Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday Favourites 119..

001: Freda Forest Dress, £159

002: Ava Hardware Dress, £159

This week I seem to have kick-started my love of pretty dresses once again, after going through a phase of not really seeing a lot which I liked. These two from Poppy are at the top of my list at the moment. 

001: I love the mix of colours in the forest print Freda dress. It would lend itself to being teamed with pretty much any colour. I really love the idea of one of their huge petticoats underneath for extra volume.

002: This Ava dress is a new shape and design from Poppy and it's lovely. I totally fell for their hardware print when I saw it at Pure, and it's even lovelier on the blue background than the original brown, I think.

What do you think of Poppy dresses? Which is your favourite?

Thursday, 30 October 2014

In the airport lounge she sat in a fancy feather hat..

Dress; Jolie Moi via Aspire Style*
Heels: ASOS
Hat: Vintage 

I think I am beginning a new obsession. Hats. I've got to admit, I've always been a little obsessed with them and have amassed quite the collection of them. When it comes to wearing them, though, I've always been a little hesitant. 


I've no idea why, because my craziness knows no bounds when it comes to the other areas of my wardrobe, but I always feel there's something about a hat which makes you so instantly more noticeable.

I completely fell in love with a ridiculously overpriced feather one at the weekend in one of my local vintage shops, so started an eBay search for something similar. This wasn't similar but was a couple of quid from a hospice's selling page so I popped a bid on it and was pleased when it arrived the following day. I love the net and feather detail and the colour made it perfect to go with my new dress! 


As for the dress, this is the one I went for with my #passtheparcel voucher. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that the background colour was a little darker than I had anticipated - more beige than the white I'd expected. It arrived the very next day after I ordered and the team couldn't have been more helpful when I called to place my order. Good customer service is so great. 
Unfortunately this one doesn't seem to be in stock on the Aspire site anymore, but other Jolie Moi dresses can be found here.

This is the first Jolie Moi dress I've added to my wardrobe but it's so well made, I'll definitely be looking to buy more. I love dresses with a tulle underskirt (as you can probably tell from most of the ones I've listed for sale lately!) 

Are you a hat fan?

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

But when our fingers interlock, Can't deny, can't deny you're worth it..

Skirt: Sugarhill Boutique
Faux Fur Stole: F+F*
Tights: Topshop // Heels: Miss Selfridge
Dog Print Shirt: Boden
I ordered this blouse and skirt a while ago now, with plans to wear them together, but this week is the first time it actually happened. Sometimes I wear new things right away, whereas other times they can sit around in the wardrobe room for weeks or even months with their tags on.

I once was told that if you buy something new, you should hang it outside the wardrobe for one week and if you've not worn it by then, return it. I suppose that's quite good advice, really.

Astoundingly, although I've worn these tights once already, I managed not to ruin them (which really is rare) so I dug them out deciding that they would go with the colours in this outfit, opting to wear them with some plain grey heels.

This faux fur stole really finished off my outfit, I think. I can't wait to wear more faux fur when the weather is cold and crisp rather than wet and rainy. This stole was suggested to me by Angela Buttolph as part of F+F's #AutumnSOS Twitter chat, as a way to get some Autumn accessories into my outfits. I love the idea of layering, I'm just not very good at it.

How's your week going? I'm looking to shake up my gym routine after a couple of disappointing results in my usual classes this week. I think I need to learn to be a bit more organised as well and actually put together a proper meal plan, which is going to mean some batch cooking, so if you have any recipe or website suggestions, I'd really appreciate them. At present, when I get home from the gym after a spin class I usually feel it's too late to start cooking, so don't bother eating anything.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tuesday Titles 026: The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull

The Visitors
The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull

I'll admit, I'm a bit of a cover-judger when it comes to books. There's nothing I like better when I'm not sure what to read next than to browse the shelves in my local library for a cover which piques my interest. 

That's how I came about reading The Visitors. The book centres on Adeliza Golding; a child born deaf and dumb, who then loses the poor sight she had as a result of scarlet fever when she's only three years old. She becomes more isolated, with only The Visitors to communicate with her. The Visitors is the name Liza gives to the ghosts of the dead people she encounters during her day to day life.

When Liza encounters Lottie, a young hop-picker working on her father's plantation, she is given the skills to communicate with other people and it's absolutely lovely to be able to share Liza's journey as she discovers more about the world around her. This was by far my favourite section of the book.

Liza eventually needs to put her communication skills with The Visitors to good use in order to help a friend out of a fairly tragic situation. She has to make some sacrifices and go through some heartbreak which only seems to make her stronger.

All in all, an easy and well-written read. Perfectly enjoyable.

Have you read any good books lately? Like me, do you choose books based on their covers? Be sure to pop over to last week's post to tell me what you've been reading lately in order to be in with a chance of winning a £25 book token.

Monday, 27 October 2014

And now I'm stuck in the web you're spinning..

Jumper: unbranded via eBay
Skirt: F+F
Spider Courtesan heels: Irregular Choice

We spotted this jumper in Selfridges when we were in Birmingham a few weekends ago for #SewBrum. I was rather taken with how cute it was, but not so much with the price tag.

Later that day, I'd managed to win an orange jumper on eBay for a total of £4.99 and couldn't wait for it to arrive.

 Fast forward a few weeks and I've finally got around to stitching some spiders on. I've not added eyes to them and mine are much more crude as I can't (quite) crochet. I might go back and add some eyes.

I kept the spider theme with my Irregular Choice spider heels and a fairly basic bronze skirt from the F+F sale last year. I figured this was kind of Halloween-y but not too in-your-face costumey, so would be OK for work. What do you think?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

#irregularchoicechallenge - my complete collection..

ICC Days 1-9
ICC Days 10-18
ICC Days 19-27
ICC Days 28-36
ICC Days 37-45
ICC Days 46-54
ICC Days 55-63
ICC Days 64-72
ICC Days 73-81
ICC Days 82-90ICC Days 91-99
ICC Days 100-108
ICC Days 109-117
ICC Days 118-126
ICC Days 127-135
ICC Days 136-144
ICC Days 145-153
ICC Days 154-162
ICC Days 163-171
ICC Days 172-180
ICC Days 181-189
ICC Days 190-198
ICC Days 199-207
ICC Days 208-216
ICC Days 217-222
Well, we're done! It took me 222 days but I've worn a different pair from my Irregular Choice collection each day until I ran out. I know that I've posted most of these before in previous updates, but I sort of liked the idea of seeing them all together.

There's not a lot to say about my last 6 pairs. I didn't save any for last in particular. I found it really useful around Day 190 to make a list of the pairs I hadn't yet worn. I then used that list each day to choose a pair and create a outfit around it. But I'd already worn most of my favourite pairs by that point.

I'd toyed with the idea of hanging on for my Balletomane heels to arrive and be my Final Pair. But as they have only just left China for the UK I don't think I'll be getting them anytime soon, which is really frustrating.

I'll also point out that some of the pairs I wore for the challenge I've subsequently got rid of - counting up I make a total of 9 which have either been thrown out due to holes in them (Days 51 + 58, much to my sadness) or found better homes because they no longer fit me. My feet have changed by at least one size since I first started collecting Irregular Choice shoes and some of the pairs I came to wear were just too big. I've not kept track of how many of the pairs were purchased during the course of the challenge.

So, will I continue to add to my collection? Well, if Irregular Choice can manage to provide decent customer service in the future, then it's fairly likely. If however, they continue with the poor quality of service I've been experiencing recently, it's possible I won't.

Do you have any favourites?

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Home Sweet Home..


Last week I popped into Dunelm on a lunch break because I wanted to get myself a crochet hook, before my crochet day with Becks. I came out with not only a crochet hook, but quite a number of pretty homeware items as well. Oops. So much for a homeware shopping ban until I have a new house. But here's what I bought. 

I think the one thing I'm most excited about is the rolling pin. I've always wanted a proper vintage-style ceramic rolling pin; there's just something so stately home about them. For me they conjure up images of Cook in a Downton style kitchen, rolling pastry for that evening's dinner. I've already put it to good use rolling the icing for this cake.

Candy Rose 'Bake' Ornament
Obviously, I didn't stick to just one collection. My existing homeware collection is a bit of a mis-match of colours and designs. I don't think I own more than two the same of any item. So dinner parties for six are a bit of a hilarious mixture. But that's what I like. And I really liked this BAKE ornament. I have a little glass shelf in the kitchen where I keep my prettiest glasses and measuring cups etc and it's going to find a spot there to reside.

Candy Spot Cutlery // Tea Party Cake Server

I also treated myself to a new set of cutlery because the ones I bought from Ikea when I moved in are really on their last legs, with the colour rubbing off the handles etc. I prefer chunky handles to just metal and thought the colours would go with most of my crockery. Ish. And a cake slice, just because.

Ceramic Rolling Pin // Candy Rose Clip Top Jar
Lately I seem to be gradually building up a collection of cute storage jars. Again, I've got a mish-mash of this sort of thing for storing dry store cupboard essentials like rice, pasta and sugar.

I also picked up four of these cute cushion pads to go on my dining chairs as my previous ones had been getting a bit tatty. I forgot to take a photo of them, though. 

I rarely remember to go to Dunelm but I'm always impressed when I do. Have you picked up any bargains from there lately?

Friday, 24 October 2014

Friday Favourites 118..

This week has been a little more about virtual window shopping than actual shopping. I've been asked to decide on some jewellery by a family member who believes that diamonds are the only proper gift.

The trouble is, I'm not entirely sure what I want.

Vashi Collage

I've narrowed it down to a few options, all from Vashi.Vashi are an online diamond specialist, who ensure that every gem they sell is conflict free. After reading a lot more about the diamond trade recently, that's quite important to me.

001: I love sapphires. They're not my birthstone but are always my stone of choice. I'll admit, I do have two sapphire rings already, but they're both yellow gold and I like that this white gold band is a little different, as is the fact that the sapphires are set around the diamond itself. This is one of the Vashi zodiac collection; they've picked out engagement rings with the perfect characteristics for each of the star-signs, which I think is pretty cute.

002: I do already have a sapphire ring with a rather similar surround to these studs, so perhaps a pair of earrings would be a better option. I don't wear earrings as often as I'd like to, but if I had a dainty pair like these I would make sure I wore them more often.

003: I've always wanted to add some pearls to my jewellery box. There's something about their link to the sea which makes them feel that little bit more personal to me - I'm always more relaxed by the seaside. A set of pearl studs would go with just about any outfit, as well. So tempted.

004: I think the swirled shape of the ring around this diamond is just so elegant. It seems a lot more modern than the regular settings of the others I've picked, but I wonder if I'd prefer something with a little more colour.

005: I love the look of this ring because it's just so classic. When I was younger I always preferred to wear either silver or white gold, but these days I'm more drawn to yellow gold, so was naturally drawn to this. 

I'm still no closer to a decision. Also, I'm aware that some of these rings are listed as engagement, but I don't see any reason why they're not suitable for any other purpose. I'm not a believer in marriage, as anyone who knows me will already know, but that doesn't mean I don't plan to build up my jewellery collection with pretty shiny gems. 

What would you choose? 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

I want a unicorn..

Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444, last worn here)
This feels very odd. Although I'm still wearing something from Irregular Choice today, it's not my shoes. It seems to be the end of an era. 222 days and pairs of shoes later, I've worn every pair once. A different pair each day since the challenge began. 

I was really hoping that my 223rd pair would have arrived by now. I ordered the ballerina heels when they were released last Friday and received my order confirmation at 12.02. But they've not even been despatched yet. Apparently there have been major issues with these pairs and it doesn't sound as though they were quality controlled before they went on sale. I was finally told yesterday that the pair I ordered was faulty so they haven't sent them out and are waiting for another to be made. Um. I'd feel a bit better about the situation if they'd let me know in advance, I guess. 

It does seem to be another in a long line of things which have been making me question my support of a brand I once loved, though. How far do you have to be pushed to take your business elsewhere?

Unicorn Jumper: Irregular Choice
I really love this jumper. I bought it from the Carnaby Street store the first time I ever visited it, almost 6 years ago now. That was a really expensive shopping trip. It doesn't get as much wear as I'd like, though. I figured it would layer quite nicely over the colours of this dress. 

As for the shoes, it took me a little while to choose - how strange to finally have my pick of *any* pair of shoes, again. I went for these Shelly's wedges, as the floral print seemed to match the other colours quite well. 

I've also been having a big wardrobe clearout and have added a few things to my IG sale page, which you can find here. I'm adding more things each day as I come across them and am happy to consider offers.