Thursday, 31 October 2013

Life is our find, hollow is he..

halloween print skirt: handmade
jumper: clothing at tesco
heels: primark
Ok, so I'm not usually one to make a big fuss about Halloween. I never did the Trick or Treating thing (never really saw the point; there is something a little absurd about knocking on strangers' doors and expecting them to give you something, and threatening violence if they don't, isn't there?!) and although I have vague memories of Halloween-themed parties at Brownies or school discos, I don't recall much else. But apparently, since then, it's a Major Deal.

*Digs out this skirt and jumps on bandwagon*

As you can see in the background, I've now done my food shopping for the weekend away with the Guides. (In fact, due to my electricity being off for more than a day without me knowing, I've actually done a lot of it twice, and I'm pretty cross about it, I have to say). This week has been full to the brim, so far, and looks set to continue.

I've finally taken the plunge and ordered myself a Polar heart monitor (I cashed in my Tesco vouchers with their new Clubcard Boost scheme and it almost covered it - who knew I shopped at Tesco so much?!) so I'll go and pick that up later.

Yesterday, I went to give blood, which is one of my most-hated things ever. I literally shake as I'm waiting to be called up. But it's something I try to do when I can (I've been turned away a few times in the past few years for varying medical reasons, but was able to again last night). It makes me sad that so many people rely on our health service (however much they may bitch and moan about it) and yet how few people give blood. Apparently only 4% of the population do so. If you think you can help, find out more here.

After my cup of squash and a packet of ginger biscuits, I headed over to my grandparents' house to collect my Nana and take her out to the theatre, which was rather good. I do seem to be spending loads of time at the theatre, lately. There have been a heap of good things on though, which makes a change. We saw a rather good Cadfael murder mystery, put on by The Middle Ground Theatre Company, which was quite fitting as the writer was local to the town. I was so tired when I got home, and really not in the mood for finding the electricity had been off and the freezer had defrosted everything. Good job my closest supermarket is open 24hrs.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Turn yourself around, you weren't invited..

OK, something weird is going on. It became apparent on my shopping trip on Saturday, that I am getting to be more sensible in my spending. Well, a little. By my standards, anyway.

Ghost Jumper: New Look*
Coat: Clothing at Tesco
Pleather skirt: Primark
Here's an example. I've had my eye on an oxblood coloured leather skirt for quite a while now (first featured in this post, but on my ASOS saved items ever since). When I was in Primark on Saturday and saw a similar, albeit shorter, pleather version, I weighed up the pros and cons in my head. How much wear do I usually get from any one of my skirts? Not that much, I decided. I've only worn the majority of my skirts, whatever style / colour a handful of times each, so does it really make sense to pay £120 for one, when I could have a shorter version in the same colour for £7. Does the fact it's not real leather bother me? Not really.

That means I can take the £113 I've not spent on leather skirts and put it towards something more useful. Christmas presents, of which the shopping is well underway (see, I feel quite organised this year) or one of the many things I keep thinking I really *should*  buy, but never quite get round to. Like a heart rate monitor, or a new camera, or I've even found myself browsing cycle websites to find some proper cycle shoes, for spinning. 

The skirt was a good choice for my Saturday evening outfit for the theatre. Little Sis and I went for an evening of ghost stories, which gave me an opportunity to wear my new ghost jumper. The walk in the torrential rain between the car park and the door meant we both got soaked, but my skirt was pretty useful as it's quite waterproof!

In other news, Mother bought me this poppy brooch at the weekend, too, which I absolutely love. I make no secret about the fact that I'm a strong atheist, but I make an exception (call me a hypocrite I guess) and the one occasion per year I will attend a church is for Remembrance Sunday, where we partake in the annual parade with the Guides. I'm hoping that I won't be as likely to lose this poppy as I am with the paper ones - I think having too many coats is the problem.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

shut your eyes and sing to me..

Seabird Reversible Duvet Cover :*
I have to admit, although I'm slowly building up a collection of their animal knitwear, and I spend a lot of time lusting over their wellies, I'd never really looked at any of the designs from the Joules duvet covers range, before being asked if I'd like to review a set.

Of course, it took me a little while to choose; they have so many pretty designs - but in the end I couldn't resist the call of these seabirds, as I figured the colours would go nicely with the bed and the blanket box in my bedroom. I got it onto the bed as soon as the parcel arrived: no issues with sizing, here.

The contrast between the plain background on the front of the cover, and the stripes on the underneath, seem to give it a little something extra, and I'm sure I'll use the striped side as well for a change. It makes it fairly easy to match the cover to your sheets, so long as you have one of the colours in the stripes. I also love how the birds seem to have all of the colours in their feathers, as well.

I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to find that I'm not much of a matchy-matchy person when it comes to my bedding - I'm happy to mix and match the prints on my sheets and duvet covers, but I always think it's a bit odd when a duvet set and pillowcases are sold separately (here's the link to the pillowcases). That said,  I do rather like the effect of the photo on the website where all of the pillowcases are mixed to contrast with the cover.

I'd read a review on the site where the commenter said the base colour of the pillowcases and the duvet cover didn't match, but I don't find this to be the case, at all. All I need now to finish the set is this cushion..which may well be in my basket as I type this..


Monday, 28 October 2013

Destination still unknown, it's a fact of life..

blazer: primark
STAR platforms + skirt: Topshop
beaded top: Street Vintage
This was my outfit for a trip to the theatre last week. I'd seen this skirt in Topshop in Leeds, but hadn't been sure about the underneath layer - I'd have preferred for it to have been the same length as the top layer. But when it hit the sale, I decided to give it a try and also saw this pair of amazing shoes, which I hoped would go nicely with the skirt, so I placed my order and waited patiently, only to find that the shoes were out of stock, so the rest of my order was dispatched without them. Gaaah.

After trying just about all of the stores I had a hope of getting to, and with no luck, I used the little "check in store" section of the website and managed to find a pair in my size in Nottingham. Which is nowhere near me. Thankfully, the lovely Tori went to pick them up for me and sent them on, and I'm so glad she did as I really love them. The glitter on the platforms is great and doesn't seem to flake off at all, which I must admit I'd sort of been expecting it to. I think they go quite well with the skirt as well.

As for the top, I'd happened to visit Street Vintage the weekend before, and couldn't resist this beaded top. I love 20s style tops like this, and keep imagining wearing them with a pretty hat and skirt to channel Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, which is one of my current favourite things. (I was very happy to make it back from the gym last night in time to see it!)

To finish things off, my beloved elephant print blazer and a sewing machine pendant which I love, as I've been trying to make an effort to wear some more of my jewellery.

I've had a rather lovely weekend, busy and full of nice things (although a few changes to plan here and there) but I can sense that this week is going to be like the last couple and truly stress me out. I mentioned on Twitter on Friday that I'm currently jewellery shopping, so if you have any links to pretty jewellery sites, please let me know. I'm not quite sure what I have in mind, but I'm leaning towards a diamond ring, I think. That said, I saw this bangle on Hillier and it had me quite tempted.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sunday Shoes 025: ASOS Happy Days sandals..

Picture 003
ASOS Happy Days sandals, £19
Picture 001

You know when you have one of those moments where you see something awesome, forget to order it for a while, then go back and it's sold out? That's what happened to me with these sandals.

I had them in my saved items for a while, then when I went to order them, they'd gone. They're also available in white and black, but I had my heart set on the shiny pink, because it makes me think of some party shoes I had when I was little.

Thankfully, checking on them daily paid off after a few weeks, as someone must have returned a pair, so I snapped them up and they arrived the next day. The chunky heel isn't the kind of height I usually go for, but I don't think they'd have worked as nicely if they'd been higher.

No issues with comfort here and the ankle strap means they fit nicely around the ankle, too. Now I just need some parties to go to. I wish I could pull off the sandals / socks trend which looks so cute on just about everyone else in the world.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

This wonderful world of purchase power..

Bardot Floral Dress: ASOS
Shoe Boots : Charity shop (no brand)

After mentioning it in last week's wishlist, I couldn't resist this dress any longer. I love Bardot necklines, and this one is no exception. I also love the length. I've never been one for short hemlines as I've never liked showing too much of my (huge and horrible, in my opinion) legs. The fabric is lovely, if a little too thick for my liking around the skirt area. It seems to stick out waaay too much. 

When Autumn rolls around, I like to take the opportunity to get all of my shoe boots out of storage. I'm never quite sure whether shoe boots like these do my legs any favours, but I like them too much to care - especially these ones which were one of my £2 bargains.

Thoughts on the dress? Too much skirt?

Friday, 25 October 2013

friday favourites 066..

001: Hello DODO / Designosaur Chameleon Necklace, £35
002: Tutantastic Earrings, Hey Sailor, £14
For the past few months (well, probably longer in all honesty), I've been pretty hopeless at remembering to add any jewellery to finish off an outfit. Over the past week or so, though, I've been trying a little harder. I think if I can get into the habit of wearing my way through some of my jewellery collection, it would be OK to add some more to it, right? Yes? Glad you're in agreement. This is where I'll be starting:

001: I'm a big fan of Designosaur; they do rather amazing acrylic / laser cut dinosaur jewellery (and plenty of other creatures, too). But their latest necklace actually goes with EVERYTHING. Meet George the chameleon, who is the product of a collaboration between Designosaur and HelloDODO...and I can't wait for him to arrive!

002: I'm gradually getting used to wearing earrings once more; after a few years where I've barely worn any, I seemed to have to ease my ears back into it gently. But now that I can wear a pair of earrings all day without pain, again, I plan to add to my collection there as well. Starting with these rather awesome bug / jewel ones from Hey Sailor, which is one of those sites I should not be let loose on, as I end up wanting everything!

Is there anything you just cannot resist this week?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

There's a spy by my window, I know it's you..

Animal Print Prom Dress: Matalan*
Trench Coat: Primark
Heels: Primark
I know that I've already mentioned that I love this dress, over here. But I really love it, so I couldn't wait to wear it again. I may have had ever-such-a-tiny-issue with the zip after my morning swim; I could not seem to reach properly to do it up. After ten minutes or so, I was just on the verge of going outside to see if I could find someone in the office to help me, but thankfully I managed it.

What with the weather being so funny lately, I decided that I would give my "spy coat" an outing.

Despite my recent obsession with coats, I'm having a little bit of a love/hate relationship with this one. I don't usually go for such pale colours, but I decided that a plain, light-weight but waterproof coat would be a sensible addition to my wardrobe.

I have to admit, trench coats like this always make me think of spy movies, and in my head should be teamed with a pair of sensible desert boots, like these ones. so I think the thought of those park-bench-and -briefcase-manoeuvres. I spent a good part of the day imagining I was Harriet the Spy , a character book which I used to love when I was a child.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Candy screen wrappers of silkscreen fantastic..

Girlfriend Coat: Tara Starlet
Norma Dress: Emily + Fin
Handbag: vintage
Heels: New Look

A rare occurrence on Saturday night, I put this outfit on and really liked it all. I'd been planning to wear this dress and coat together ever since they'd both arrived, I just hadn't yet found the perfect outing for them. Until  Saturday evening, when Mother and I headed out to a murder mystery evening.

It was grand fun. We were all seated at tables for dinner, and the characters were seated with us, so we got to know them, then a bit of acting on the stage, a murder (of course), then a chance for us all to speak to the witnesses / suspects before making our guesses as to whodunnit.

We didn't have any luck with guessing the culprit, but I was complimented on my outfit and tried to remember that it's polite and not self-centred to accept compliments graciously. This sort of outfit was exactly what I had in mind for this Tara Starlet coat - heels and a dress.

And as for the dress? I fell for it months ago on the Emily & Fin website, but had just about given up hope on ever tracking it down, as all of their stockists placed orders without choosing to stock this one. (Why not? It's a beautiful length, shape and a much nicer cut than some of the others, in my opinion!) After speaking to a few e&f stockists with no success, I'd almost given up hope, when Emily & Fin contacted me direct to help me out.

Other than this one, I've been sort of struggling for a little while to find dresses I really like this season and which I could feasibly wear to both work and for an evening out. Most of the stores seem to have moved away from the pretty 50s shapes I usually favour. I ordered an ASOS one from last week's wishlist post, but that's going straight back as it turned out to be nothing like it's photos. I have seen a couple of pretty party dresses in Coast, lately. This one in particular has stolen my heart, but I'm not sure even I could dress that down for the office...Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

She's a big swimmer that won't go near the ocean..

Jumper: Peter Jensen @ ASOS
Satchel: Zatchels (via Emily's blog sale)
Shorts, tights and boots: Primark
OK, I caved. I bought the Best Jumper Ever, which I featured in a Friday Favourites post back in August and now I never need another jumper again. Or at least that's how I justified it to myself, anyway.

I couldn't wait for a chance to wear it, so when I had to head into town first thing for a dentist appointment (9am on Saturday, awesome) I threw it on with my green leather shorts and some cycle-friendly shoe boots. 

It also gave me a chance to use my new Zatchels satchel. I have to admit, I've never bought into the hype of satchel bags. I know that everyone in the world went mental when Zatchels had that sale on, but I refrained from ordering as I wasn't sure I was that fussed about one. I've always preferred the less rectangular shapes, like my Brit-Stitch one, but when I saw that Emily was getting rid of this one, in what would have been my choice of print, I decided to take a chance on it and see what I thought of them.

It was small enough to fit easily into the basket of my Pashley, for cycling into town, but at the same time, big enough that I could easily carry all of the essentials, plus three paying in books, and a book for reading in the waiting room at the dentist - all important things! So I was impressed with it on that score. I must admit, the fact you have to buckle / unbuckle it every time you want something is a bit of a nuisance, but in the end I just kept my phone in my pocket, which is the thing I'd usually want to access quickly, so it wasn't a major problem. And I do really like the colour. So, all in all, I guess I'm quite taken with it.

Monday, 21 October 2013

room for one more troubled soul..?

dress: Cath Kidston // cardigan: River Island
handbag: Lipsy (from Emily's blog sale)
heels: primark
Today I seem to be back to hating everything there is to hate about my body shape, my outfit and everything else, but when I wore this outfit on Friday I rather liked it, and weirdly I liked EVERYTHING about most of this weekend's outfits, as well. So, perhaps I've filled my quota of nice outfits for the time being.

So, Friday's outfit was put together in quite the rush as I left it until I was heading out of the door at 6.15 to go to Metafit to throw some things in my gym bag for after the session. I have to admit, I love the buttons on this cardigan, but it's so big on me now that I think it looks a bit frumpy - any advice on how I can shrink it, but not too much?

I tried to match the colours of the bird print to the cardigan and also my new (to me) handbag, which I've been using a lot of this week - it's so big and such a pretty colour. I'd never thought of Lipsy as anything other than a tacky dress brand, so I'm pleasantly surprised. And I have no idea what I'll do when these shoes finally bite the dust.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

everybody's heard about the bird..

bird print shorts: oasis
jumper: matalan
If I hadn't already bought The Best Jumper Ever earlier in the week, I would currently be banging on about how I'd quite like to get this jumper in every available colour. But I've blown my jumper budget for the rest of my life, I think, so I'd best not.

I do really like the colour of this one, though. And with a pair of tights, shorts are totally not just for summer. I know it's not very inspired but everyone needs a slouchy weekend outfit once in a while. 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

the kind of star we would be hoping for..

dress: peacocks // cardigan: river island
boots: betty london
I know I look a bit miserable in these photos, but I'd been hoping my cold would be gone by now and I couldn't get this outfit to work - really wanted to wear these boots. I'm not entirely sure what to wear them with, to be honest.

The zebra print dress is an old favourite, which I quite like with this cardigan. Don't think they go with these boots, though. If you want to see an occasion where I think I was slightly better at putting outfits together, I guest posted on the Matalan blog this week.

I'm hoping to have lots of nice weekendy things to keep me occupied and cheer me up a bit. I seem to be saying this all too often, lately, but I've been glad to see the end of this week. Any nice weekend plans where you are? I'm hoping to get some sewing finished, and I'm off to a murder mystery evening with my mum. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

friday favourites 065..

001: Kate Fearnley Royal Blue Lace Dress, £225
002: ASOS Purple Floral Bardot Dress, £85
003: Monsoon Taffy Dress, £169
I have a surprise party to attend this weekend so, naturally, I've been looking at dresses as clearly I have nothing to wear. (ahem). Well, what I actually mean is I was supposed to be looking for a pair of Armani jeans for a friend's Xmas present and I got distracted because I always like an excuse to look for pretty dresses.

001: This Kate Fearnley one has totally stolen my heart at the moment. OK, so it's a little more than my average dress budget, but I'm looking at it as an investment; I have visions of wearing it to all parties in the lead up to the festive season, in order to make it much more reasonable. I do love a good circle skirt.

002: I've had this dress in my saved items on ASOS for quite a while now; I do so love a Bardot neckline, as I think my shoulders are about the only part of me I don't hate. I reckon I could dress this both up and down, depending on the shine factor of the fabric, so it could work for work as well.

003: This Monsoon dress is destined to hit the stores "in October" so I'm hoping to see it sometime soon. I'm sometimes a little wary about beaded dresses as if they're not very well made and the beads start to fall off, I totally wouldn't wear them again. I think that this should be better than the beaded numbers I've had from cheaper stores in the past, though.

Which do you think? I do love a good party dress, even if I'm refusing to acknowledge the imminent festive season until at least December.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

itemise loathing and feed yourself smiles..

dress: h+m
watch: Casio

heels: asos
cardigan: peacocks
coat: clothing at tesco
Thank you for all your well wishes yesterday. I'm still feeling quite under the weather, worse than yesterday really, but I'm hoping that I'll be rid of this cold soon. I'm trying to decide whether it's a good idea to skip my spinning class this evening, and just have an evening in, or whether I should just power through as I'm not sure I will be able to cope with the guilt if I miss a class.

Following on from my mention yesterday of things which make you feel better when you're ill, I've just ordered the final two seasons of One Tree Hill , entered this competition to try and win this cosy jumper from Original Attire, and I went to Tesco at lunchtime yesterday to stock up on soup. And came away with this coat.

I really have to stop buying coats this year. I think this may be Rosie's fault; she's a bad coat-buying influence! I think it's a bit of an addition - I have so many coats but lately all I seem to see are more and more lovely ones. I really must stop buying coats.*

I do think it's a rather lovely addition to my coat collection, though. It's not as thick as you'd expect for a winter coat, but it would happily layer up over a jumper - I'm always surprised when coats have really tight sleeves and you can't fit them on over a jumper; surely that's what you need in the winter?!

As for the rest of the outfit, this dress is an old favourite to which I've added a cosy cardigan to keep me from shivering at my desk in between sneezing, which is all I seemed to do yesterday. I added these ASOS perspex platforms because I love them so. And I matched my new watch to my bracelets, because I'm a bit odd like that.

 * Mog. I've just been on the website to find the coat I bought to link to and I've found this one which I think might have to be the next coat purchase of the year. What was that about no more coats?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

jump the tracks, can't get back..

dress + cardigan: new look
leopard print heels: new look
coat: primark
Today I've woken up full of cold, which is far from awesome. I always feel less productive with a fuzzy head and when I'm sneezing every few minutes, so let's hope it doesn't last long. I definitely don't have time to be ill, right now.

This called for a throw-it-on-and-go outfit. I haven't worn this dress for a while, but it's a good one in that it doesn't need ironing and lends itself to being dressed up or down quite easily. I can't seem, to stop shivering so I threw my favourite red coat on over my cardigan. If I'd have thought a little more about it I'd have tried to find a cute anchor necklace, but I never seem to remember jewellery at the best of times, let alone when I'm feeling under the weather.

In fact, when I'm feeling rotten like this, all I want to do is curl up in a big hoodie to keep warm and drink lots of warm drinks. I'm definitely planning to enter the competition which Ocean Clothes are running on Facebook and Twitter at the moment to try and win myself a new one.

What's a sure fire way to make you feel better when you're poorly?