Friday, 31 January 2014

Friday Favourites 080..

F+F Valentine's Wishlist

This week, after a late night trip to Tesco for emergency baking supplies when I realised that I didn't have enough baking powder for the grapefruit loaf I'd planned to take to a friend's the next day, I spied oh so many things in the F+F Clothing section which would be perfect for Valentine's Day, which is fast approaching.

001 and 002: I'm such a sucker for pretty undies, and I love babydolls because they cover up my most hated mid-section, whilst also giving that cutesy-meets-sexy impression.  I've requested this Chiffon Ruffle Babydoll and knickers for Valentine's Day in no uncertain terms; I can hardly wait. Be still, my beating heart.

003: This Heart Print Jersey Dress is such a wardrobe staple piece. Monochrome, meaning it will fit just about any work dress code, but with a cute tiny heart print, making it perfect for romantic outings and that all important date night on the day itself. At cost per wear I think that makes it a total bargain.

004: These pretty pale pink heart earrings are actually from the kids' section, but I still think they'd be the perfect finishing touch to my Valentine's outfit. Cute, no?

005: This Lip Print Cardigan is actually already in my possession, so adding it to the wishlist is a bit of a cheat, but I had to add it - it's so pretty and eyecatching. It's no secret that I love a quirky print, and whilst in the past lip prints haven't tempted me, the cartoony nature of this cardigan and it's matching pink buttons meant I couldn't leave the store without it.

006 and 007: I really love the underwear sets which F+F come up with; every season there is a gem or two. The Miranda bra and  matching briefs are a snip at £12 and £5 respectively. These might just have to be a Valentine's present to myself because, well, underwear is a necessity. Right..? Right.

Have any of these pieces stolen your heart like they have mine? Oh, I've been planning that joke for an age!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Bicycle racing..

Dress: Great Plains
Bag: Moony Mood
Cardigan: H+M
Heels: Dorothy Perkins
Necklace: River Island

I seem to be accidentally on purpose building up quite the collection of bike print clothing. This Great Plains Velo dress was something I first spotted in a tiny boutique in Aberdovey, an absolute age ago, but I kept an eye on it and checked the sale they've had recently, not really expecting it to still be available. How wrong I was; I managed to snap it up for just £19! Just like my skirt version, it's beautifully made in lovely fabric, and the shape is so nice.

Given it's low neckline, I needed a necklace and once I'd gone for this green and silver crystal one, I decided to carry the silver theme through the rest of the outfit, with my shoes and cardigan. I've been feeling rather drawn to my grey tights lately as well,  which I thought went nicely with the grey bike print.

This week really does seem to have been passing by in a blur. As does the whole month, really. I'm not doing too well on my 2014 goals, but I've just received a Polar heart rate monitor, which I'm hoping will give me the push I need to lose this weight I've been wanting to get rid of for so long.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Paper bags and plastic hearts..All belongings in shopping carts..

Grace Dress: Poppy England
Louche Dara Coat: Joy
caridgan: Matalan
Anna Bell's Trolley Boots: Irregular Choice

Despite all the hassle I had when ordering my other Poppy dress, I ordered this one when it was added to the sale around the same time and couldn't wait to wear it. The tea party print is really cute and there wasn't anything wrong with the zip on this one, so I was good to go.

I'd totally forgotten about these Irregular Choice boots until I found them recently, and I decided that clashing was the way to go with this outfit. (Plus, the weather sucked so boots were an inspired choice). Unlike the last time I wore them (crikey, was it really 2011?!) I actually had some nice comments about them and nobody seemed to hate them; a miracle.

Rearranging the flat meant that I had a clear out of my gloves and scarves etc, which I think has helped to refresh my memory about some of the other things I'd forgotten about. These furry mittens, for example, which worked well to keep my hands toasty. I was only gutted that I had to remove them to type with when I got to work. I guess it's a good job bears don't work in offices.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

I want to be like a fairy princess..

skirt: New Look
'Home Sweet Home' blouse: Great Plains
cardigan: New Look
shoes: Irregular Choice

Sometimes I'm not quite sure what makes me think a particular outfit combination is a good idea. Like, when I ordered this blouse I has thought I'd only wear it with shorts.

Then, I picked up this skirt in the New Look sale for all of a fiver (I don't think I'll ever be able to walk past a fairy skirt!) and had them in a pile of clothes "to be put away". Seeing them together made me think that perhaps they would work together. I tried to match the heels to the blouse and pick out the colour of the sun on the blouse with this long cardigan.

I think it sort of worked, although I did keep having to smooth down my skirt all day, as it had a tendency to try and smoosh out in horizontal fashion. I was reminded somewhat of my college days, where I'd wear mostly tulle net skirts or dresses, over various layers, which on one occasion led to the nickname Tinkerbell when I arrived at a guide camp straight from college. Given that it was a pirate theme camp, I didn't see anything wrong with it. In fact, that is still what I'm called by my Rangers.

Monday, 27 January 2014

I'm on another planet with you..

Earrings: Topshop
Shoes: Topshop
Dress: Handmade

Now that I've actually made a few lately, I'm making the effort to try and actually rack up some wears in them. There's no point making something to never wear it, is there?

So, I paired this one with my Topshop Juniper shoes and a pair of earrings which I picked up in the Topshop sale. I love the mix of colours, but I think that with a longer hemline like this, I'd probably go for a higher pair of heels in the future.

I wore this outfit to go on a day trip with family, and my mum told me she thought this dress reminded her of vintage Laura Ashley ones, with the ruched shoulders and the bow on the waistline.  As a huge fan of the brand (I guess that's where I got my love of them from) she approved of it's unintentional similarity.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Honey to the bee..

Popcorn Bag: Choies*
Honeybee Dress: OASAP*

Houndstooth Loafers: Matalan

Tights, Necklace: Primark
I'm not sure why I thought this dress would be long enough for my liking, but after trying it on I've decided it definitely isn't. A shame because I really like the print, but I think I might have to add it to the blog sale- it's only been tried on for these photos, as I didn't feel comfortable wearing it out of the house, even with the black tights on! I'm trying to be ruthless and part with some of the clothes I don't wear anymore, and will gradually be adding them to the blog sale page, so do have a look..

At least the colours in this dress meant another chance to accessorise with my popcorn bag,  which is always a winner!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

That big white rose up on that sign..

Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444)
Shoes: Topshop
Necklace: Christmas gift (not sure of the make)
Top: Topshop
Another of my Simplicity 2444 streak. This one, I'm particularly happy with as it was made from a pair of curtains. I was pleased that I managed to get all of the pieces out of them - it was touch and go for a while there. I've layered it up with the tinsel top I bought from Topshop when I was in Bath before Christmas. An inpulse buy which I'm still not sure I'm wearing as well as I could. It's far to short not to layer over a dress, really. I fear I showed far too much flesh when I wore it with the red skirt.

I really love this necklace; a gift from my mum in my Christmas stocking. I seem to be all about the big floral collar necklaces at the moment and I'm liking the fact that they're popping up everywhere.

I've been asking for ages, but I reeally reeeeeally need to find myself a new camera. I'm by no means a photography whiz, but I'm thinking DSLR. What do you guys use? My little point and shoot is about 7years old and is really on it's last legs.  Help, please?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Friday Favourites 079..

Boden SS14 Wishlist
My Boden SS14 Wishlist

I've been pleasantly surprised with some of the SS14 collection from Boden. Whilst I have to admit I haven't shopped with them for quite a while, I know this is going to change very soon. I'm impressed with the colours, the shapes and the pretty pieces from a company I'd at one point dismissed as being a bit "mumsy".

Here are the things I'm absolutely definitely going to be adding to my wardrobe before too long:

001: This Rainy Day Mac comes in loads of colours, but the stripes have stolen my heart. Every magazine and press release I've read lately has been telling me that colour is in, and what could be more colourful and cheerful when the rain is pouring than this?! Be mine, pretty rain mac!

002 and 004: Flat shoes are practical, right? These pointed slingbacks win bonus points for being both practical and cute. I can't decide which colour I want. I really like the almond shaped front; not too pointy, but enough to make them a little more fancy than the regular boring ballet pump. The yellow are just about my favourite at the moment, although I love the striped pair, and the turquoise patent, argh.

003: This landscape print Nancy dress just basically makes me want to go on holiday. The colours are amazing, the print is amazing. The only thing which isn't amazing is that I have to wait until April for it to be available.

Has anything caught your eye in the latest Boden collection?

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Review: Soreen Malt Loaf


Childhood memories are always conjured up when I see a slice of malt loaf and a cup of coffee. My Mum's staple snack; I think she'd have lived on those alone if she could have!
Luckily neither of my sisters like it, but I love it, so I was always able to share it when I needed a treat and it's something I'll buy now and again when I want a nostalgic pick-me-up. In fact, my love of it is such a well-kept secret that a certain fella affectionately calls me "Snoreen" because of my love of the malt loaf stuff and um, the fact that I snore (it's true).


What I hadn't realised, were that these days Soreen make much more than just the regular fruity malt loaf I grew up with. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when they sent me over a box of goodies to try.

I think my favourite was the Toastie Loaf - I'd never considered the idea of toasting a slice of malt loaf before, but now that I've tried it, it's something I'd do again. The flavour is still the same, but the texture goes all crunchy on the outside with a kind of caramel-sweet taste.

As I'm not a big lover of banana-flavoured things, I shared the Banana Loaf with one of my best friends who I think I can safely say is now definitely a Soreen fan. I stuck to the Fruity Five Loaf instead, which was rather good, but I think I'm still an Original girl at heart.

Something I did like, when looking at the website, was the recipe inspiration section. It got me thinking how boring I must be as I'd never really considered doing anything but spreading my slices with butter.

Are you a Soreen fan and if so, how do you eat yours?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Pop! goes my heart..

Popcorn Bag*
Tartan Dress: Clothing at Tesco
Heels: Irregular Choice x Blythe
Cardigan: H+M
Necklace: New Look
Basically, when I saw this bag, my heart skipped and I knew I had to order it. I love the original it's based on, but it's a little out of my price range for something which isn't realistically going to get a lot of use. So this, in the words of Kevin Bacon, was a "no brainer".

I was given this Clothing at Tesco dress for Christmas and hadn't yet worn it, so decided it was high time it had an outing and decided it's colours would lend themselves quite nicely to this pair of Irregular Choice / Blythe heels, which I haven't worn for a long time, either. 

I'm off for an eye test this morning, in the hope that they may be able to shed some light on the cause of my regular headaches and dizzy spells. I've exhausted every other option with no decent result.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review: Gossard Egoboost

Gossard Egoboost Strapless Sequin Bra £48*

Gossard Egoboost Sequin Deep Short £22*
When it comes to needing a little boost (pun not intentional, there) I find that a new set of underwear never fails to lift my spirits. Particularly when they also sparkle. So these beauties from Simply Beach certainly cheered me up when they arrived.

The bra did come with a set of detachable straps, although I have plenty of strapless dresses which I need to start wearing again, so I'll mostly be wearing it without. I like the fact that although the set is covered in sequins, they're securely attached and not at all scratchy. The bra is a little on the small size, so I was advised to size up if I was between sizes.

I make no secret about the fact that I love a good  pair of high-waisted pants. Again, there is no uncomfortable scratchiness here from the sequins, and I love the cut of these shorts as they seem to nip in at the waist, to make a nice silhouette. I'm probably more self-conscious about my hips and stomach than any other part of my body, so anything to help with that feeling is a definite winner.

I'm a real fan of this set - thank you Simply Beach for cheering up my January blues! 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Hide in your shell cos the world is out to bleed you for a ride..

Coat: (Vintage) Jaeger// hand warmers: George@ Asda

Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444)
Boots: New Look
Cardigan: Matalan
I couldn't wait to put an outfit together for this dress. It was definitely one of my recent makes which I am considering a success. In the past I have made dresses, come to wear them and then decided I don't like them as much after all, maybe because they don't fit quite as well as I'd hoped, aren't the right length etc.

This one, however, I like. I'll definitely be wearing it again. Alex had been chatting about a pair of green boots the previous day, and I knew that I had vague memories of owning a pair. I managed to locate them and dig them out and remember that I do rather like them. I really need to get around to properly recording what shoes I own - I'm so forgetful, lately. Sometimes I'll see a pair on eBay and think "they're lovely" and then remember I actually own them: a sign that I have too many shoes....?

This coat was a recent rediscovery as well. I bought it from a small charity shop in Colwyn Bay several years ago, for the bargainous price of £10. I thought it was a bargain even before I'd seen the Jaeger label. I always feel a little Cruella in this coat, but I loved how dressy I felt wrapped in it, with a pair of green knitted hand-warmers to keep my fingers from freezing, too.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

I'll take you to the candy shop..

Hat: River Island // Boots, tights: Primark
Beatrice Sweetshop Print dress: Poppy England
Jumper: George @ Asda // Heart bag: Topshop
Floral Fur Coat: OASAP*
A crisp morning last Sunday meant I could take the opportunity to wear my floral fur coat once more, to head into town for breakfast with a friend. I also took the opportunity to channel Kate's cute outfit style with a pair of coloured tights. I'm making an effort to wear my way through some of the things I already own. It's surprising how much I'd forgotten about.This heart-shaped handbag was another thing!

I'd been waiting for an opportunity to wear this Poppy England dress for a while. After first spotting it and adding it to a wishlist post a little while back, I thought I'd totally lucked out when I managed to pick it up in a sample sale a few days later for half price. I subsequently bought the other dress on my wishlist, directly from the website, because it made it's way into the sale as well - it arrived before the sample sale order did.

Sarah and I ordered one each of the sweetshop print dress and when they eventually arrived, hers had to be sent back due to a broken zip. I wish I'd checked mine at the same time, as the zip on this one is faulty too but I feel as though it's too late to try and do anything about it (hence layering it up with a jumper until I get chance to replace it).

It was bad enough having to wait almost three weeks from the date they'd received the first faulty one back for a refund, but anytime I asked about it via twitter etc, I was just told to give them more time as they were really busy, which was hardly encouraging. Needless to say, given the price of the dresses, I don't think I'll be ordering any more from them, which is a real shame because I was so excited by the designs when I first saw the site.

Have you ever been put off a brand due to their approach to customer service? 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Buoy oh buoy..

Shoes: Irregular Choice "Bowtiful"
Dress: Great Plains
Brooch: Cath Kidston (gift) 
Cardigan: New Look
Hello, weekend. It seems as though it's been a long time coming, but then again, as though this week has passed in a flash. I think I'm finally getting over my cold and am pleased to be getting back into my gym routine. Even if my arms aren't currently thanking me for the dips I did on Thursday eve.

I'm feeling a bit more positive about things, though. I think I've come to a decision about my guide unit. I don't think it's going to work out if I try and run with the other unit team, so I think I'm going to finish at summer and maybe find something a little closer to me if I feel I have the time next September. I'll still run my Rangers unit, who have been coming up with lots of exciting ideas of things they'd like to do, and I'm pleased with their enthusiasm at the moment - I'm hoping it continues!

This outfit was centred around one of my new Great Plains sale purchases. I'd loved this dress when I'd seen it on the site, but at one point I'm sure it was out of stock in my size. I had a look on there for a blouse I'd wanted, found that and ended up ordering quite a few things, including this dress, and I'm glad I did! I really like the quirky life buoy print and the shape of it. Very "nautique", which is a term Mother and I use with some amusement for anything remotely nautical which happens every single year.