This week has been...owl-coholic

I am Maria and I am an owl-coholic.* I love the little critters and I have a vast collection of owl prints. I added to this when I made an order at Dainty Roses last week. Mark treated me to this gorgeous necklace and also added in a lovely brooch to my order. I love the fact that it has a watch in its tummy too which is revealed when you squeeze his ears together... absolutely amazing! 

Cute AND practical!

Mark chose me another owl, a key and a teapot (due to my well-documented love of tea!) I am already eyeing up some more charms so a bracelet or another brooch is definitely in my future! **

Now Danni, Lisa and I have been talking about getting a hip-flask for ages now and I finally caved and treated myself to this cute little flask as a post exam treat (or for if revision goes really badly! :P ) 

At the moment I have over 6 varieties of tea in the house and these Teapig teabags are the newest additions to my collection. I thought the chocolate flavoured tea would be my favourite but I prefer the honey bush and rooibos which is really yummy! I like the fact that it is decaffeinated too as it makes getting to sleep much easier and I'm pretty sure my skin has improved too...

I'm hoping this rather scary looking face mask will also help. I'm not patient enough to leave face masks on for very long but I this one peels off making it a lot less messy and hopefully easier to use! 

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* Apologies for this appalling pun but I just couldn't resist! ;) 
** I realise that this sounds like an advert for Dainty Roses but Mark bought this with his own money and we would both definitely recommend this! 

Hot pink...

This top has been a long-term tenant in my wardrobe and yet it has only featured in a handful of outfits. I think the fact that it is so pink means that I shy away from it, which is strange when you consider how much I like colour! I have actually worn the top and trousers together before for work but I wanted to make it 'weekend appropriate' so I added my new favourite necklace and shoes.

Top: Principles at Debenhams, jacket: M&S via charity shop, trousers: Zara, shoes: Deena & Ozzy at Urban Outfitters, necklace: Dainty Roses.
My hair desperately needs a cut at the moment but I don't know whether to have it cut a bit shorter for the summer? Although at the rate the weather is going at the moment, I'm going to have to dig out my thermals instead! Luckily the lining of my jacket matched the top perfectly :)

These shoes are lovely too and despite them being new I haven't had any blisters so fingers crossed that this continues! I bought these as a replacement for my beloved nude shoes as they are close to falling apart and they go with so many of my outfits so I figured a replacement had to be found pretty pronto! The scalloped edge is just perfect too and adds a bit of interest to an otherwise basic shoes.

You can see how cold it is as my feet are a funny purple attractive! :P

I will be featuring this necklace in my week in photos as it is seriously the best thing ever...keep your eyes peeled! 

What do you wear on the weekend? Do you ever get back-ups for your favourite clothes or shoes?

Seeing spots...

Jacket: Principles at Debenhams, top: H&M, skirt: Primark, belt: vintage at Topshop,  shoeboots:  Office,  necklace:  D.I.Y  from Laura Ashley, bag: Fiorelli
There are some days where clothes just seem to work together and yesterday was one of those days. I wanted something frivolous that was also fairly practical and so the pairing of a simple white t-shirt with this gorgeous spotted skirt seemed to be a match made in heaven for a day of revision. I also got the chance to wear the necklace which I got for my birthday off Cindy and Dan as the colours matched perfectly! 

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For some reason I look really unimpressed in all of these photos but I was actually in quite a good mood! It was an outfit that felt slightly more grown-up, due in part I think to the white t-shirt...although it's a basic for many people, I can honestly say I only wear it a couple of time a year! I guess though, that's the beauty of being able to create your own wardrobe, a few years ago I wore it almost constantly so it's interesting to see how my style has evolved :) 

Sunglasses: Accessorize 
Outtake of the day has to go to this rather windswept photo of me in my new sunglasses! I love  the cat-eye shapes and Paula wears it well but have always been a bit wary until I swooped down on these beauties in Accessorize. I usually treat myself to a new pair of sunglasses each year whether that is magazine freebies or Primark specials and the tortoiseshell frames and slight cat-eye meant that I was unable to put these beauties back on the shelf... They have been the perfect finishing touch to many an outfit since I bought them and I think they may have even overtaken this pair as my favourite! 

Has your style evolved? Do you think it's worth spending money on accessories or do you rarely wear them? 

This week has been...full of ups and downs...

As you may know, I have been taking part in the Aussie 'lighter life' challenge and this Saturday I attended a bootcamp day with some lovely Angels at the Reebok gym in Canary Wharf. I thought it would be a day of fun and games but, whilst I enjoyed the exercise we did, the yoga was more intense than I anticipated and 'Gymanda' certainly put us through our paces! When I got there though, I tucked into a yummy breakfast of strawberries, blueberries and pomegranate. I have been trying to eat more healthily recently and my fridge has been stocked with fruit and veg rather than crisps and chocolate! 

Luckily I won the giveaway at the lovely Lily's blog and won some yummy '9 bars' which I have absolutely fallen in love with! They are really filling and packed full of seeds and nuts which always make me feel more healthy ;) 

So far the nutty one is my favourite but the original also deserves a mention! 

I am also indebted to the lovely Lil (who was also my exercise buddy on Saturday!) who introduced me to the infamous Hummingbird Bakery which completely negated any good done by the bootcamp day! I figure though, as long as I don't over indulge then I should stay on track for a lighter life this Spring! 

The wrapping was SO beautiful that I didn't want to open it! 
I also need to mention my most recent purchase. I bought a gorgeous red midi skirt from the lovely Jazmine but I'm struggling with how to style it...heels are a must but I'm not sure about the rest of the outfit which is where you lovely ladies come in! Any ideas about how to make me look chic rather than dumpy will be greatly appreciated and the best suggestion will have an outfit post dedicated to them ;) 

In an ideal world this Danielle Scutt necklace would definitely feature...a girl can but dream! I mean what could be better than teapots and red lipstick?! I also LOVE this teapot ring... jewellery perfection!

I forgot to add that this is an EPIC hot chocolate with Malteasers, fudge sprinkles, marshmallows, whipped cream... it's basically heaven in a mug! 

A special mention has to go to my friends Ian and George this week, who have made me feel a lot less stressed about the dreaded exam season and the revision it entails. I mean what could be better than days spent chatting and doing  walrus impressions with chopsticks?! [I'm afraid I don't actually have photos of this rather amazing occurrence! ] It was just what I needed after another week of illness and stress too :) 

What have you done to cheer yourself up this week? Have you done any window shopping recently? 

P.S. Posting will probably be a bit more sporadic over the next couple of weeks as I have my finals coming up [eek!] so my focus is (temporarily) away from the blog :) 

Sheer amazement...

Recently I have really been drawn to pleats and especially midi and maxi lengths. I am not the world's tallest person at 5'4" but there is something so easy about wearing a longer length skirt, especially in this weird transition between cold and warm weather. After deciding that I wanted a pleated maxi I ended up on Yayer's website and found what I had been looking for... black, full length, pleated but it was sheer. In the end though I ordered it and I fell in love. On the website, Yayer have styled it with a pair of Bridget Jones' style knickers underneath but I didn't think Kenilworth was quite ready for that, so I added my trusty black body-con skirt from H&M underneath for modesty's sake. 

Top: Markus Lupfer, bodycon skirt (worn underneath): H&M, sheer skirt: Yayer, shoes: Dorothy Perkins, belt: Miss Selfridge, necklace: Accessorize. Lack of balance: model's own. 
Apologies for the lack of balance in this photo, all of the ones I took are either completely rubbish or I look like I want to kill someone...not a good look! I really love this top/jumper and it is so soft...I am just wary of ruining it but I really should wear it more as it's lovely! 

My hands look completely bizarre here but it shows you the fab necklace and the belt too. I love a belt that can be worn on the hips or waist, I definitely end up wearing it more! This skirt also has a slit up to the thigh (which I eventually moved round to the back for ease of movement) so the belt helped to keep it from moving around too much. 

You can see here that the slit in the skirt does go up high so I would definitely recommend something underneath it...maybe those cute cycling shorts H&M did with the lacy bit on the bottom? Airing my pasty porcelain legs and make-up less face too! Although I do try to make an effort each day, there are some days where I let my hair roam free and go without make-up so I'm sorry to inflict that on y'all! Although this was a fairly dressy outfit, I felt so comfortable wearing it and I have to say, the long swooshy skirt did make me feel like some sort of fairy gliding around campus! [OK, now I sound crazy, haha!] I can't wait to pair this skirt with some slouchy t-shirts and chunky jewellery, perfect for wafting round in the heat we have been promised this summer (!) 

 Are you a fan of maxi skirts? How would you style it?

Kenilworth Festival...another family fun day...

It seems to becoming a housemate family tradition to do something every Sunday and this last week we went to the Kenilworth festival which is held every year in the town where we live. This year they had live music, various stalls and (my personal favourite) the farmer's market filled with gorgeous French, Italian and German food. 

This reminded me of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, it even had all the props!  

I think this was the "up and coming band This Modern Youth" but I couldn't see a name anywhere so after a little detective work on the festival website, and a checking of photos to see what the time was when we saw them I am guessing that this was who it was! (Please correct me if I'm wrong though!) I loved the couple of songs I heard and they have a bright future ahead of them by the sounds of things :)

A Nutella and cherry crepe, cooked fresh on a little stall. Seriously it was the messiest but yummiest treat ever. If I ever go to France I am going to eat gazillions of these yummy treats!

We visited  the park where it was held and managed to see our favourite little ducklings again...aren't they just the cutest?! 

Olives and garlic galore...absolute heaven! 

You can't really say no to freshly baked bread either! These baguettes smelt amazing and I almost cried when I walked away empty handed from this stall! 

I comforted myself with the cheese stall though. I promise you, smoked cheese on toast can make anything better, even revision blues... 

This soap stall smelt absolutely divine and I ended up buying rose, peach and hazelnut [it smells like Nutella!] flavoured soaps which smell so divine. They are currently on my shelf wrapped in a bag but I can still smell them from my desk, I can't wait to try them out properly...

Lovely bundles of lavender too...these smelt amazing!

Everyone loves sausages, right? I didn't get anything from here either but the chorizo smelt amazing! 

A giant profiterole with a mini one on top? Go on then! 

A lovely selection of dried nuts which again looked amazing! It was lovely to go to a festival where there were so many local people, of all ages, and we really had a lot of fun. I could have ended up spending a lot more money too, but in the end I restricted myself to a few choice purchases. I liked the fact that there was live music too, I think it was a lovely opportunity for local artists and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Do you ever go to local festivals? What would you have bought? 

New Look A/W press day (PICTURE HEAVY)

Last week I went to my very first press day to see the New Look A/W 2011 collection and I have to say now choosing photos for this post was extremely difficult. I saw some really lovely things and I am pretty sure that all of my money will be going into the pockets of New Look. 

This was in the kid's section but I'm sure I could squeeze into it...right? 

The building was absolutely gorgeous and showed off the clothes perfectly. There was a gorgeous mix of jewel colours, embellishment and prints. The accessories were lovely, especially all of the different ol prints. The styling of the pieces was spot on and really showed off the pieces to their full potential. 

Do you like the pieces in this collection? How would you style it up?