Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Jazzy stripes and coral shoes...

When I'm feeling under the weather, my outfit goes one of two ways: either comfort central or dressing up to pull myself out of my funk. This outfit was definitely the latter, it's been a while since I last wore this stripy dress on the blog but it is one of the nicest dresses I have in my wardrobe. I tend to wear it with leggings but it was nice to jazz it up with some nude tights and bright shoes instead. The neon accents on this dress are super fun but as I sadly don't own any neon yellow shoes (yet!) my coral pair were the next best thing. Despite my grumpy face in these photos, I really loved this outfit, it is super fun and it was perfect for making me feel less gloomy- always a good thing! 

Dress: Seasalt, shoes: Clarks
Yes, it's another day wearing peachy coral lipstick, why mess with a good thing right?! MAC Vegas Volt is a blogger favourite but it is one of those shades that I'm sure would suit anyone. I blotted it down slightly here but I do love how vibrant it is when it is opaque!


I have raved about these gorgeous coral suede shoes many times before but they are just so cheery that you can't help but fall in love with them! I just wish I had managed to paint my nails a more interesting colour. My Nails Inc Gel Effect Kensington Passage nail varnish is the perfect match and hasn't got much wear this summer, I guess I will have to rectify that pronto!


How do you get yourself out of a funk?


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Friday, 21 August 2015

The perils of wrap skirts...

Dorothy Perkins is one of those brands that I always forget about (probably because I can't get it on ASOS!) but I had a mini spree in there to stock up on some new workwear and there is some gorgeous stuff in there. Until you are settled into a job, playing it safe is definitely the right idea and for most offices, monochrome is definitely that! The print on this skirt makes it feel more me though and it should be pretty versatile too. I can definitely see it being paired with this teal blouse or a cosy burgundy jumper and ankle boots come Autumn (yes, I sad the A word!) too.... Overall I really liked this outfit although I did think it needed a bit more jazz to it- perhaps a bright jacket or pair of shoes? I am notorious for over accessorizing though so maybe it's good that I didn't have any to hand! ;) I tried on a lot of tops before I settled on this old faithful from H&M  picked mainly because it is so plain. Anything with pockets that I tried looked too fussy and my plain t-shorts were too casual... Put it this way, as I stood in front of my wardrobe, I knew what Goldilocks must have felt like! 

Top: H&M, skirt: Dorthy Perkins, shoes: Marks & Spencer, tired face: model's own
This Bourjois lipstick was a welcome addition of colour to the monochromatic ensemble and it was nice to not wear a red lipstick for once! I am awful for getting stuck in a rut with what I wear and although it won't be long before I am back wearing red, hot pink is a fun, more summery alternative... My hair is looking a little unkempt in these pictures but I am managing to squeeze in an appointment this weekend and am hoping to go back to around this length. I do like having it longer as it gets colder (on me it looks better with hats and no one likes a cold neck!) but hopefully I have a few months before I need to start thinking about layering!


I was umming and aahing on this skirt for a while before I bought it as I can be pretty self-conscious about my tummy and wrap and pencil skirts just seem to draw attention to my diabetes 'salami sausage' but I really liked the shape of it and I was determined to make it work for me. I added my beloved lace trimmed cycle shorts under this and thank goodness I did as this skirt is pretty darned revealing! Don't let its modest length fool you, every time I sat down or even walked more than a few steps, I flashed a little more flesh than I would have liked. I think I'm going to have to either sew down the seam slightly or get a natty kilt pin to hold it together!


How would you style this skirt?


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Monday, 17 August 2015

A family day trip to Croome Court... (PICTURE HEAVY)

Apologies for the radio silence recently, I have been super busy with work and have been finding things a bit overwhelming so blogging has had to take a back seat. Luckily, our families had something planned to get me out of the house and despite me being super tired, it was super fun! You know how much I love going on little day trips (yes I am already an OAP!) and Croome Court was ideal as it is just up the road from us. It is one of the closest National Trust properties to us and we used to visit a lot when we were kids but it has been a while (last time we went, my 4 siblings and I managed to fit into a hollow tree trunk, that's how log ago it was!) so I was interested to see how much had changed since then. 


We had really lovely weather and the estate looked beautiful. I love visiting stately homes and swanning around pretending to own the place, I definitely could live as a lady of leisure! ;)


Croome was a little different though as it is currently undergoing significant restoration at the moment. 


I mean you can see it in these pictures, there were flagstones pulled up, walls exposed and scaffolding covered the outside of the house. 


The beautiful decorations just made the contrast even more stark...


The Long Gallery was probably my favourite room, it was fairly bare but had loads of cool art in which was apparently inspired by Croome...


I mean, isn't this cool?!


I'm not sure when these tiles date from but they look super 1970s to me!


There were originally some beautiful French tapestries in this room but they were sold off when the estate ran into difficulties. The dominant colour was this gorgeous raspberry pink- I bet they made an amazing feature wall!



There was a really cool interactive display in the basement; a miniature Croome Court! The original house was hidden inside the walls by 'Capability' Brown when he redesigned it in 1751. I loved this display and it was super fun to take it all apart...


A dizzying look up the staircases (this house is huge)

The dining room is amazing, the fruit plasterwork dates back to the eighteenth century but the house was used by Hare Krishnas between 1979 and 1984 and they painted it all in these vibrant colours. It's a bit of a controversial topic but I love how colourful it is, even if others aren't so sure!


As you saw, there is scaffolding enveloping the entire house at the moment and there's a cafe 12 metres up there at the moment. We didn't buy any food or drink but the views were worth the climb, even if I was too scared to go anywhere near the edge. Luckily Mark took this video for me so you can get an idea of how amazing the views were!



Apparently the house and parkland were Capability’ Brown’s first commission and he transformed it from marshland into this beautiful estate. 



This beautiful bridge is a replica of the Chinese bridge which stood on the same site in the eighteenth century but was lost to decay. Luckily a £200,000 Sainsbury Trust grant meant that the National Trust were able to reconstruct the crossing and this opened properly earlier this year.

Playsuit: Marks & Spencer, top: H&M, shoes: French Sole c/o Spartoo, bag: Clarks
I asked Mark to take a picture of me and I didn't realise that this woman was looking at me so scathingly, her face is priceless!

 

Beautiful views along the culvert...



There was a kite flying event on and although we had limited success, it was very very fun!


A look back up the hill towards St Mary Magdalene's Church, Croome D'Abitot.


 This was built in 1763 and is absolutely beautiful inside. Unfortunately the camera had run out of battery by the time we got back up the hill so you will just have to imagine it, or look up some photos! ;) This was such a lovely day out and I would definitely recommend visiting Croome if you are in the area...
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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Rouge red...

Certain outfits are easily remixed and re-worn, for example, this little white dress from Gap looks equally nice with a pair of sandals or sparkly shoes as it does with this coral pair. Others though, require less effort as I tend to wear them one way. This top was a sale bargain back at the beginning of the year and I really love it. The swing-y tunic shape is super flattering and comfy enough to wear all day at work too. As I mentioned, I'm not able to wear jeans in my new job so opted for some skinny fit trousers and my leopard print flats to make this outfit more work appropriate. I seem to have a thing for red and leopard print together but who can resist when it is so fun?! I think one of the best things about wearing bright colours is that you immediately look like you have made more effort, even if you are basically wearing pyjamas- always good when you have a busy week ahead! ;) Red is definitely my favourite colour and although this was a super comfy outfit, I felt really chic and confident in it and I will definitely be wearing it again!

Top: Warehouse, trousers: ASOS, shoes: French Sole c/o Spartoo 
I don't tend to straighten my hair too often (I am paranoid about frazzling it like I did when I was 15!) but I always love how it looks when I do. I am thinking about going slightly shorter again with my hair but I'm not sure how cropped to go. The problem I have is that I am super lazy with my hair but it is so thick that it is getting a bit unruly now! As always, I am wearing my favourite red lipstick. I did recently buy Nars Dragon Girl which is divine so this Max Factor one does have some competition! 


Black trousers are a bit of a minefield for me, I find that if you get them wrong, I end up looking really frumpy and I knew that I needed some that were fitted rather than tailored to go with tops like this. This high waisted pair from ASOS remind me of the ones that the 'cool girls' used to wear at school (I blame the piping down the legs!), does anyone else see it?! Despite having a flashback to being desperately uncool, I really like these. They are super comfy and just what I wanted for work; all the comfort of jeans, whilst being smart enough for the office. 


Which colours give you confidence?

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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Grid lines...

You have glimpsed this dress before, here but I loved this outfit so much that I thought it deserved its own post! My new dress code is a bit smarter than the one at my previous job (I can only wear jeans on Fridays for example) so although I despaired at first, it did give me a good excuse to go shopping and I can't complain about that too much! ;) I'm a great believer in the fact that classic doesn't have to mean boring and this cute monochrome dress is living proof of that. Although I never normally choose to wear black and white, I think the print looks bold, rather than plain, especially with the red lipstick. It has been quite fun picking out 'proper' workwear again and I'm looking forward to sharing some of the outfits I have worn to work here on the blog.

Dress: Oasis, belt: Oasis, shoes: Marks & Spencer
You know how much I love red lipstick and I dug out my favourite (Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Ruby Tuesday) to add a splash of colour. I wanted to repaint my nails to match but I chose to get some extra sleep instead! ;)


It's no surprise that I am wearing my favourite pair of shoes here but they are actually the replacement pair which I (finally) managed to track down on eBay. I still need to break them in but I'm hoping that they will soon be as comfy as my other pair...


Where do you buy cute workwear from?

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Bold prints...

Certain outfits will always be more of a statement and this is definitely one of them. Mark bought me this dress for my birthday last year but it hasn't felt quite right to wear it until now. The pattern is bold enough that you don't need much else to pair with it but it does mean that you need a healthy dose of confidence to pull it off. I haven't yet worn this dress to work as I have only been there a few weeks and I think that this may raise a few eyebrows! I wanted to test it out though so I wore it on one of the few days I had off before I started at my new job. This bold print and colour scheme may not be to everyone's taste (I know mustard is a bit of a Marmite colour!) but I think you can see how pleased I was with this outfit. I mean, just look at how happy I am here...

Dress: H&M (gift from Mark), shoes: Clarks
With a print this bold, you don't need strong make-up so a swipe of the gorgeous peachy Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Pink Brandy and my beloved Dr Jart BB cream (which FYI is now half price at Boots!) worked just fine. I was going to straighten my hair but I liked my curls here and who can be bothered with the faff when it is so hot?! 


I love the waist detail of this dress, the length of it does take a bit of getting used to but I can't resist a nipped in waist and full skirt, it is just so fun to wear!


I was originally going to wear one of my many pairs of black heels with this but they all looked wrong so I went for this trusty pair of Clarks instead. These suede shoes were a sales bargain which I picked up a while ago and they are so comfy! Speaking of lovely shoes, I cannot wait for the A/W Orla Kiely and Clarks collection to drop, the shoes are just beautiful and I know from experience how comfy they are. The only hard part is restricting myself to one pair!


Are you a fan of bold prints? How would you have styled this?
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Monday, 3 August 2015

The importance of friendships...


The past few years have definitely been ones of change for me and although this has led to some meltdowns, pushing myself out of my comfort zone has definitely been a good thing. As I have got older, I have become more confident and self -assured and although I still have wobbles, I am so far from the meek scared girl who started this blog all those years ago. Getting older has helped me to realise that that life's too short to make time for toxic people and as long as I am happy, the rest will sort itself out. I have known my fair share of rubbish friendships in the past (and also been a rubbish friend myself) but I am lucky enough now to have some brilliant people that I can call my friends. I have managed to see and speak to quite a lot of them in the last few weeks and it just reinforced how lucky I am to have them and how great they really are. For years I felt like I would never fit in or find people that liked me but luckily, there are plenty of other weirdos out there who I can count as my friends! ;) It doesn't matter how long you have known someone, but just knowing that they are there for you is a massive deal for me and I feel overwhelmed sometimes about just how many awesome people I know. 

This is a bit of a weird and rambling post but I often find it difficult to navigate my way through worry and focus on the good so I wanted to try and embrace the positive here and share the love. Sadly I don't have pictures of all my friends to share but take this a public shout out to all of the awesome people I have in my life (yes that includes YOU) and a hint to tell your BFFs that you love them!

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Santiago almond cake recipe...

Cake will always be a firm favourite chez Fallon and this delicious almond cake is the latest addition to my (limited) repertoire. My friend had a 'countries stereotypes' fancy party for her birthday a few weeks ago and I went as Spain so took along this (supposedly) Spanish cake as my contribution- along with the ingredients for this lethal, yet delicious, pomelo fizz. I'm not 100% sure this cake came out as it was supposed to as I found this recipe quite confusing but we muddled through and we rewarded by a light and zesty sponge which went down a treat with everyone, even with people who don't like almonds!




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