Sunday, 24 December 2017

Sunday Shoes 149..

I feel as though I've been on such an online shopping spree, lately. I know I mentioned that I'd placed an order in the last Irregular Choice sale and I have to admit, there are pairs which I've still not got around to unboxing from that yet, so I'm not even allowing myself to look at their current sale.

Magical Express : Irregular Choice
One pair which I've worn quite a lot since their arrival is this - Magical Express. These caught my eye when they were first released, despite being not just flats, but also pointed at the front. I often try to shy away from pointed shoes as I worry they make my already long feet look even bigger and therefore more clown-like.
Nevertheless, something about the lovely applique train detail against the desert sunset really appealed to me - I love the way it's set on a (faux) snakeskin background for optimum cowboy vibes. I was a little torn between the gold and black colourway options but I think that the sunset and sky look better against the black.

Inside, the boots have the pretty kitty which is the current theme for IC boxes and soles - I love the retro cartooniness of this design - probably one of my favourites for a while.
As ever, I'm always a little miffed when I actually wear a pair and the sole designs begin to rub, but on the couple of pairs I've bought second hand which have already had sole protectors added, I've found that once they begin to wear away around the edges, the shoes themselves can become pretty unstable, so I don't think I really get along with them..
I believe that this pair is in the sale in the gold version on the Irregular Choice site, so here's the link for those as well....

Friday, 22 December 2017

Stepping out..

Trousers: F+F every possible meaning of the phrase, to be honest. Most of all, stepping out of my comfort zone in this outfit. I was recently contacted by Dia&Co and asked if I had anything I could think of which I could use for their Try-day Friday campaign, which is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and actually wearing some of those things you've been too scared to...

White Rabbit heels: Irregular Choice
Frankly, as soon as I read the details about this idea, I knew exactly what item of clothing I'd choose. I have absolutely no idea what Past Char was thinking when she bought these trousers. They were on the sale rail at F+F and reduced to just £3, but even so. I *never* wear trousers, so what on earth possessed me to take them home?! Trousers have always been a no-go for me, as I'd say that probably my least favourite parts are my hips, bum and thighs and (although this might just be my opinion), I feel as though trousers are cut to highlight all of these problem areas for me.

Sweater: George @ Asda

Being a little bit shorter than ankle length, I decided that these trousers would look even more ridic on me if I tried to team them with flat shoes, so I grabbed a pair of fishnet socks (Primark had these sparkly ones and also a turquoise pair in their sale for 50p each last week and I like them for wearing with heels as a kind of statement, or for layering over opaque tights). 
I think this photo (above) shows the abject fear in my eyes, but I'm always happy to take on a challenge, and I decided to style these up for a regular day in the office. Quite loose-fitting, (are these chinos?!), the trousers are black with red polka dots, which I felt leant themselves to being worn with this sparkly red reindeer sweater, which a friend tracked down for me in her local George, as it sold out just about everywhere. I dig it out each year!


Always a fan of festive accessories, I was happy to have the chance to use this little gingerbread man - an impractically tiny clutch bag which came from Forever 21 a couple of weeks back. I think he'd be okay for keeping your essentials safe if you were off to a party over the festive period, perhaps..?
And finally, my shoes - these White Rabbit heels from Irregular Choice never fail to attract plenty of attention, so I was kind of hoping to use them as a distraction tactic - i.e. check out my shoes, not my trousers. I'm not sure whether it worked.
Gingerbread Clutch: Forever 21
I felt awkward in this outfit all day, possibly because I just am not used to wearing trousers, at all? It was odd. People at work commented on the fact that this was unusual for me, which didn't help my confidence, and after work I had to go and run some errands, and I must admit I was very close to getting changed before I went. I braved the town without changing, though, and you know what? The world didn't end. I don't think I'll wear them again, as I spent the whole morning at work looking down at my legs and berating myself for my hideous thunder-thighs, but I took on the challenge and I made it through the day in trousers.
Do you have anything hiding in the depths of your wardrobes which you've shied away from wearing? Go for it and use the #wearwhatscaresyou hashtag to share your outfits..

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

It'll be lonely this Christmas..


Christmas. It's a time for being with family, right? It's all about the kids? I know that those seem to be the most common things you hear people telling themselves about it. And, for those who are happy to be surrounded by people, or have families and kids around them, that's great. Not everyone who wants that, though, ends up spending their Christmas with the people they love. (Also, not everyone wants that, and we'll come onto that later.)

I know several people who will be spending their Christmas Days alone, but not through choice. The first Christmas after the death of a loved one, not their turn to have the kids, unable to spend it at home due to work circumstances; it can be a time when a little seed of loneliness can be made a lot more painful by seeing everyone else's sparkly tinsel-fuelled celebrations.

Spare them a thought when it comes to festive texts, social media posts and the like. In fact, whilst we're thinking about them. perhaps RT this lovely campaign, which I noticed the other day. The #joinin hashtag is the brainchild of Sarah Millican and it is just that; a social media campaign to let those people who are feeling lost or lonely at Christmas know that they're not alone and to encourage them to join in with the chat.

And what about those people who would actually like to spend Christmas alone. Let them!

 I've been there. and I've seen all kinds of pity directed towards me by people who expected me to want to spend time with others. I've been on the receiving end of perfectly well-meaning invitations, and when I've mentioned that actually, I'd be quite happy to spend the day on my own, it's been taken with a bit of surprise.

Frankly, Sarah puts it much more eloquently than I could, but if your friends are choosing to spend Christmas alone, and they're happy, be happy for them.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Friday Favourites 265..

001 // 002 // 003 // 004

I know it's probably a little soon to be thinking about spring cleaning and a revamp of my living room, but this is what I've been focussing on lately, as all of my Christmas shopping is done, wrapped and most of it posted off to it's recipients.
So, for once I'm feeling as though I'm ahead of the game, I've been clearing out the wardrobes gradually and getting rid of things which I no longer need. So, my thoughts have been moving towards what I'd like in place of the things I've gotten rid of.
001: This lampshade jumped out at me on a trip to Ikea this week - it's cute and quirky and at the same time, quite neutral. I think it'd look great in place of the ancient lampshade I've got at the moment.
002: This mirror is a lovely colour and I'd like it on the portrait wall in the living room as I think it would give more light.
003: I used to have two pink Ikea Lack coffee tables, when I first moved in and when the boiler exploded and flooded the flat, the damp ruined the lacquer on them and I had to get rid of them. But since Lack no longer came in pink, I've been keeping an eye out for a replacement ever since. George has come up trumps with this pale pink metal coffee table. Super cute.
004: Speaking of super cute, I've totally fallen for this rattan apple storage basket from Laura Ashley. Super need.
What's catching your eye this week?

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Dinosaur bones..

Dress: Joanie Clothing
Heels: Irregular Choice x Heatherette

Cardigan: Vintage // Bag: ASOS

Tights: Primark
Oh, it feels as though it's been a while since I shared some actual outfit photos. I'm not sure why that is, other than just being snowed under with things to do, barely being home (certainly not when it's been light enough) and just generally not feeling great about myself. My self-confidence levels are sub-zero lately, but I'm trying to get past this.
So, here we are. I love the shape of this dress, which I'd ummed and ahhed over for so long when it was first on sale on Joanie's site, that I missed out and it sold out. Wah. I picked it up from Donna's clothes sale lately - I think she'd bought it from someone else before deciding it wasn't for her, but it came to me with the tags still on and in brand new condition, for an absolute song. And I adore it.
I'm a big fan of a border print and these sleeves are, I think, the perfect length for me. I particularly love the bow detail at the waist and all in all, I'm pleased to have made some wardrobe space for it.
This cardigan, also new to me, was from a vintage shop in Worcester a couple of weeks ago - I went to the Xmas market for the day and to visit family and had a good dig through - I particularly like the lace shoulder details and the tie at the bottom - super unusual and yet inkeeping with current trends with it's floral embroidery, too.
These shoes arrived this week and I couldn't wait to wear them - the Irregular Choice x Heatherette collection must have been a while ago, but I remember longing for a pair of these bone heels from the collection. At the time, I ended up opting for the alphabet boots and that's as far as my budget would stretch, so they're one of those pairs I've always kept my eye out for since. So I was super excited to find these in my size!
A dinosaur bag, for good measure. And I seem to be living in these sparkly fishnets, lately.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

He's making a list, he's checking it twice..

Yesterday, still full of cold and sniffling my way around, I cancelled my gym plans (and am regretting it, but I had to accept that I was too ill to train) and had an evening at home (rare) and to myself (even rarer still).

This is great I started off thinking to myself. But when I got home, for the first time in a few days and remembered the pile of ironing, the mountain of presents which need wrapping, cards which need writing and projects which need finishing, I was almost ready to hibernate. Or cry. Or both.

Whilst I've been trying to make a conscious effort to take less on, I'm still finding I'm probably trying to do too much. I tend to say yes, assume I'll fit it all in and then forgo things like sleep / stuff I actually want to do in order to meet all of the deadlines. And, usually, that's OK. But it's worse when you're feeling a little under the weather and it's not clear where to start.

I find that making a list, before I start anything, can really help me. So, I popped the kettle on, found a pen and sat down to write my plan of action. Small tasks, some of which would only take a few minutes (change bedding, mix up mine pie pastry, etc) went on the lists along with harder ones (list clothes for sale, finish making a present for my sister) and I went through them one at a time.

Despite knowing that I wouldn't get them all crossed off (I didn't), it somehow made me feel calmer to know that I could do one thing at a time, avoid goldfishing (which is what my OH calls that thing I do when I'm flicking between a million things at once and never actually completing any of them), and feel a little sense of achievement when I crossed something off.

Sometimes, it's OK to take things slow. I just have to keep reminding myself of this.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Tuesday Titles 148: Year One

Year One Nora Roberts
Year One: Nora Roberts

I'm almost never organised enough to get a review up on the actual day of publication, so I'm feeling a little smug about this one. And a little excited to share today's book, in equal measure.
I began this book what feels like ages ago, and was thrown right in to the story and the characters. As ever, Roberts' writing style is wonderfully descriptive and although it was just the beginning, I was more than happy to be surrounded by a family Christmas trip in the wilds of Scotland. Little do the brothers know that one of the birds they shoot on their hunting trip is more than just a bird, and sparks the beginning of The Doom: a pandemic disease which has the majority of the world's population killed off within just a few short weeks.
It becomes apparent that there are some special individuals who have immunity to the disease, and some of these have some supernatural powers. Lana can move things with her mind. Jonah - a paramedic- can see the future when he touches someone. As he delivers a set of twins, he can clearly see that they are going to play a part in helping the survivors find New Hope.
 In the dystopian world which these (questionably?) lucky few chosen ones find themselves in, everyone is fighting to survive, whatever that takes.
It soon becomes clear that whilst everyone is working towards the same end goal, there is still good and evil in the world, even at this reduced number. As the book gathers momentum and some of the survivors run into others, even some of the characters I'd at first considered to be good show signs of aggression and prove that it's not always a clear cut divide between good and bad.
Year One is the first book of, I suspect, a trilogy, and whilst it covers the first year in the post-apocalyptic world, it has to leave some stories untold, for which I'm looking forward to the next instalments in the series.  
If dystopian series are your thing, I'd definitely recommend this; it's the best I've read in a long while.
(Big thanks to Little Brown for sending me a copy to review.)

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Sunday Shoes 148..


Well, it's been a little while since my last one of these posts, hasn't it?! And here's the stack of boxes I'm yet to open up, take photos and share, let alone wear.. most of these were the result of a combination of the IC "Rainbow Week" (their version of Black Friday) and a discount code which I'd been sent which was almost due to expire. I've been dipping in and out of the site lately and whilst the big releases such as the Muppets and the new Santa heels didn't take my fancy, I honed the list of new styles which I'd been wanting to add to my collection.

In actual fact, the first pair to share actually came to me via eBay - a cheeky "best offer" which was actually accepted. When they arrived, I realised they were in even better condition than I'd been expecting, which was a lovely surprise. They don't look to have been worn before.
The style is called Heel the World and are a beautiful blue and white gingham with tiny flowers in the fabric, too. They have two bows at the front to tie the two sets of straps and a contrasting candy striped heel. Super, super cute. I'm dreaming of summer picnics to wear them, I think.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Alternative Advent calendars..

I'm not really one for Advent calendars. I'd be perfectly content to hear nothing of Christmas until about the 20th, if I'm honest. That said, this year I've been noticing a few more alternative Advent calendar ideas, which I kind of like.
For example, I know a couple of friends who start an Advent box; adding one item per day to it before donating it to the local food bank / homeless shelter on Christmas Eve.
Royal Mail have created this one to remind people of the last posting dates for their various different services and it's prompted me to issue a little #bloggersecretsanta reminder, too. Don't forget to post your parcels out by 5th December - not long now! - and let me know when you've sent and received your parcels..

I'm definitely going to take part in this Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar, by Bear Hugs Gifts.
And as for a calendar which I'll be checking daily, Jojo Rickart is publishing a daily festive image as her calendar this year, and it might be the cutest thing ever - go follow her Instagram if you don't already....
Got any ideas for alternative Advent?

Friday, 1 December 2017

Friday Favourites 264..

Gosh, it feels like a long while since I did one of these posts (mostly because I've not yet found a way of making collages of pretties, since the demise of Picmonkey). But this week I need a little help. I have some money to put towards a winter coat and I'm trying to decide between these two. Thoughts please...?
001: Frankly, this one is the one I'd put my money on. Wildly impractical colour, and I have probably got three pink coats already but omhmygosh, how pretty.
002: This looks much better in real life than it does on it's web photo, I can assure you. Inside it's a kind of silver leather and it's sleeves were turned up so there was a silver cuff going on, which looked amazing. It's so so soft, as well. Wah.
Help.... and have you seen anything amazing, lately?