Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday Shoes 065: Carvela Assess

Carvela ASSESS platforms
This pair of shoes is one of those things which has been on that "want to find on eBay!" list I mentioned the other day when talking about my yellow coat.


I've been searching for them on and off since seeing Amber "save" her pair in her Shoeperwoman challenge back in 2011, so I was pretty pleased to snap them up for £12 last weekend! My bargain of the week, for sure.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

I've got a clan of gingerbread men..

Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444) // Jacket: Tu Clothing
Collar: Vintage // Boots: Peacocks
Venice Tote Bag: Nica*

This is easily one of my favourite outfits for a while. I love this dress, which I made a couple of weekends back. The bike print fabric was another Ditto Fabrics purchase but it doesn't seem to be available anymore. I think this cape collar style is by far my favourite option of the Simplicity 2444 pattern, which I've now made countless versions of, but there is something about it which seems to make it a little more dressed up and fancy than the collarless views. So I save it for my favourite fabrics, I guess. {Case in point: ostrich dress // birds&dishes dress}

I also really like this jacket - even though it apparently looks like it should belong to a geography teacher (thanks, Jo!). I'd seen it in Sainsbury's a while ago, but it was in the sale when I popped in for supplies on Monday, so I snapped it up with the remains of a giftcard I'd had.

The fur collar is literally an old vintage collar I took off a coat before getting rid of it. I'd been considering stitching it onto another coat but figured that it would work as a kind of stand-alone collar with a brooch. I sort of like it. I think it will be one of those outfits which I'll fall back on when I'm not feeling inspired. I can't be the only one who has those?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday Favourites 123..

Glamorous Check Coat
001: Glamorous Check Coat, £75
Clarks Hamble Oak
002: Clarks Hamble Oak Brogues, £60

This week has seen the start of the having-to-get-up-five-minutes-earlier-in-order-to-defrost-the-car season and it's definitely been coats and winter layer weather. So, obviously I've been looking for new coats I could potentially add to my collection. [Obsessed? Moi?!]

001: I quite fancy the look of this long checked coat. It's not the shape I'd usually go for, but the colours have won me over. I think it would look pretty cute with a casual jumper / shorts / thick tights and maybe some brogues...

002: Speaking of which, these brogues have been stuck in my head ever since seeing them in Birmingham with Sarah back in October. I really love the oxblood colour and the tweed detail to the uppers. I reckon they'd go with everything because they have so many colours in them. Which probably makes them a smart investment, right?

What's on your wishlist this week?

Thursday, 27 November 2014

She’s on fire like a rocket spinning out of control..

Venice Tote Bag: Nica* // Jumper: F+F
Necklace: Topshop
Heels: Irregular Choice
Cape: Handmade // Dress: Handmade (GatherKits Mortmain)
Gosh I'm getting distracted today; I've had this window open about 5hours so far and being trying to think of words to write. I keep getting distracted by things to do in Las Vegas and have started a rather long list. I'm also trying hard not to get distracted by any of the Black Friday deals which I'm being bombarded with today via email. Need to save my spending money. Vegas suggestions gratefully received, btw!

Anyway, another day, another #nicastylechallenge outfit. I wanted to style the bag with my cape, which has the right kind of blue in the fabric, and the rest of it just sort of happened, after a long search for some suitable shoes. Apparently having 300+ pairs of shoes just works to make it harder to find a pair you want to wear in the morning. Who knew?!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I sing like a good canary..

Coat: Dorothy Perkins (via eBay)
Venice Tote Bag: Nica*
Dress: Handmade (Sew Over It "Betty" bodice w/gathered skirt)
STAR Sandals: Topshop
Cardigan: H+M
One of my #nicastylechallenge outfits, which includes probably my most favourite eBay bargain for a long while. I paid a total of £10.50 for this coat, which was the result of a long and ongoing search for a lemon yellow coat. I'm not sure where I'd first seen one and decided to add it to my (lengthy) and permanent list of items which I need to add to my wardrobe.

This one fits the bill perfectly. It has rather cute pockets and cute cuff details to the sleeves, as well as being the perfect shade of lemon. I decided to team it with one of the dresses I made last weekend. I'd picked up this bead trim for a few pence in my local haberdashers' sale and figured it would be the perfect thing to trim the neckline of this dress. Which meant that this fabric was bumped up my list somewhat. I made it up on Saturday after finishing a few of the dress orders I'd agreed to make up before Xmas.

This mini goldfinch fabric was one of the ones I ordered a little while ago from Fabric Rehab, who I'd not bought from before but would definitely recommend and will certainly return to in the future. They were really helpful and called up to resolve a slight issue with my order - great customer service!

And these shoes, which haven't been out of their box in a shamefully long time, finally got to see the light of day. I last wore them just over a year ago, I think. I wonder if this is a sign that I have too many shoes? Um. Let's forget I said that.

Anyway, I'm running on little sleep so haven't much else to say. Yesterday it kind of dawned on me that I fly to Vegas in less than a week and have done zero preparation for it. And yet, I spent all evening in the "clubhouse" with some of my new favourite people. Because why not? It's not like I'll be saying on my death bed "if only I'd prepared for that conference", is it?

How's your week?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Tuesday Titles 029..

Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner
I remember the first time I picked up a Lisa Gardner book was when I was stood in my local library with no idea what to read next. I sent a "help me!" text to Alex and she replied with a list of authors. Since then, she's definitely been up there in my list of top thriller writers.

They say family means everything. 
But Dr Adeline Glen cannot accept that. When you're bound by blood to a father who slaughtered prostitutes and a sister who followed in his sociopathic footsteps, how can you? 

But now Boston Detective D.D. Warren needs Adeline's professional help to recover from a brutal attack by a psychopath. A murderer who knows too much about Adeline's dead father, and is someone her imprisoned sister claims she can help catch.

With the Rose Killer focused on D.D., will Adeline be able to put aside her personal nightmares to help her? All she knows is that if she is going to survive what's to come, Adeline will have to...

Fear Nothing.

It sounds good, right? I was pretty excited to start this one, and it didn't disappoint. I was instantly intrigued by the concept of pain and what it means. Adeline Glen has a rare genetic condition where she can't feel any physical pain and yet has made pain her business as a professional pain therapist.

She is also the daughter of a serial killer, who died when she was a baby. Her sister Shana is spending her life in a high security prison after killing her first victim when she was just 14 years old. Adeline seems fairly normal in comparison to her birth family, but Shana reminds her during their monthly visits that she can't escape the fact that blood is love.

D.D. on the other hand is suffering with a lot of pain after an incident at a murder scene she was investigating. The only problem is, she can't remember what happened. All she knows is that she is having to learn to deal with the pain and the aftermath, one day at a time. A colleague suggests that she visit Adeline in order to try and learn to manage her pain and reluctantly she does so, until she connects the dots and figures out who Adeline's family are and how she might be able to help with something else.

Several murders have been committed by the Rose Killer who leaves champagne and a rose with each and every victim, as well as a small detail which makes the killings look exactly like the ones which Adeline's father, Harry Day committed all those years ago. How can the Rose Killer know so much about those killings?

I found this book totally compelling; I read most of it on the cross trainer at the gym the other day. Best book I've read for a while!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Carry me away..

Nica Venice Tote*
I've only owned one Nica handbag in the past, but I love their designs. In reality that one is pretty much on it's last legs. So when Nica contacted me to ask if I'd like to take part in a style challenge using one of their new bags, obviously I jumped at the chance. 


I chose this bright cobalt blue Venice tote as I love the colour; I think it will brighten up any outfit. I'll be centering my outfits around it this week and posting a daily outfit for the #nicastylechallenge over on my Instagram page if you want to keep up with it.


I really like all the cute zip details. These ones at the sides are purely for show but I like that they add a little something extra to the look of the bag. I also love the new origami cat hardware which seems to feature on the new styles.  

I must admit, I usually tend to use a smaller bag for nights out or weekends, but for work I favour tote bags because I can carry just about everything I need to in them. I seem to lug an inordinate amount of stuff around with me to and from the office - I can't be the only one?

Have you seen the new styles? 


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Shoes 064..

Metallic T-Bar Ballerina Pumps, £14*
Monochrome Slipper Shoes, £14*

I know. If I were you I'd be checking my temperature, too. Having spent years building up a reputation as the queen of high heels, this week I've been inexplicably drawn to flats.

With some of a voucher left to spend from my #AutumnSOS win on twitter, I've been to Tesco twice this week and each time come away with a new pair of shoes.

The sparkly ones caught my eye because I'm a bit of a magpie and like sparkles. They also remind me of my Shelly's Beau flats, which I think look quite cute with tights and dresses for the colder months.

As for the monochrome ones? They caught my eye mostly because they look a bit like the saddle shoes Audrey wears in Twin Peaks. Obsessed much?

Ever find you're inexplicably drawn to something out of the ordinary?

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Today the world was just an address..

Clutch Bag: New Look
Dress; Primark
Crocodile Bracelet: Topshop
Heels: Irregular Choice
Coat: Marks and Spencer

These photos aren't great but I'd not worn this dress before and rather like it. In fact, I'd recently considered parting with it as I've had it about a year without wearing it, but then having a few minutes to get ready to meet some friends, I rediscovered it and figured it would do. And I was told I looked nice, so maybe it stays..

I grabbed my current favourite coat and a couple of simple accessories as I headed out the door and spent a lovely evening full of laughter with a group of new friends, who are all pretty rad and have worked wonders to make me feel better the past couple of weeks. I figure that it's all very well not doing emotional attachment but that surrounding yourself with people who make you smile is pretty good as well. <3

Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday Favourites 122..

Dalmatian Necklace
001: Dalmatian Necklace: Karen Mabon, £28
Isobel Floral
002: Isobel Dress, Emily + Fin, £76
I've got a party to go to in a couple of weeks and in true Char fashion, will obviously need a new outfit for it. I'm thinking this one.

001: Karen Mabon is a new one on me; I only recently discovered the site but love the designs of their scarves (I would so love the Vages print one for my upcoming trip but I just can't justify it!) and their quirky jewellery is fantastic. I love the dalmatians, but am also tempted by these ostriches and the swimmer. Sort of want them all.

002: It's been a while since I last welcomed an Emily + Fin dress to my wardrobe. I'm not sure why, as they're still coming out with some absolute gems. More excitingly, they also now sell them directly from their website, which greatly excites me. The Isobel is my favourite E+F style and I love this purple floral print, so it's definitely the next dress I'll be ordering!

What's on your wishlist this week?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

I can't tell you all my secrets..

Dress: ASOS
Glasses: London Retro*
Heels: Kurt Geiger
Sequin Collar: H+M
I needed something a little more work-y than my regular day to day outfits, to deliver a training course. OK, so not exactly corporate wear, but it's a step in that direction. I'm never quite sure that I'm the right shape for pencil dresses and don't often feel confident in them, so this is a definite step outside of the box in more ways than one.

I'd wanted to wear red shoes with the navy, but could only find these pink ones when I looked - must get more organised! - so I went with that and dug out this cute sequin collar necklace.

In other news, my Twin Peaks obsession rages on. It's possible I bought a pair of shoes the other day which Audrey would approve of. I'm not sure what I'll do when I finish the season!


Cooper: Audrey, you're a high school girl. I'm an agent of the FBI. 
Audrey Horne: So, do you want me to leave or what? 
Special Agent Dale Cooper: What I want and what I need are two different things, Audrey. 

Annoyingly, he talks such sense!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

You be the captain and I'll be no-one..and you can carry me away if you want to.

Coat: Louche
Brooch: Anna Wiscombe via Urban Folk  // Necklace: Primark
Handbag: Irregular Choice (gift)
Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444) // Cardigan: H+M
Shoes: New Look
Another crazy week, another hastily thrown-together outfit. I wanted to debut this pretty Irregular Choice satchel bag, which I received as a surprise gift from a lovely friend who wanted to put a smile on my face. (Thanks love, it worked!)

I love the fact that there are pandas hidden in the tiny floral print. I've made a dress in a different colourway of this fabric and have a pair of shoes in a different colourway again.

I combined it with some old favourites (the shoes and cardigan) and one of the dresses I made for the One Week, One Pattern challenge. I was pretty glad to rediscover this coat when I went to rescue my things from the ex's house the other day. I've missed it!

When this goes live I'll be delivering a training session, which will be annoying as I've got such a sore throat at the moment. I hope it passes by the time I go to Vegas!!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I am an acrobat swinging trapezes through circles of flame..

Coat: River Island // Tutu Skirt: La Redoute*
Rose Print Top: Oasis* // Sequin Beret: Topshop
Leopard Tights: Primark
Boots: Office
Saturday was one of those weird days where I had too much to think about to be able to focus on actually doing any of the useful things I was supposed to be getting done. I had to be in town for coffee at 10am so threw this outfit together last minute and made it with about a minute to spare.

I'd not really thought of what to wear this skirt or top with, but since they turned up at the same time, it meant that in my head they were inexplicably linked by fate. I wore them together and kind of like the result. I rediscovered this jacket as well, which I love for the bow detail at the neckline.

I felt a bit princessy swishing about in my tutu skirt. It's the kind of thing I used to wear daily when I was in college. Just another reason why Saturday was a bit of a weird day - just like going back in time ten years.

Monday, 17 November 2014

It must have been a snowshoe rabbit..

Coat: Marks and Spencer
Shoes: Irregular Choice // Glasses: London Retro* // Bag: Dorothy Perkins (gift)
Shirt: Primark // Jumper: George@Asda
Checked Skirt: George@Asda* {similar here}
A big part of me is thinking how the fuck can it be Monday again already?! and yet there another part of my brain which is thinking that last Monday seems like a very long time ago indeed as this past week has been a little crazy. I've got a LOT of things going on this week, so at the moment my life seems to be one big To Do list. Starting to stress out about the prospect of a week away as well, I don't know that I can afford to spend a week away from work and all the things I need to do.

I picked this coat up a couple of months ago now, when M+S had some of their 20% off vouchers, and then put it away until the weather turned a bit colder and kind of forgot about it, so this was it's first wear. I really like it though and can see it being a new favourite for the winter months.

This skirt was another thing I've had hanging about for a while waiting to be worn. I chose it from George a little while back as I was really drawn to the muted check pattern, but it's a little shorter than the skirts I'd usually go for, so bare legs and heels were out. Kind of like the dressed down office look, though.

The weekend was a funny one, with a concert on Friday night which turned out to be better than expected. A strange day on Saturday, a totally random evening out with some new friends. I felt a little out of my depth with all the bike chat, but was able to geek out about Twin Peaks to my heart's content. Here's to some more crazy times - there have to be plenty more 60th birthday parties to crash!

How was your weekend? I think I might be getting a cold, which I totally don't have time for.