Friday, 18 April 2014

Disco skirt....

This outfit is one of my favourites (don't tell the others!) - there’s nothing better than a brightly coloured blazer and a shiny pleated metallic skirt of dreams (thanks Monki!) to make you feel fancy. I am a complete magpie and  love anything shiny and although I already have a coppery metallic skirt (ahem) this looks much nicer with cool blue and green colours and is actually much easier to wear (mainly due to the slightly shorter length). It’s always good to know that you have both ends of the shiny skirt spectrum covered though and it's always good to have an unusual wardrobe staple too… I was going to leave the houselike this but it was freezing outside so I added my grey short-sleeved jumper.  My colleagues thought I looked like a jazzy 1940s secretary, never a bad thing in my book! 

Blazer: Miss Selfridge via Matilda, top: Oasis, necklace: New Look, skirt: Monki, shoes: Marks & Spencer
My hair has grown so much already (I can see that my haircuts are going to become an expensive habit!) but I really love it at this length. I am loving the sunnier days too, my peachy coral make-up is getting a proper showing recently! The Dr Jart+ Platinum BB Beauty Balm may be expensive but it is so worth it...

I mean just look how shiny this skirt is! The mini pleats are super flattering and skim over my sizeable hips. I love the length of this too, I prefer to wear skirts high on the waist but you could make it even longer by wearing it on the hips. I will even be able to wear it without any tights once we hit the summer, I love an outfit I can wear all year round!

Do you have any unusual style staples? 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Drapery and denim...

I used to spend a lot of time stalking my local charity shops hunting out bargains and my final year at uni was a goldmine for bargains. Seriously, if you are anywhere near Kenilworth, go and have a rummage, the shops there have the nicest stock!  Tewkesbury also has some awesome ones and I picked this top up a few weeks before Christmas but it has been hanging unworn in my wardrobe. I really love the colour but I wasn't sure how to style it. I have a couple of white and striped draped tops from H&M already but the colour of this one makes it much more difficult to  wear- at least in my head. I originally planned to wear this with either a patterned skirt or blazer but the colour was statement enough by itself. 

Blazer: New Look, top: Jasper Conran via charity shop, jeans: Topshop, shoes: Marks and Spencer
Now I have worn it once, the fear is gone and I will be wearing this a lot over the summer. I knew this top reminded me of something- this coral dress from H&M! The colour is a lot brighter but it is the perfect colour for summer, I'm just imagining it with turquoise jewellery... Drapery is one of my favourite details on clothing and I think it is super flattering too, especially if it has some clever gathering like this one does!

I am still on the hunt for some new jeans- I love the stretch of these but hoicking them up has been driving me mad recently. Does anyone have any recommendations for indigo high-waisted jeans? I am at my wits end now! I dug out this owl necklace to add a bit of interest too, I have had it for years and it is one of my favourite pieces of jewellery, owl themed or otherwise!

What details do you look for with clothes?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Homemade vegetarian curry...

I never used to like Indian food, curries were always too spicy and I hate coriander but recently I have been experimenting with trying different recipes and I have finally found a curry recipe that I love. I am even warming to coriander- I know, who am I?! Mark and I are obsessed with these garlic and coriander naans from M&S. It is pretty lethal having a mini M&S at the garage up the road, their food is far more delicious than our food budget allows... 


* Cumin seeds
* Coriander
* Potatoes
* Peppers
* Carrots, brocolli and peas
* Tomatoes
* Butternut squash
* Onion
* Spinach and kale
* Coconut milk
* Curry paste (I love both the red Thai and the jambalaya paste from Tesco)

Fry some cumin seeds and coriander in a splash of oil until the cumin seeds are brown and popping around the pan.

Boil your potatoes, carrots and butternut squash until cooked. Add all of your veg into a pan and fry until browned. 

Add a tin of coconut milk and simmer at a low heat.  

Add a couple of dollops of curry paste (technical term but just add to taste) and stir into the mix. Your mixture should be bubbling away at a low heat. 

Shred some spinach and stir into your curry.

Add some kale and simmer for a few more minutes until the kale is softened. 

Serve piping hot with naan bread and enjoy!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Willpower and a Warehouse dress...

Anyone who has ever met me knows how easily I am persuaded to do something. My willpower is non-existent and as soon as I see sale signs, it is inevitable that I will end up purchasing something. This Warehouse dress was an absolute steal in their sale last month and I have been wearing it whenever I want to feel a little smarter at work. It is made of a lovely textured jacquard material and as the material is fairly heavy, it hangs beautifully. Warehouse is definitely one of those brands that I only seem to look at when there is a sale on as it is just that little bit too expensive. I mean the original price of this was £40 which I think is steep, but the £15 I bought it for is much more reasonable (at least that's what I am telling myself!) I am trying to cut down on the amount of rubbish-y clothes that I buy but I have still manged to add new items to my summer wardrobe. I just hope we get the sunshine I have been promised now so I can wear these dresses and shorts

Dress: Warehouse, tights: Tesco, shoes: Marks & Spencer
I never used to like dresses with sleeves but I think this looks much better with the higher neckline and makes the dress much more elegant- hooray for fun, work-appropriate dresses! You can also see the texture of the dress better here, monochrome can sometimes feel a bit dull to me but the pattern makes it feel more 'me'. That and the swipe of red lipstick... ;) I have been really pleased with the improvement in my skin recently, I have been wearing Dr Jart+ Platinum BB Beauty Balm rather than foundation recently and it has really cleared my skin up. I loved writing a post on my make-up staples way back in 2011 (!) would you guys be interested in an updated version? 

I love how full the skirt of this dress is, it is deliciously swooshy and the sheer amount of material means that it skims over my ever-growing food baby. I really need to stop going out for meals, my figure is not thanking me for it, however delicious the food may be! I told you I was obsessed with these shoes, I should stop wearing them but they seem to be the perfect match to every outfit in my wardrobe...

Would you like an update on my beauty regime? How much is too much to pay for a dress? 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Stripes and straight hair....

Every week when it gets to Friday, I thank my lucky stars that I don't work in an office with a dress code. When you can wear nearly anything you like (within reason!) casual Fridays are a thing of the past. This outfit is ridiculously comfy but I know denim shorts (however fancy they are) just wouldn't fly in the majority of workplaces so I do feel very lucky! These photos were taken before the clocks went back and I cannot wait to start taking photos outside again in the morning before I go to work. These ones required some (minimal) editing but brightening them is a small price to pay for being outside again, lighter mornings are just so hopeful feeling! I really love this H&M top, they really make the best Breton tops on the high street. I am seriously tempted to get this blue version too...

Top: H&M, shorts: Jaeger, tights: Tesco, shoes: Clarks
I told you that I have been experimenting with my hair recently and I really love it straight. I never used to straighten (or even style) it much but since chopping all of my hair off, it has been so quick and easy to do, 15 minutes tops, rather than the hour and a half it took previously! I still prefer sleeping on my hair once I have straightened it though, I prefer a less polished and more lived in look!  This lipstick is one of my favourites and is perfect for brightening up my grumpy morning face. I'm not quite sure why I look so unsure here, I guess it still felt too early to be up and about... 

These shorts could really do with an iron but just look how cool they are! Although they may not look it here, they are actually longer than your average denim shorts and are made out of a gorgeous soft linen chambray fabric- what they lack in the sartorial stakes they make up for in comfort value!

What do you wear on casual Friday? Any tips for getting that perfectly undone look with my hair?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Marilyn moments and messy hair...

It is always difficult to know what to wear to family events, my family tend to go fairly dressy but you still have to keep things family appropriate so bodycon and low necklines are out. I have had this dress for a while and although I seem to have shrunk it in the wash (seriously even when I follow washing instructions, I still go wrong!) it is still the perfect spring dress and I decided to wear it for Mother's Day lunch. I really love the print on it but it does it is pretty twee (even for me!) so I decided to incorporate my beloved leather jacket and my new favourite shoes to add a bit of an edge. I don't wear this jacket as much as I used to but it is one of those items that I just can't let go of, I even wore it this weekend...

Dress: Mela Loves London via New Look, leather jacket: New Look, shoes: Marks & Spencer
I have been playing around with different ways to style my hair recently and I decided that  it would be a good opportunity to debut my natural hair. The gale force winds didn't help but you can see how messy it is here. I tend to go for a sleeker look day-to-day but it's nice to know that I can shake things up if I want to. With more eyeliner, I imagine this would be an awesome way to style my hair for a night out...

The breeze also led to more than a few Marilyn moments, I guess short skirts and British weather are never a good combination! You may have already seen my new shoes as I have been wearing them a lot since I bought them a few weeks ago. They are the perfect height to make my legs look longer and comfy enough to wear all day. The triangular (!) rose good heel is gorgeous, I just wish they had had the red versions in my size too :( 

What is your favourite Spring outfit?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Polkadots, pink and peplums...

Although I'm a stripes girl at heart, more and more polkadots are creeping into my wardrobe recently and when Bon Marche asked if I wanted to review one of their lovely dresses, I have to admit, I was a little unsure (they're not known for dressing anyone younger than 50). This gorgeous polkadot print one, however, leapt out at me and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of things I found. I mean, this jumper is just gorgeous! I love the retro feel to the dress and although I was unsure about the peplum detail, I actually think it makes the dress more interesting. Jersey dresses are my go to for work as they are smart but still ridiculously comfy - you are definitely getting the best of both worlds! Paired with this super bright blazer, I felt super confident and it certainly seemed popular online too, there's nothing like nice comments to start your day on a good foot! I love this blazer but it always feels a bit wedding-y so I liked the fact that the monochrome helped to toughen it up a bit too...

Blazer: Tesco, dress: c/o Bon Marche, belt: taken from a H by Henry Holland playsuit, shoes: Hobbs

I felt that this dress had enough going on without adding fussy looking hair into the mix so for the first time since getting my hair chopped off, I decided to try tying it up. Bearing in mind it is really short, I did have to use about a million kirby grips but I managed and I was pretty pleased with the outcome. One thing to bear in mind if you get this dress is just how low cut it is. I'm not averse to a plunging neckline or two but for a work dress I was verging on obscene so I had to add a slip to make it more work appropriate. No bad thing but useful to know if you are thinking of purchasing it! 

I wanted to wear a belt to break the pattern up a but man alive, was it difficult to find out where to put it! This dress has about 4 different places where it could feasibly sit so I just plumped for somewhere in the middle, figuring that people wouldn't notice as they'd be distracted by the peplum. I think it worked! ;)

I really don't wear these shoes enough, they were a graduation present from my parents and although I bring them out for work occasionally, they don't get worn as much as I like. Despite my best intentions though, in the end I swapped them for my pink flats. I just couldn't face a whole day in heels!

Are there any shops that you have been pleasantly surprised by recently?

P.S. This post was done in collaboration with Bon Marche.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Pineapple upside down cake recipe...

As you may have seen from the sudden influx of new recipe posts, I have been doing a lot more baking recently. I end up switching between new recipes (like these cake bars) and old favourites like this pineapple upside down cake which was one of the very first recipes I ever posted on this blog. There's something about the super sweet pineapple and fluffy sponge that's hard to resist...


* Butter for greasing
* 2 x 15ml tbsp sugar
* 6 slices pineapple from a 425g can, plus
* 3 x 15ml tbsp of the juice
* 11 glacé cherries, approx. 75g total weight
* 100g flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
* 100g soft butter
* 100g caster sugar
* 2 eggs

Grease your dish with a layer of butter and sprinkle a coating of sugar on the base of your dish. Add your pineapple rings and fill each hole with your glace cherries.

Sprinkle a layer of sugar on top of your pineapple. I like brown sugar the best because it caramelizes beautifully!

Cream together your butter and sugar until pale then alternately add the flour, beaten eggs and pineapple juice. The sponge mixture will be runnier than normal thanks to the addition of the juice but this is fine! Once mixed add your sponge mixture to your dish making sure it is evenly distributed.

Stud the top of your mixture with more glace cherries and cook at 180 degrees until brown.

Serve with a cup of tea in the sunshine...


Saturday, 29 March 2014

French inspired...

As you may have seen from my over-excited tweets and Instagram posts, I had 4/5 inches chopped off my hair last weekend and it was one of the best things I have ever done.  I asked for this style and I am so pleased with the result. Everyone told me that having short hair would be more high maintenance but so far it has been just as easy, if not easier to cope with than my old hair, I love how quick it is to wash and style. This was the first time I had styled it myself and I actually like the more dishevelled finish to it. You know how much I love stripes and this outfit felt really French, especially paired with this tweed miniskirt... 

Blazer: New Look, top: New Look, skirt: Marks & Spencer, shoes: Clarks, necklace: New Look

This blazer is a long term resident of my wardrobe and always gets pulled out when I am looking for something comfy to smarten up my outfit. I was pretty nervous about debuting my new hair so I went back to my old favourites of a blazer and a striped tee so I felt less freaked out about the whole thing. I needn't have worried about it though as everyone was really complimentary which eased my nerves slightly! The true test of a haircut is how good it looks after you style it yourself and luckily this was super easy to do- this hair styler is my secret weapon at the moment! I feel so much cooler with shorter hair and it has me experimenting more with my make up too, I have never worn so much eyeliner or lipstick!

This skirt was a real bargain in M&S a week or so ago, I love their sale and normally manage to pick up a few bits and pieces for work. I love tweed and red is my favourite colour so this was a no-brainer.This also felt quite French, especially paired with this stripy top, there's nothing like trying to inject some European cool into your wardrobe!

Any tips on styling shirt hair?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Monochrome smock dress...

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I am a massive fan of supermarket clothing. I have found some of my favourite clothes alongside my shopping and this dress is my latest favourite. It is such a lovely length and it will be perfect for when the weather warms up again. I sized up as I wasn't sure of the fit (and annoyingly the changing rooms were closed) and it is almost like a smock shape on me. I'm not 100% convinced is flattering but it sure is comfortable!

Dress: Sainsburys, belt: Primark, shoes: Tesco, tights: Tesco

Although I'm a stripes kinda gal, I love this polka dot print and the monochrome makes it perfect for wearing in the office. I haven't worn this belt for ages but it added just enough colour to make it interesting and also cinched in my waist which hopefully makes the dress slightly more flattering. I really admire anyone who can wear an oversized silhouette but it makes me feel far too self-conscious...

These shoes are another supermarket bargain. I love Mary Janes but wearing heels all day is just not practical on a day to day basis so that is when these shiny wedges come in. They are from the 'Sensitive Sole' range and are both shiny and ridiculously comfy, what more could you ask for?! My legs also look super tanned here, I guess my legs aren't the shade of 'natural' that Tesco expects ;)

Have you ever found any sartorial gems in the supermarket?
P.S. I will be sharing proper pictures of my new hairdo soon (eek!) I just need to get Mark to take some outfit pictures for me!


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