Thursday, 28 April 2011

Floral cords...

21 comments:
Shorts: Topshop, sheer top [worn underneath]: H&M,  jumper: Boss by Hugo Boss via jumble sale, necklace: Topshop, shoes:  Carvela. 
There are some clothes that you see in the shops and you just can't get them out of your head.  These shorts are that item. I saw them when I was at home and online and I finally caved yesterday when I popped into town after my test. I figured that it wasn't a complete impulse purchase as I had wanted them before but what do you guys think?!  


I like to mix textures with my outfits and so I paired these shorts with my favourite sheer top from H&M and this wrap jumper from Hugo Boss. The jumper was such a steal at 10p and it has proved surprisingly versatile despite being almost impossible to put on. I can't be the only one who struggles with wrap styles, surely?! 


I swear though, these shorts are probably the comfiest thing in my wardrobe at the moment. There's something about cords that reminds me of being younger, maybe it's the fact that they are just so hard-wearing? The print is fab and reminds me of this bag which I cannot wait to pair with this t-shirt :) With the summer looming though I think it will also look fab with bright coral and purple t-shirts. 


Another purchase from yesterday, the most gorgeous necklace, again from Topshop. It is a lovely crystal/stone with some added bling, which I can't wait to layer up this summer. It's not something I would normally go for but I love the fact that it's completely unique, not something you normally associate with the high street! 

How do you reward yourself after you have finished a test? Are there certain clothes that you can't get out of your head? 

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Ginger parkin/sticky gingerbread

4 comments:
My family are big fans of ginger and we have used this recipe hundreds of times over the years. Our recipe book lists it as Sticky Gingerbread but we have called it Ginger parkin for as long as I can remember! This is a slightly adapted recipe but it is so easy to do  and works a treat! My sister used this recipe last week and it still tastes amazing. If it is stored correctly, this cake will keep for a few weeks. I love recipes like this that are so easy to do and yet taste so nice... definitely the best kind of cooking!




INGREDIENTS:

♥ 275 g (10oz) plain flour
♥ 2 teaspoons ground ginger (I normally add a little bit extra!)
♥ 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
♥ 100g (4oz) margarine
♥ 100g (4oz) soft light brown sugar 
♥ 225g (8oz) golden syrup
♥ 100g (4oz) black treacle
♥ 2 eggs, beaten
♥ 150ml (1/4 pint) hot water
♥ Crystallised ginger to taste


METHOD:

♥ Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas Mark 4

♥ Grease and line a 30cm x 23cm roasting tin

♥ Sift the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl

♥ Place the margarine, sugar, syrup and treacle in a saucepan. Heat gently until the margarine has melted and the sugar has dissolved

♥ Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour the mixture from the saucepan into the flour, along with the crystallised ginger and beat well to mix. 

♥ Add the beaten eggs and hot water and beat to a smooth batter

♥ Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for 45 minutes until the cake springs back when pressed with the fingers

♥  Serve with tea, custard, yoghurt, pretty much anything you can think of! 


Have you ever tried ginger parkin? What's your favourite family recipe? 


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Graduate seeking job...

25 comments:

The sun is out, Easter is nearly here, it can only mean one thing...yes exam time is here again! As a finalist, the exams this year have added weight, not because they are worth any more but rather because I know that I have to do well and I have to get a job. There's no doubt about it, the job market is pretty dire for graduates but there is a shiny job out there, waiting for me, right? As the end of the years draws ever closer, this is clearly not the case. Beth and Carla have written about trying to find a job in the past and the truth is a degree isn't the 'golden ticket' it may once have been. I have applied to countless jobs and heard back from about 2, telling me that I was unsuccessful. But what can I do? 

For me, half of the difficulty lies with choosing which jobs to apply for. I know that if my heart's not in it, the people reading my application form will be able to tell. Is it better for me to apply to hundreds of jobs willy nilly or to try and be more focused in the hope that quality not quantity will prevail? I have always wanted a job that 'made a difference' as corny as that sounds and I whilst I will be a Warwick graduate, I really don't think I'm cut out for the frenetic pace of life in the City like many of my peers. Since writing this blog I have looked into pursuing a more creative path as I really enjoy the process of writing, research and photography that goes towards creating a blog post. My biggest worry is whether  I want to 'taint' what is a creative outlet, by doing it for a living. For me, my blog is an escape and I don't know if I want to mix work and play!

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am trying to navigate the murky waters of graduation and beyond. It is scary stuff and I am utterly terrified about life after university but I guess as long as I stay positive and get as much work experience as possible then anything is possible right? This is a bit of a rambly post and I apologise, I guess I am trying to work out the best direction for me to take next and any help would be greatly appreciated! 

Have you graduated? Do you have any advice  for me?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Flares ahoy!

20 comments:
I have worn trousers nearly every day this week, unusual for someone who lives almost exclusively in dress and skirts! My favourite outfit though has to be the one I wore for barbeque fun-times with my family  which I promised you here. I have spoken before about happy outfits and who can't be happy when they are wearing such brightly coloured trousers?! I am not a big fan of wearing completely trend based outfits but I did feel damn cool striding around in these 70s inspired trousers and heels! 

Trousers: Miss Selfridge, top: Miss Selfridge, belt: Primark, shoes: Nine West via charity shop
Wearing these trousers made me so smiley and everything just seemed to work together. The corally/pink colour gets more cheery everytime I look at it but I now need a paler peachy coloured belt to match my shoes. I have had a look on Topshop et al but nowhere seems to have one. Does anyone have any recommendations? I have always worn tops tucked in with these trousers up till now but I thought it would look better just left belted. 

You can see the flare shape better in this photo!
I bought these shoes last year some time in a charity ship in Kenilworth. They are Nine West peach leather with the cutest floral print and they look like they had never been worn. Not bad for £4!  When I first bought them, I was unable to walk in them so I gave them to my Momma. Over the past year though, I have been practising walking in heels and now I am just about able to walk in them. 


Nails: Fuzzy Peach by Models Own
Have you embraced the trend for flares? Do you have any belt recommendations for me? 

Monday, 18 April 2011

This week has been...tea-tastic!

23 comments:
I think liking tea has become a bit of a blogger cliché, along with liking cupcakes, peter pan collars and whimsical vintage prints. I do have the obligatory 'Keep calm...' poster but I genuinely do love tea.. [maybe not as much as Hayley though!] I drink gallons of the stuff when I am at uni (more if I am working to a deadline!) and I like to have pretty mugs to keep my tea in. Last year for Easter, Mark bought me a hand-painted Whittards mug with an Easter egg in the top. When I went to Swindon designer outlet, my first port of call was the Whittards shop and I spotted this little lovely. I am a sucker for anything with a cute print and this mug was no exception!


I should stay straight off that I am a strong brew, milk, no sugar kind of gal but I have always been curious about more exotic forms of tea. My housemate Lisa has this tea and it always smells amazing so I am excited to try it out! The main reason I picked this up though was the cup, isn't the pattern just amazing?! 


I also received some free tea from Clipper after seeing Lucy's fab post alerting me to the opportunity. I have been a fan of Clipper since my mum bought me some of their tea for uni but I  never tried green tea so I am looking forward to trying that! 




I swear, barbeques with my family are the nicest way to spend sunny weekends! Some gorgeous burgers and sausages from a local farmers market, caramelised onion cooked on the barbeque and Fab lollies for pudding. There really is nothing better! 


Our garden looks so pretty at the moment, these ragged edges tulips are everywhere! 



I will leave you with a sneak peek of an outfit post I have planned :) 

What have you been up to this week? How do you spend your weekends? 


P.S. I have rediscovered my love for Tumblr and would love to see yours :)  

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The sun has got his hat on...

29 comments:
Whilst there are outfits which never photograph well or are just practical, there are some outfits that just make you smile whenever you wear them and this outfit was no exception. The sunny weather definitely helped but I think the combination of a brightly coloured skirt, cute printed tee topped off with a straw boater would bring a smile to anyone's face! I bought this skirt in my first year at uni for the grand total of £6.30 and it's cost per wear must be in the minus numbers by now! It is a shape which I think is flattering and the colour gives me a boost whenever I wear it and it looks as good with thick tights as it does with bare legs. Truly a wardrobe champion! 
Top: Primark, skirt: Dorothy Perkins (I also have it in coral!), belt: New Look, sandals: charity shop, hat: Primark


I went to Primark a while ago now and picked up a few t-shirts but I haven't really worn this one much. I love the cutesy print but I'm really not sure about the ruffles. I just think they make the top look a bit cheap but they seem to work with this outfit so I don't know! 



Another pretentious 'artsy' shot of my bag hanging off something! I am always really inspired to blog when I am home as the surroundings are so beautiful but I rarely have a photographer and I find it really difficult to get a decent photo using a tripod. I think quite a few bloggers had this hat last year including Claire and for £3 you can see why. It didn't do a very good job of keeping the sun off my face but it made my outfit look cute! :)




Which outfits make you smile? What is the most inspiring place you have ever been?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Slouchy chic?

29 comments:
Magazines and television shows are always telling us to 'dress for your shape' and whilst I tend to stick to dresses and skirts I try to wear what I want, whether or not I look ridiculous. What do you do though, when outfits you love, aren't flattering? I love these clothes both separately and together but I'm not sure if they make me look a bit schlumpy. I think the fact that the curse of the creased trousers has returned may have something to do with it... I really hate it when outfits don't photograph very well, I love this outfit but these pictures make it look awful :( 

Top: Gap outlet, trousers: Miss Selfridge, shoes: Carvela from John Lewis, necklace: Dorothy Perkins
This outfit was inspired by Michelle and Blair who both look fab in loose layers but I think you need to look like them for this look to work! I probably should have worn these trousers with heels but I wanted something comfy and still chic and I matched my blusher to my shoes ;) You can't really see it in these pictures but I am wearing 'Summer Rose' by Mac which is a gorgeous dusky pinky/purple shade which matches my shoes perfectly! 


I really love these shoes and now it's warmer I can wear them without worrying that I am going to ruin them. They are velvet with huge sparkly bows on the front and I can't help but think that they are totally me in shoe form! 


Is it me or does my hair look much shorter here? I woke up with huge bed-head hair this morning but with a swoosh of serum through it it looked like I as going for the big bouncy curl effect... right?! I like the fact you can see me clutching my camera remote in this picture. It has proved invaluable for using with my tripod but I can't quite get to grips with hiding it for photos. I bought this top when I went on my epic shopping spree to Swindon on Tuesday. I have never been convinced when people talk about basic tops but I think I have been converted. This t-shirt is so soft and although I would never usually choose such a slouchy fit, I can't help but think it will be perfect for when the weather arms up again! The best bit about it though is the fact it is sparkly! That's right, even my basic grey tee has a hint of bling about it! I picked up some lovely things and I have THE best Easter present from Mark waiting to be opened :D 

Do you have outfits that don't photograph well? Which bloggers do you look to for style inspiration? 


P.S. I love writing and receiving letters, would anyone be interested in becoming penpals? 

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Seasonal wardrobe?

18 comments:
I have never been one for having seasonal wardrobes, I like all of my clothes too much to keep half of them hidden away for half of the year and 80% of my clothes I wear all year round. The other 20% are the completely impractical silk summer dresses and teeny tiny shorts which I only wear when it is roasting outside!  Kristabel wrote about the dilemma of dressing for Spring but I find Spring easier to dress for, as it is acceptable to wear cute dress and cardigan combinations. Recently, I have been wearing my slinky summer dresses layered up with chunky cardigans to keep warm and so far this has worked a treat!
Dress: Mango via Ebay, cardigan: vintage at Topshop, belt: H&M, shoes: Nine West.
Apologies for my gormy face in this picture, it was the best picture of a bad lot, I obviously had no control over my facial expressions, Tyra would not be impressed! I really like this dress which I managed to win on Ebay but I'm not sure about the top of it. I don't really like how the straps look as they are very thin but the pattern is too pretty to pass on. 


I have had these shoes for years and they are so comfy. I think I bought them reduced in the sale at Debenhams and they have been my go to shoes in the warmer weather. They have some studding and a buckle on the front and they seem to go with anything. I really find black too harsh when it's warmer, mainly because I am so pasty pale so tan is a nice compromise :)


I promised that I would dedicate some proper space to my new bag but I haven't managed to get any decent photos of it until now! It was a complete impulse but in Next but it has hardly left my shoulder and it's roomy pockets and gorgeous 'granny floral' print make it both practical and cute. So many people have complimented me on it and it always makes me smile when I look at it :) 

A fluffy cygnet's feather 

Outtake of the day goes to this picture of me trying to pull myself between the two gate posts whilst balancing on a very wobbly gate. In my attempts to try and get a nice photo, Mark and I took some photos that were horrifying and hilarious in equal measure, the perils of being a fashion/lifestyle blogger ;) 

How would you style this dress? Do you find it tricky to dress for Spring? 

P.S. Thank you for all of your lovely suggestions  for liquid eyeliner on my last post, I ill definitely be trying out your recommendations! 

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Checkmate!

19 comments:
I have been quite absent from the blogosphere again this weekend as I have had a busy time catching up with Mark and my (rather large!) extended family It was so nice to see everyone and we had a big family meal with lots of yummy food...I don't think there's anything better to do in the sunshine!  :)

As you well know, I take any excuse to dress up and I pulled out my beloved 'picnic dress'. I don't know quite how it got its name but it is an old favourite of mine that I don't wear nearly enough. It has seen me through numerous family meals, parties with friends and those days where you don't have anything that looks right on. 

Dress: Monsoon, wedges: Jones Bootmaker via charity shop
The dress is a gorgeous 50s style shape and in a gorgeous heavy linen, making it perfect for the sunny weather we have been having recently. I wore these wedges, which I picked up for next to nothing in a charity shop last year, to give me a bit of height with the midi-length. It is perfect for swooshing around and I always feel quite elegant when I wear it.  My hair was actually co-operating so I left that down and kept my make up fairly simple to leave the focus on the dress. 


Cue cheesy couple photo! I always realise how much I miss Mark during the holidays as we don't tend to see each other very often due to where we live. I am such a sap but I really do love him ♥ Luckily both of our families like each other and Mark is willing to spend time with my feral siblings lovely family ;) 


I mean who wouldn't love a face like that?! 


I have been experimenting more with liquid eyeliner recently but I haven't yet found one which I have fallen in love with. The No. 7 Amazing Eyes Liner is nice but doesn't seem to stay on all day whereas the Rimmel one I am wearing here has the most rubbish brush in the world! I guess my quest to find the perfect idiot-proof liquid eyeliner continues...

Do you have clothes that you can rely on whatever the occasion? What liquid eyeliner would you recommend? 

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