Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Dressing like Joan Holloway...

I have been sharing a lot of dressy outfits recently but I promise that I do go to work sometimes! ;) Getting dressed for work in the morning can sometimes be a bit of a challenge (I will always choose an extra 5 minutes of sleep!) but a brightly coloured dress is always an easy option. Sadly since I wore this gorgeous red dress our washing machine took offence and it has shrunk :( I did try and hunt down another one as I loved it so much but as it was a sale piece I wasn't able to replace it so this post will have to serve as a kind of eulogy! This dress reminds me of something Joan Holloway would wear, doesn't this outfit look like this Mad Men cartoon version of me I made way back when?!

Dress: Mango, tights: John Lewis, shoes: c/o George at ASDA
 Red is definitely my favourite colour, I love how unashamedly bold it is and how dramatic it looks against my hair. You know I can't resist a red lipstick and Max Factor's Colour Elixir Lipstick in Ruby Tuesday was the perfect match for both this dress and nail varnish (Essie Russian Roulette FYI)

I don't wear this ring all that often but this dress needed something to jazz it up and as this ring is less than subtle (understatement of the century) it was ideal!

Which TV characters inspire your wardrobe?

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Exploring the Cotswolds from The Fish in Broadway...

I can't resist a boutique hotel when we go away and as this anniversary was a pretty special one (10 years!) we headed to The Fish in Broadway to celebrate. The Fish couldn't have been more different to Malmaison in Oxford where we went last year but we had such a nice time and it was so relaxing. We both let out a huge sigh of relief when we arrived and all of our worries just fell away. Apologies for the picture spam, but everything was just so beautiful that we couldn't help but take pictures!


Sunday, 17 April 2016

How I wore a crop top...

I never thought I would see the day that I would be sharing an outfit with me wearing a crop top (!) but this blog has pushed me so far out of my comfort zone that nothing surprises me anymore! Going to the gym has made me so much more confident and I felt amazing in this outfit. I wore it a couple of months ago for my best friend's birthday and it was the perfect mix of comfy and dressy. There are lots of rules about what women should and shouldn't wear but there's nothing like an amazing outfit to make you feel like you could take on the world. 

Crop top:H&M, skirt: Topshop, shoes: Marks & Spencer
I love a glowy make-up look and although I may have gone slightly overboard with the Nars Orgasm Illuminator here, it worked well in lower lighting haha! I paired this with my beloved  Max Factor Masterpiece liquid eyeliner and a mixture of the Dainty Doll lipstick in Material World and the Max Factor C3PO lipstick – I told you I was a fan of shimmery make-up!

Dainty Doll By Nicola Roberts Lipstick in 004 Material World

There's nothing worse than a lumpy waistband from tucking your top in and although I was nervous about wearing a crop top, only a sliver of skin was on show. I have since bought a couple more to wear with my amazing new maxi skirt and I get the feeling that you will be seeing a lot more of them over here on the blog! 

This skirt has to be one of the best bargains I have ever found, it was supposed to be £60 and I got it for a mere £4.50! It is beautifully made with layers and layers of organza silk and I felt like a million dollars in it. The shape is uber flattering and the layers give it that element of fun without being overpowering. I mean, who could resist a skirt that looks like it is made of flower petals?!

Would you wear a crop top? What's the best bargain you have ever found?

Monday, 11 April 2016

Cherry and almond cake recipe...

I am a massive fan of cherry and almond together and I used my beloved Victoria sponge recipe from Marguerite Patten to make this delicious fluffy sponge. I made it at the same time as my tropical mango and coconut cake and let me tell you, trying to decide which one to eat first was a very hard decision! I went very almond heavy but you can omit the ground almonds or almond extract if you would like a more subtle flavour...

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Champagne lace and faux fur...

The weather may be warming up slightly but I'll take any opportunity to wear this ridiculously glamourous coat! I wore this outfit for our big family meal at Dumbleton Hall and it was perfect for the (very fancy) surroundings. I love any opportunity to get all dressed up and this coat makes anything look snazzy...

Coat: Topshop
I inherited this dress off Mark's mum a couple of years ago and I really love it, the shape is super flattering and the stretchy waist allows for plenty of pigs in blankets! ;) Usually I would shy away from such a pale shade but the black underlay stops it from looking too similar to my pasty pale skin tone! 

Dress: Therapy via Mark's mum, shoes: c/o George at ASDA, bracelet: Accessorize

 The neckline on this dress is so pretty and I'm a fan of anything that means I don't have to dig out a matching necklace! My make-up is basically the same as I wore it here (how original of me) as I am loving glowy skin and pretty pink lipstick at the moment and the combination works whatever you are wearing. I curled my hair using my GHDs and was really pleased with the results. I recently bought some Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme to help keep my curls in check. I love the smell of it and a little bit goes a long way, I may have to treat myself to a full size bottle soon! 

I love a full skirt and the tulle layer under this one makes it perfect for swooshing around in. These wedges are so comfortable and perfect for adding that little bit of height. I am more than a little bit unstable in heels so anything that makes it easier is a win in my eyes!

Which clothes make you feel glamourous?

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Being grateful...

The card from my BFF that reduced me to a sobbing wreck when I got it in the post...
Apologies for the radio silence over here recently, my dad had a bad accident when he was out on his bike a few weeks ago and I don't want to go into detail but as you can imagine, things have been pretty full on recently. I have written about the importance of friendship before and this past month has been eye-opening in terms of how brilliant my friends and family are. There is a long way to go before things are back to 'normal' but I know that we will get there. I know I say this a lot but go and tell your loved ones how much you love them ♥

Saturday, 5 March 2016

My favourite exercise gear...

I'm wearing something a little less glamourous for this outfit post! ;) I have been going to the gym a couple of times a week to just increase my exercise levels and strength and despite the early starts I have really been enjoying it. For a long time my body and I have been at war and this might only be a truce, but I love the challenge (yes I do have a competitive streak!) and I love how I can feel my body getting stronger. I have always found nice clothes to be a great motivator and I wanted to show off the latest additions to my gym wardrobe... I have realised that I will always love snazzy leggings and that there's a lot to be said for fun prints and bright colours! Marks & Spencers are my go to for cool sports bras and they are the perfect foundation for whatever I get up to in the gym (not sponsored, I'm just a super fan!)

Top:Fabletics, crop top: Ellesse via TK Maxx, leggings: Fabletics, trainers: Nike c/o Sports Shoes
Apologies for the close up of my make-up free face but I refuse to exercise in make-up, sweat does not mix well with foundation! This Balm tank is ridiculously comfy, I bought a size larger than usual as I didn't want anything too skintight but actually, it is quite low cut without this crop top underneath it!

I have to admit I was pretty dubious about Fabletics before I ordered but I have been well and truly been proven wrong. These Salar legging (in Black Ice print) are my new favourites and they are brilliant, they have a high enough waist to be comfortable and the print makes me feel super badass too!

Being a total Nike fan girl in this outfit, but they do have some of the best sportswear!

I picked up this coral top in JJB's sale a few years ago (RIP) and it is one of the nicest ones I own, the cotton is super soft and however sweaty I get, it stays cool and dry. 

 I do generally prefer full length leggings but these Nike printed capris are ideal for when the weather warms up. The marble print skims over any lumps and bumps and let's be honest, what else would a blogger choose?! ;)

My local TK Maxx is always full of weird and wonderful treasures and I am always trawling through for bargains. Their sportswear is pretty varied but it's well worth having a rummage if you are looking for something in particular!

This top is from 90 degrees, not a brand I have heard of but I love the fit of it and the colour means it goes with all of my jazzy trousers!

These Puma PWR leggings are probably the best piece of exercise gear that I own, they make me feel like a superhero and who wouldn't want that?!

What do you wear to the gym?

Sunday, 28 February 2016

A love letter to Whistles...

Honestly, it has been so long since I wore this outfit that I almost didn't post it but I loved it so much that I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I posted about the navy version of this dress nearly a year ago and this post is basically another love letter to Whistles and their gorgeous occasionwear! This faux leather jacket is so easy to wear and was the perfect finishing touch for this outfit. Usually December weather would mean that such a thin layer would be impractical but the weather was so mild that this kept me plenty warm enough. I wish we had that weather now, I am currently huddled under a duvet to write this as our flat is so cold!

Dress: Whistles, tights: John Lewis, shoes: Accessorize, jacket: c/o George at ASDA
One of the things I love so much about Whistles is the attention they pay to detail. The black tulle on the shoulders adds an edge to the pale pink tweed and stop it from looking too precious. This velvety Max Factor eyeliner is my new favourite and makes it easy to draw a cat eye with it, even for someone as useless as me. I paired it with the Clinique Chubby Stick in Woppin' Watermelon and the Max Factor Creme Puff blush in Seductive Pink for a fresh glowy look.

I love a nipped in waist and this shape skirt is flattering on pretty much everyone.It is a little bit short with nude tights so I went for this velvety pair instead. They aren't the cheapest opaques you will ever buy but I promise you, they are worth the investment!

These spotty shoes are from Accessorize of all places and are super fun. I love the pointed shape and the fact that they are sheer means they work as well with tights as they do with jeans. I am tempted by this pair but need to get rid of some other pairs first, my shoe storage is looking pretty full at the moment...

Which brands would you write a love letter to?

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A weekend getaway in Herefordshire...

It's funny how traditions start, somehow they get established before you realise what has happened. Spending Valentine's Day with some blogging babes is definitely one of my favourites and this year we spent a lovely long weekend at the Oast House in Herefordshire to celebrate Sarah's 40th birthday. (no I can't believe it either!) Honestly, this weekend was just what I needed, life has been a little bit stressful recently so catching up with these girls over chocolate, cake and prosecco was the perfect antidote! I am officially the worst blogger ever as I didn't bring my camera so you get some phone photos instead!

The 'cottage' was an amazing old manor house and it was so photogenic!

It was full of charming original features, like this awesome range stove...

The house was based on the Brockhampton Estate and we decided to go exploring on Saturday. The weather was awful but hot soup helped to take the chill off...

Luckily I did manage to avoid buying any more books, I don't think my bookcase could take any more pressure!

The manor house dates back to the late 14th century and was used right up until the 1950s. I absolutely loved the moat, do you reckon I can get one built around our flat?!

The weather was terrible but at least it made for some dramatic photographs!

I wasn't brave enough to jump on this swing but Char was a lot more adventurous!

This bath was absolutely amazing, I took one of my Lush bath bombs (Lord of Misrule FYI) and it was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time, it was absolutely divine!

Gemma made the most wonderful breakfast on Sunday morning, there was also a huge stack of buttery toast, sausages and bacon just out of shot but I ate them too quickly to take any pictures, oops!

The best part was coming home to this amazing card from Mark, isn't he clever?! Thank you to Sarah, Gemma, Katy, Rosie, Sophie  (the best roomate!) Esther, Char and Lucy for a super fun weekend, let's do it again soon!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Inspired by the Gucci geek...

Whenever I wear this dress, I tend to steer clear of anything too pretty and go for something a little less precious. Looking at these pictures, this outfit was clearly inspired by the 'Gucci geek', especially with the addition of this camel coat! I love the oversized, slightly androgynous shape and the longer length makes it perfect for my chilly walks to work. When I posted my Instagram picture of this outfit, people were concerned that I was out with bare arms but trust me, this was just out of shot haha!

Coat:H&M (gift from Mark), dress: New Look, tights: John Lewis, shoes: Clarks x Orla Kiely
I would usually pair this gorgeous tapestry print with rich jewel tones but I went for plain black in the end as it looked a bit less fussy. I really love this A-line shape and a nipped in waist is always the most flattering look on me!

I have been wearing this Nars lipstick a lot recently and it is such a fun colour. I was tempted to go for a more muted berry tone but the splash of pink (hopefully!) helped to stop this from looking too fusty. You can get a slightly better look at my glasses here too: I opted for a slightly less statement pair this time round and I really love the tortoiseshell frames, Marc Jacobs has done it again!  

These velvety soft tights have barely left my legs recently, they are so soft and keep me nice and toasty. They are well worth investing in if you want a luxury feel without spending a fortune. These Orla Kiely shoes are one of my favourite pairs and the chunky heel made me feel unstoppable- just what you need when your to-do list won't stop growing!

Do catwalk shows inspire your outfits?


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