Thursday, 20 November 2014

The perfect going out dress...

Going out is always a tricky thing, I love going out and dancing till my legs are sore but staying up late has always been a problem for me (I am tucked up in bed by half nine most nights!) Recently though I have been to a couple of shindigs (showing my age there!) and this dress is usually the first option on my list. I'm never 100% comfortable in anything too revealing but at the same time I am always far too warm so this sleeveless drapey dress from Whistles is the perfect compromise, It's fitted but not too bodycon and is long enough that I can wave my arms around with wild abandon when dancing without any fear of flashing! The colour is ace, described as airforce grey, it is actually a gunmetal blue (is that even a thing?!) and is a colour that seems to suit everyone. I love the fact that it is equally at home whether it is being worn to a pub, a house party or even a club- this dress truly is something special! 

Dress: Whistles, necklace: French Connection, shoes: Marks & Spencer
Luckily it doesn't need much accessorising (if any) and this simple geometric necklace is subtle enough to add interest without being overpowering. My hair had a lot of volume the evening I wore this so rather than trying to fight it, I went with the flow and ended up with some pretty eighties inspired make-up too.  I paired some bronze, gold and navy eyeshadow with my Soap and Glory Solar Power bronzer which I have a love hate relationship with. It looks fairly natural on my pale skin in real life but photographs really badly which is not cool... Paired with my Revlon lip butter in 'Peach Parfait', I was ready to roll. I love a string lipstick for the evening but it always seems to wear off pretty quickly and I am in no fit state to reapply it precisely so I tend to go for strong eyes instead- the more lived in they look, the better, I think!

I can't be dealing with walking for miles in high heels and as I was going from a house part, into town, I plumped for this M&S pair instead. Again, nothing ground-breaking but still fun to wear (and really comfy too!) You can get a better look at the nipped in waistline and pockets (!!) here too, they are only minor details but make a world of difference to the fit of the dress. I know I am gushing but Whistles really can do no wrong in my eyes recently, especially when they are making such beautiful dresses!

What's your failsafe outfit for a night out? 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Leopard print kilt...

So my new-found love for leopard print has spiralled into a full blown obsession thanks to this beautiful leopard print kilt from Sainsbury's (they really do have some lovely skirts in at the moment!) I spotted it online but my local store didn't have it and I had nearly given up until the lovely Emma managed to track it down and post it to me- thank you internet! I have worn the skirt a few times before with my black cowl neck jumper but I actually prefer it with this thin khaki/taupe knit, it looks much more interesting and plays into my luxe/fun wardrobe split. This is the kind of outfit I will wear all winter long, with a coat and gloves all of my extremities are covered but it has enough thin layers to cope with the heat blazing from all the shops. I know it's a controversial topic but surely an ambient temperature of 20-odd degrees is better than extreme heat and cold? 

Jumper: Kookai, top: Primark, skirt: Sainsbury's, tights: Tesco, boots: Nine West
This jumper doesn't get as much love as it should, it is lovely and warm but doesn't add unnecessary bulk under a coat. Perhaps its the colour that makes it one of the last things I reach for in my wardrobe, taupe doesn't exactly scream fun! ;) My hair is not a fan of the colder weather- the dampness in the air can make my hair quite frizzy but Percy & Reed's Wonder Balm is my favourite product at the moment, there's nothing it can't fix! Whilst I love darker, more Autumnal shades, it was the Essie Russian Roulette shade I went for from my new 'ravishingly rouge' set, you can't beat a classic red lips and nails combo! This lipstick is much brighter in real life but didn't photograph very well which is a shame, it is one of my best beauty bargains to date at a measly £2!

I really like the length of this skirt and although it looks very crinkly here, the asymmetrical zip is a really fun design feature. I really love these boots, I did think I was going to have to send them to the big shoebox in the sky (sob) but luckily my local cobbler is a genius and managed to resole them and make them look as good as new. There's something wonderful about boots that have been battered beyond belief, they are just so darned comfy!

Which are the pieces that (nearly) got away from you?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Everyday luxe...

Recently we lent our camera to Mark's parents for a wedding so spent a week or so without it. Whilst they had it, I wore an outfit that I really loved and that has definitely been one of my most recent favourites. Originally I was just going to rely on my phone but I remembered that my iPad mini has a camera and I was pretty pleased with the results even though they now look massively blurry on this size screen. Although in itself, stripes, jeans and a snazzy necklace is hardly groundbreaking (!) the fact that I have found one of each that I love, is. Paired with the beautiful camel coat that Mark bought me for my birthday (you can see a glimpse of it here), I felt very French (bien sûr!) and very luxe. It's amazing how some good quality basics can lift your wardrobe! I have been in a bit of a style rut recently, on the one hand I still want to wear fun things but my taste in who makes them has certainly moved more upmarket (I can't be the only one who stalks Whistles dresses on ebay, right?!) whilst my budget has stayed the same. I guess this is an inevitable part of growing up but navigating through these two halves of my wardrobe has caused some headaches of a morning recently! 

Top: H&M, necklace: Accesorize, jeans: Gap, shoes: Clarks
I have a real thing for stripes and H&M have the best striped tops on the high street. This style is a shape I really love and although I would never usually go for a light stripes, this one feels and looks very luxe - good job H&M! (They currently have their blue and white one on sale too if you are in the market for a new Breton top) I was lucky enough to get an Accessorize voucher for my birthday this year and I have been on the lookout for a neutral statement necklace (is that even a thing?!) ever since my beloved white floral one broke so was pretty pleased to see this beauty in my local store! It is the perfect length to wear with higher necklines and has received more than a few compliments every time I have worn it, mainly along the lines of 'ooh, so shiny!' ;) I have been straightening my hair a lot more recently and I love how different it makes me look. I prefer the lived in look I get after sleeping on it but would love to be able to do that with products too, any recommendations?

These are the perfect pair of jeans that I was talking about a few posts ago, and although I was initially a bit dubious about the straight rather than skinny leg, I have worn them more times than I can count. They do have a bit of 'give' in them but they feel like proper denim rather than that weird stretchy material that jeans seem to have been made out of recently (jeesh, I sound old!) so are much more forgiving... I can even cope with the mid-rise as it does cover my tummy which has always been my problem area so thumbs up all round here!

Any tips for getting that tousled hair look with minimal effort? Where do you buy your 'basic' pieces from?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Cooking with Baking Mad: chocolate truffle cookies recipe

There's few things in life as satisfying as a warm cookie fresh out of the oven and I was able to indulge that impulse this weekend when I baked these delicious chocolate truffle cookies. I took the remainder of these into the office on Monday and I have never seen people so enthusiastic! Plus people were asking for the recipe, which is always a good sign I think! 

WARNING: these taste absolutely delicious and it is impossible to eat just one, however iron your willpower!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Stormy seas and burgundy...

These photos were taken all the way back in September but as this is an outfit I wear fairly often, I decided to use these pictures despite the clear change in the weather. I may always be warm but even I can't get away with just short sleeves now! I really love burgundy but I only seem to wear it in Autumn, I guess it just feels too heavy at any other time of year? These photos weren't taken in our usual location but I like the more urban look that our car park gives them (ah how pretentious does that sound?!) This is a pretty standard outfit for me these days, my pretty blouses have been looking too twee when paired with skirts so jeans have been the perfect way to toughen them up. 

Top: Tesco, jeans: Gap, shoes: Marks & Spencer, satchel: Brit Stitch
Unfortunately all of my photos ended up with this weird half-open smile but you can see just how chuffed I was with this outfit! This lipstick is the lovely 'Vixen' by Tesco and is the perfect creamy burgundy shade. I have been super impressed with Tesco's lipsticks recently- I can't seem to find them online but definitely look out for them instore, they are surprisingly good value!

I have raved about my beautiful half pint Brit Stitch satchel before but isn't it just beautiful? I love the fact that it matches my top so well too, I was so chuffed when I saw the blue-y grey colour in the pattern!

These jeans are another Gap purchase- am I just particularly short (I wear a 30" leg and the regular length is still too long on me) or are all of Gap's jeans just really long? Turn-ups are a bit of a love/hate thing but anything that draws attention to these awesome shoes can only be a good thing (at least till I can find somewhere to get them tailored)


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Home sweet home: a tour of our flat...

Moving home is the most stressful thing that Mark and I have done this year. I never knew how much stuff you could cram into a flat until I had to sort through it all! I managed to get rid of about 10 bags of clothes in total and we also managed to declutter all the useful paperwork (a.k.a. Dominos leaflets) that we had accumulated. Our new flat is also a 2 bed flat but it is slightly smaller so we had to be really brutal and use our space more carefully but I'm really pleased by the set up we have now. We have a real mix of furniture and homewares but it really feels like home which I think is the most important thing :) The fact that it is only 10 minutes walk from town and has plenty of room for house parties is just a bonus really! ;)

We had some really lovely cards when we moved in and I didn't want to take them down as they really cheer the place up! This table was in our old lounge but has now been folded down and moved to act as a hall table. I was really pleased to be able to use my shell letter holder too. I picked it up in a charity shop in Stow-on-the-Wold three years ago (!) and I have never really had a home for it until now...

Our living room is one of my favourite rooms, it is so light and bright. It is a really unusual shape as it is on the outside curve of the building but we still managed to fit our furniture in which I am quite impressed by...

I love how bright our footstool and cushions are, they really help to brighten up the magnolia colour scheme! These pictures were a gift to Mark on his 18th birthday and although neither of us have been to New York, we will make it there one of these days...

We are definitely not the minimalist types, every side is filled with knick knacks, photos and far too many owl trinkets- what can I say, I am obsessed! This canvas was a gift from my parents last Christmas as me and my sister's loved the one that they had in their kitchen and so we all got one for Christmas which I love. It also reminds me of all the good times we had in Rome too which is no bad thing...

Buttercup, our cow canvas was a birthday git from my friend Matilda to make up for the fact that we had to leave the cows behind when we moved- isn't she lovely?! My parents have always been fans of Ercol furniture and I have inherited their love of the clean lines and 1960s shapes, even if Mark isn't so keen!

We unwittingly managed to create a turquoise theme throughout our house and even the ironing board matches! Until I sort the spare room out, this is the closest thing I have to a library corner and now we have a footstool over here (ILU Tiger!) I couldn't be happier to curl up with a good book!

Our balcony is probably the best part about our new flat and although the view is slightly less pretty than our old one, the novelty still hasn't worn off! 

Our new kitchen is lovely and we even have a DISHWASHER which is the most exciting news ever. Hooray for snazzy kitchen appliances!

Ahem. We will brush over this room as it is our current dumping ground and graveyard for all of our empty boxes. I will sort it out at some point, I promise...!

Our bedroom is my favourite room in the house- it is absolutely huge and has enough built in wardrobe space to fit all of my clothes in which is a minor miracle! We also have an en suite which I love- I have been properly spoilt with this room!

God bless IKEA and their wonderful storage solutions, I don't know how we would store my shoes otherwise!

How do you make a rented property feel like home?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Purple pub party...

No, I'm not sure in the title either! ;) One of the main reasons why Mark and I moved to Cheltenham was in order for us to have some semblance of a social life. Our old flat was lovely and the views were stunning (I still miss those cows!) but convenient, it wasn't. Luckily where we live now is only about 10 minutes away from town and after-work-activities are now a very real possibility which is very exciting news! I wore this out for food and drinks at the pub and although I usually find that impossible to dress for, I was really pleased with this outfit. Living across the road from Tesco is lethal in many ways (hello reduced food!) but mainly due to the fact that I can now get hold of their awesome clothes without having to order them online- hooray! This purple top also comes in a gorgeous grey and pink but I really love the autumnal feel of this colour. I really love purple but despite that I don't seem to own a lot of it, although I'm sure that will change soon. Especially as long as I am living opposite Tesco!

Top: Tesco, jeans: Topshop, shoes: George at ASDA, necklace: Accessorize
I have been experimenting with my make-up recently and by the looks of these photos I went a little overboard on the blusher but hey ho, low lighting is very forgiving! I have been using my Primpcess palette a lot recently, the eyeshadows are all gorgeous neutrals and even I can muster up a smoky eye with them! This necklace is an old favourite of mine (here it is back in 2010 and 2011!) and jazzes up this plain top nicely.

The length of this top is awesome and skims over a food baby nicely which is ideal when you are indulging in yet another portion of sweet potato fries ;) Apologies for the less than picturesque backdrop but needs must when it is rush hour! Now we are all unpacked, is anyone interested in a mini house tour? I am super nosy so I love looking round people's houses so just let me know :)

Are you interested in a tour of our flat? Let me know!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Paint splattered florals...

As you know, I am a massive Warehouse fan and I was very excited when an Outfit opened up near us recently as it means I have access to many of my favourite brands, all under one roof. Mark and I both managed to find something we like (an unheard of event!) and this gorgeous top was soon making its way home with me. These pictures are not great (I get the feeling that I'm going to spend the whole winter apologising!) but I keep wearing this outfit so I figured I should document it properly! I haven't been blogging much recently as I have been ill with a chesty cough/cold thanks to too much partying last weekend so have been trying to rest up. That's the problem with too much eating, drinking and partying! ;)

Top: Warehouse, jeans: Topshop, shoes:Clarks
The shape of this top is really unusual and I really love the boxy shape and oversized sleeves. It's probably not the most flattering look ever but it's super fun. The paint spattered floral print on this is really unusual and even manages to incorporate some of my favourite colours. Check out the natty zip detail too, it's the perfect way to give yourself a bit of breathing room after a big lunch ;)

My Topshop Jamie jeans have been looking a bit worse for wear recently so I have been on the search for a new pair. I think I may have found the perfect pair on offer in Gap so keep an eye out for them on the blog soon! I have also had to buy a new pair of loafers as I have well and truly worn this pair out- now I just have the pain of breaking them in...


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Crunching through the leaves...

Stereotypical title I know! Recently Joules got in touch to see if I was interested in reviewing a piece from their new Autumn range and I jumped at the chance as they are a brand I really love. I chose this beautiful navy Portia wool peacoat and couldn't have been more excited to try it. It was delivered to my office and when I unwrapped it, all of my colleagues were cooing over it and stroking it. What more can you ask for in a coat?! I wore this outfit for my birthday and the coat was the perfect finishing touch for crunching through the leaves in the park. I look slightly like a flasher in this picture but there really is no good way to show off the lining of your coat! This is the perfect Autumn outfit in my eyes, there's nothing better than cosy coats and woolly knits for when the temperatures drop...

Coat: c/o Joules, jumper:Warehouse, skirt: Sainsbury's, shoes: George at ASDA
This coat is a different shape to the ones I would normally pick out but I actually love the more masculine look of it as it helps to toughen up my girlier outfits and adds a much needed dose of cool. The fact it is a gorgeous dark navy wool also helps, this is sure to be a classic in anyone's wardrobe!

Just look at the gorgeous gold buttons too! When I unwrapped the coat, each of these buttons was individually wrapped to prevent them from being scratched- now that's attention to detail...

Just look at that smug grin! I had said to Mark that I was looking for a navy jumper just the day before and I found this in the Warehouse sale for just £12. It is a lovely slim cotton knit and has really cool semi-sheer sleeves too which make it much more interesting. I know I will be getting a lot of wear out of it this Autumn/Winter!

I found this cute checked wool mini skirt in Sainsbury's a few weeks ago but had forgotten about it until Jen was asking about yellow wool suits on Twitter, whoops! I love wool mini skirts and this will look equally good with thick cable knit tights as it does with nude ones although I'm not ready to give up (nearly) bare legs just yet! This bag is one of my favourites and I always seem to pull it out at this time of year, the red is perfect for jazzing up duller colours... 

Are you a Joules fan?

P.S. Joules sent me this coat to review but if I didn't love it, I wouldn't feature it!

Sunday, 26 October 2014



As you may have seen, I turn the grand old age of 25 on Monday and this entire weekend has been spent with some of my favourite people, eating drinking and being all round merry. I am taking a mini break to eat my way through this amazing owl shaped cake (my friend Lucinda is so talented!) and drink a few more cocktails. See you in a few days...!

P.S. Aspire Style are also celebrating their birthday this week although they are a few years younger than me and have £10 off their 10 top sellers which I may be treating myself to with my birthday money!


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