Thursday, 27 March 2014

Jackets for Springtime

I'm loving the variety of jackets, blazers and kimonos in the shops at the moment. Today I bought myself this little number from New Look. It comes in coral and mint too, but I opted for the navy for a more classic look.

New Look

Then check out River Island's massive collection of kimonos. I'm loving this tiger one. A stark contract to the purchase above!
River Island

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mad March

March has been a busy month with my birthday, the start of spring and the accompanying end to the season of hibernation. It's also now less than three months until our wedding, and time is starting to go really quickly and I don't really feel like I have time to breathe. Here's some quick photographic highlights from a lovely month.
That's my name, don't wear it out....

I get to marry him...
Blending in at Woolwich Arsenal

Glorious York Minster

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we gotta full tank of gas,half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark...and we're wearing sunglasses

First throes of Spring London

Take me up the Shard 

An impressive balancing act

Mind. Blown.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Summer wishlisting

I popped up to York on Monday with my mum to meet up with my little sister. My mum found train tickets for just £5 each way from London (wonder where I get the bargain-hunting from?!) so I took the day off and made it a long weekend, seeing as it was also my birthday this week (last year of my twenties!!). We had a gorgeous lunch in Rustique and then set about finding my sister a bridesmaid dress for the wedding of the year coming up in only just over 3 months now.

There were some fraught moments where we thought we weren't going to find anything and we nearly panic-overspent on a not quite perfect one, but we finally found this one in Warehouse, which we were all happy with. It's a gorgeous dress, the colours are right, and the laidback style fits the day perfectly. And it's essentially a summer maxi dress, which she can wear again, if I don't take it for myself!


Whilst wandering around all the shops of York I found all these other beauties, which are firmly on my California honeymoon shopping list!



Monday, 24 February 2014

Grown Up Style at The White Stuff

Blogging has once again taken a back seat, as I've been catapaulting back and forth between London and Sheffield, getting into my new job, and sorting out wedding invitations.

Last weekend back in Sheffield though, I made a startling realisation. I am getting older and the sorts of fashion shops that once were hugely appealing are no longer so. We were in Debenhams and I was struggling to find anything in the usual concessions stands that I had any interest in. Those "younger" concessions have their place, i.e. Warehouse and Oasis do great party dresses but I struggled to find anything I would wear day-to-day.

We trotted on to John Lewis and I found abundant clothes that I was much more drawn to. I ended up bringing home this delightful tunic/dress from White Stuff, a range I've never normally even thought about but that I've actually come to like a lot, and they have a great sale at the moment.
Birds of a Feather tunic
Whilst I've also been used to dressing quite "officey" for work, things are a lot more laid back at my new company so I am looking to tone it down a little, and I think this fits the bill perfectly for a laidback office day or weekend wear. It can be worn with jeans, leggings, tights or even maybe *whispers* bare-legged in the summer.

Other other current bits I like which would be suitable for work or play:
Butterfly Scoop Dress
Summer Bird Dress
Cameramatic dress
I also adore the fact that White Stuff are a socially responsible company, supporting local charities, and believing in "being different,  making a difference and making the world a little happier" (from here) and their White Stuff Foundation works with disadvantaged children and young people, giving 1% of the company's annual profits to good causes. That just makes me feel warm inside.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Elle's Benefit Party

The opportunity came for me to change jobs quite suddenly in the last week so it's been manic, but I am pleased to be starting a new role tomorrow in a bigger firm which I am very excited about - but also nervous!!! My blogging is sporadic I know, you know when you set aside time to do something and all of a sudden everything changes and there just ain't no time?!!

Anyway, this week I attended Elle's party at the Benefit store on Carnaby Street, which was a fantastic occasion. I got a fantastic brow wax which I am very pleased with - usually I go for threading so I was amazed at how precise they were able to be and for £12 it wasn't unreasonable. I had my brows filled in a little too with Brow Zings, which was a lot more dramatic than I'm used to with all those angles, but it seemed to wear off by the time I got home leaving me looking a lot more like me!
Mo' Brow
Au Naturel today

There were macaroons and fizz to enjoy while Lisa Potter Dixon, Head Makeup Artist at Benefit and the Elle Beauty team talked us through the latest beauty trends, and a Q&A from which I took home some wonderful tips, including double cleansing, where to apply eye cream (all around the socket) and a teensy little goodie bag containing Lollitint, Benefit's latest addition to the lip and cheek stain family - as yet I am not convinced so will go for some more experimentation over the coming week, perhaps at my new job! 

I am also looking forward very much to Benefit's new brow product, Gimme Brow, a brush-on product which is "brow volumising fibre gel", coming to the market in March, which can't come any quicker - some heavy birthday hints to be dropped I think!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Weekending in Kent (and some gratuitious TKMAXXtion)

I've spent the weekend at home in Kent as it was my mum's birthday today. The weekend started with a quix night at my old school, with my parents and their friends. Rock'n'roll me, huh? My parents were going anyway so I just took the train straight from London and met them at the school. The quiz was run by my old deputy head, and I did a double take when I saw him and exclaimed, "bloody hell", to which he replied, "yeah alright, you look old too". Thanks a lot Mr Smith! It was a fun night, though we didn't win, boo hoo!

On Saturday, ma and I hauled out all of the blue glassware she's collected from charity shops for our impending wedding and arranged them in lots per table, and boxed them up - super organised given it's five months away! This meant we could see whether we needed any more and act accordingly.

'Nuff glass?
 We called in at Majestic Wine Warehouse to enquire about booze for the wedding, and a local florist to enquire about flowers for the same, and then went off to Hythe to scour the charity shops for the last 4 or 5 bits of blue glass we need. We didn't have much success, but I managed to pick up an old Lonely Planet guide to California for the honeymoon that dreams were made of.

I treated mum to lunch and a coffee at the Nutmeg Cafe, where we dined on a lovely Mediterranean platter for two. This was a gorgeous little cafe, very cosy, with good coffee and lovely decor, including the tag-adorned map above, I assume the tags relate to visitors to the cafe from around the world. We didn't add a tag as being from the down the road wasn't nearly as interesting as some of other tags!

We called in at the Malthouse Arcade indoor vintage market, but at this point we only had a few minutes parking left so we had to make it a quick one, but I'll definitely go back for a good poke around, it was a treasure trove. We also stopped at Station Antiques at Appledore on the way home for a ganders, where I fell in love with several gorgeous pieces of lovingly reupholstered furniture.
A quick snap of the seafront, St Mary's Bay
On Saturday evening, I came across all of the family photo albums in my old room, and went through every last one of them
Me at 14 weeks, little chubber
My parents at a dinner dance, pre-me, a handsome pair
This morning I woke up with a sore neck. I ignored it and proceeded to raid my younger, cooler sister's wardrobe for all the clothes she left behind - if she's at uni in Newcastle, then she definitely ain't wearing the clothes she left behind in Kent, it's not geographically possible. I pinched thisemboridered jacket and a gorgeous dress from Warehouse, which of course she can have back if she wants them. But I won't be reminding her of them.

After this, I had high hopes for a trip up to the loft to find some of my old junk, but my neck pain was bothering me. I hoped a quick rest in downward dog was set me right, but this was a big mistake. Huge. I ended up pulling something really badly, and was unable to move my head without intense pain for a good hour. 

I eventually got a little range of motion back and we trundled onto Boots to pick up some pain relief, where I also picked up some of my old trusty No7 wipes with the £5 off voucher, some nail varnishes for mum, and some Soap and Glory The Fab Pore, which was reduced to clear at just £1.99. No idea why as it's still sold for £8 on the their website, but I am looking forward to this transforming my skin. We headed onto TK Maxx, where I devoured the homeware range.

Love these cushions 
Amazing jewellery box, £24.99. Major birthday hints dropped to mum
Gorgeous storage box, £14.99
Phwoar at this Designers Guild chair, £399.99
We finished up at the McArthur Glen outlet where I hobbled around trying not to move my head too much, and saw many treasures I am too poor for, before I took the train back to London, armed with my goodies in a wheelie suitcase that my parents lent me so I wouldn't have to carry a heavy bag. Waiter, more Voltarol!!!
Stormy skies over the outlet
Happy Sunday night everyone, I hope I sleep this neck pain off!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Weekending in Sheffield

I've just returned from a weekend seeing my beau in Sheffield, and what a wonderful weekend it was! We kicked off Friday evening with a homemade chilli and Casino, a film we've owned for about 5 years and always been put off watching on the basis that it's 3 hours long, but this time we were ready for it.

A few nights before I went to visit, my mister uttered over Skype these words, " know my suit we bought for the wedding? I think I want something different now...." before showing me this board he'd made on Pinterest. Up for a challenge we spent all of Saturday trawling Sheffield city centre charity, vintage and high street shops for a good alternative. We didn't find one this time but he did pick up a spectacularly bargain jacket at just £28.99 in M&S (one shade darker than this one, I can't find his on the website). Unfortunately there are no matching trousers, but the mister has a real thing for jackets so he'll be wearing it all the time in a non wedding capacity, in rotation with the fantastical tweed one I got him for Christmas (another charity shop find).

During my trawling of Sheffield charity shops, I came across this beautiful book for just £1, a stellar additional to my addiction to food books. It's a fantastic book highlighting the very best places for the very best foods in the UK.

I also picked up some Lanocreme Manuka Honey eye cream in TK Maxx for £5.99. I've just idly started looking for an eye cream to reduce the dark circles under my eyes, so thought I'd give this one a whirl, it's worth a punt at that price - let's banish those circles for good!

We took a drink in the Great Gatsby on Division Street after exploring all of the lovely shops - so many have popped up since I've moved away, and I always love a good poke around Within Reason especially.
Winter Gardens
Oozing Peanut Butter
We wandered through the Winter Gardens before heading on to Mudcrab. We'd been talking about going to Mudcrab for at least a week before my visit so this was hotly anticipated, I love it there. We shared cheesy garlic bread and fried chicken (amazing) then went on to our burger mains. I had the Geek USA burger which is a THREE patty burger with peanut butter and a fried egg. Astonishing. We couldn't even finish our chips, and I never leave food on my plate! The staff were all really friendly and attentive, and the bill came to only about £51 for two starters, two burgers and two cocktails each (it was happy hour til 7).

After a full day of fun, we walked back to the Boy's house, where I changed into his pyjamas, drank wine from a mug and we watched Inglourious Basterds again, because it's amazing.

This morning, we overdosed on coffee whilst booking our honeymoon flights - We are off to San Francisco 3 days after our wedding! We're planning to do a bit of a road trip, based on this little itinerary we pilfered from STA Travel. We booked our flights through Opodo, flying from Belfast as its £300 cheaper each than flying from London (even though we have to pass back through London!?). We'll marry on the Saturday, tidy up our venue and make our way home to London on the Sunday, make our way to Belfast on Monday and fly to California on Tuesday for 3 whole weeks. I'm collecting tips and tricks so if anyone has been on a similar adventure please feel free to share, we'd be very grateful.

Making my way home to London was boring, saying goodbye is always hard but after such a lovely weekend, I left with a smile on my face and the reminder that being apart isn't forever. Thank you Sheffield, and thank you Dave for another incredible weekend, I can't wait for more.
Bye bye Sheffield