together a work-suitable outfit which isn't too casual, but is still "me". Because my usual working environment is fairly casual, there aren't really any dress restrictions, which I love because it gives me a chance to be a bit more experimental than I'm sure I'd get away with at most places.

However, now and then I have to go to a particularly shitty meeting, made more so by the fact that I had to leave for this one before 6.30am. So I threw together this pencil skirt, which I'm still not massively confident about, with an old favourite Laura Ashley cardigan, and what are fast becoming one of my favourite pairs of shoes ever - which is a bit shocking given the number of shoes I own.

What do you think - work appropriate? Or still too casual? I'll never be a suits person.