Thursday, 31 May 2012

Date night...

When you are busy working, it can be difficult to find time to spend together so Mark and I always try to make sure that we do something at least once a month, usually on 30th (which is our anniversary!). Last night we went to Theoc House, a local restaurant and the food was LOVELY. There's nothing I like more than a good burger!

It was a lot cooler last night but still really muggy so I wore one of my infamous Primark dresses with my 80s-tastic ASOS blazer...

Dress: Primark, blazer: ASOS, bag: c/o Accessories Direct, shoes: ASDA
This blazer is truly fantastic, the boxy shape makes it perfect for work although I have to push the sleeves up to make it less overpowering on me...

A close up of that fantastic tweed, I love it so much, I even have the matching skirt!

I told you I would buy the nude version of these shoes! For £12 they are ridiculously comfy and perfect for adding a bit of  height when I have to spend a day at work. 

It was so nice to spend some time together and it is definitely a tradition I look forward to continuing!

Do you do 'date nights'? What items do you buy in multiples?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Vintage stripes & Jesus sandals...

 My mum spotted this dress in a charity shop and she knew straight away that I would love it. It is homemade but has a proper label and I would guess it is a 50s day dress from the shape and fit. The dress fits me like a dream, it is almost as if it is made for me and for £6 you can't really go wrong!

Dress: vintage via charity shops, bolero: vintage (with dress), bag: ASOS, sandals: Primark, sunglasses: Accessorize
 This outfit was perfect for the sunshine we have been having, fitted but loose enough to keep me cool and the cat eye sunglasses made me feel very 50s with the swooshy skirt...

The bolero is so cute too, it nips in to define the waist and it gave me a bit of coverage on my shoulders too. Apologies for the ghostly glow, Factor 50 sunscreen left me a bit pale!

A pair of super simple Jesus sandals leather sandals which remind me of these ones from Zara but for a fraction of the price, these were only £12 from Primark and they are super comfortable. They slip off at the back, I think I will have to get a pair with an ankle strap so that they stay on my feet...

Nails: Purple Grey by Models Own
What do you wear in the summer? What bargains have you found recently?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Leon cherry and almond cookies with chocolate chips...

There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked goods wafting through the house, apart from not having to make them yourself.After a horrible few days of being ill and feeling sorry for myself, Mark decided to take decisive action and snap me out of my stupor by baking me some cookies.I love my Leon cookery books ( I also posted about the tracker bars I made) and Mark adapted this recipe from one in the Leon cakes and puddings book, which produced some wonderfully nutty cookies.  

200g of butter
235g of soft brown sugar
2 small eggs
130g of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
185g rolled oats
150g glacĂ© cherries
50g flaked almonds
75g chocolate chips

Before you start, put the oven on at 180C/gas mark 4 to heat as you prepare the mixture. Weight out the flour, bicarbonate of soda, oats, cherries, flaked almonds and chocolate chips and combine them in a large bowl.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs into the butter mixture one-by-one and beat until light and fluffy. 

Add the flour, oats, cherries, etc into butter and egg mixture, one spoonful at a time. 

Keep mixing it all in until it looks like this:

Scoop the mix and press into balls. 

Add the balls to a greased baking tray (you will need several!) and squash them slightly to help them spread out in the oven.

Pop them in the oven for 10 mins, until golden. 

Leave them out for at least five minutes before removing from the tray or they fall apart! Resist eating them for a further 10-15 minutes whilst they cool on a wire rack.


Cherries, chocolate and almonds are guaranteed to keep me happy but I am looking forward to experimenting with the oaty base mixture....

Have you tried Leon recipes? What is your fail-safe cookie recipe?

Friday, 25 May 2012

A love letter to Hobbs...

Like Laura Ashley, Hobbs is one of those places that I really can't afford to shop at but I still do. The thing is, their clothes and shoes are so well made that they are worth spending a bit more on and also the designs and the attention to detail really are something else. Although I'm not snobby about brands, I do think it is always worth getting the highest quality you can afford along with only buying clothes that you really love and Hobbs fits both those criteria! I bought this top in the sale before Christmas and have been waiting for the weather to warm up so I can wear it properly. Although it is sleeveless, the higher neckline means that I can wear it to work and keep cool without flashing too much flesh, always a winner!

Blazer: Tesco,  top: NW3 by Hobbs, skirt: Vila via ASOS, belt: Topshop (from this dress), shoes: Accessorize
I absolutely fell in love with the print on this top when I saw it (unfortunately the top isn't available but this rather lovely dress is instead) and I knew that it would be so versatile as I own a lot  of clothes in red, blue and yellow. It is quite a loose fit for me but it looks equally nice tucked in as it does untucked, over some skinny jeans or slim-fit trousers...

I think pencil skirts can be super flattering if you have a figure similar to mine as they tend to skim my wobbly bits quite nicely and the stretchiness helps to fit my odd measurements, I told you that there was quite a substantial difference between my waist and hips! 
Please excuse my face, I'm not quite sure what's going on!
This pencil skirt is ridiculously comfy as it is made out of a think jersey fabric but unfortunately the waistband rolls slightly, do you have any tips to stop it from curling up?

What do you wear to keep cool in the heat? Which brands do you love?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

(Not) those infamous H&M trousers...

 No, not those lovely floral print trousers (as worn by Kristabel and many other bloggers) but rather a rather jazzy pair which I bought them for £7 in the sale as I was completely seduced by the gorgeous turquoisey colour but I have worn a total of 2 times, despite owning them for 2 years. A gloomy Sunday required something to brighten it up so I thought these would be perfect...

Trousers: H&M, top: H&M, jacket: Miss Selfridge, shoes: M&S, bag: Monki
 I kept the rest of the outfitsimple so as not to look too crazy in Morrisons [although I still did get some funny looks!]

 I really need to find a replacement for this top, I wore it to death through uni and as it's polyester it has got really bobbly and it has almost completely disintegrated :(

This is supposed to be a washbag but it is the perfect size for a little clutch bag, I want one in every colour!

Wearing these trousers was very freeing. I felt super confident in them too, I suppose you have to be if you are wearing the world's most attention seeking trousers! I seem to have a thing for H&M's trousers recently but when they fit this well, why would you want to change?!

Would you wear printed trousers? How would you style them?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Green vegetable salad with crispy chorizo and pesto...

I adapted this dinner from a Waitrose recipe card that I picked up the other week. We have had some chorizo in the fridge for a while now and I was totally lacking inspiration about what to do with it so this recipe couldn't have come at a better time... [Recipe I think is too strong a word for this, it is basically a load of yummy ingredients thrown together, there's not much method involved...]

Serving suggestion: best eaten with a glass of rose and good company.

♥ New potatoes
♥ Green vegetables- the recipe suggests green beans but I added leeks and brocolli, I think broad beans would be lovely too
♥ Chorizo
♥ Tomatoes
♥ Spinach
♥ Borlotti beans or similar- butter beans or chickpeas would also work well in this recipe
♥ Pesto

Put your potatoes on and keep on a running boil f(or 20 minutes in total) then place your green vegetables on after the potatoes have been cooking for 15 minutes and cook for around 5 minutes so that they finish at the same time...

In a hot pan, fry some chorizo until crispy. I added some tomatoes and spinach to add a bit of flavour. 

Add some beans/pulses to bulk it out a bit. I used bortolli beans which I have never used before but they are slightly nuttier than kidney beans and much smaller...

Once your green veg has finished cooking, drain it off and add to the frying pan...

... mix a knob of butter through the mixture until combined...

... add your potatoes and pesto...

...mix well...

...and serve! This dinner was so quick and easy to do and was absolutely bursting with flavour, even using cheaper ingredients like frozen brocolli. It was a bit strange to eat a hot salad but I will definitely be trying this again if summer ever actually arrives

Do you like hot salads? Would you eat this dinner?

Friday, 18 May 2012

Bag lady...

Whilst I was browsing for shoes on the Spartoo website, I  noticed that they also did bags. I had been looking for a new bag for work as I didn't have a bag big enough to hold my handbag essentials and my lunch [note: I eat a lot, especially when I am at work]. I figured a messenger bag would be most practical as they tend to be one big pocket and whilst I was lusting after the brightly coloured bags, I settled for the more practical black shade.. 

Jacket: Tesco, bag: c/o Spartoo, jumper: Topshop, dress: NW3 by Hobbs, shoes: Dorothy Perkins
As I have said before, I can get away with wearing fairly casual outfits to work and this denim dress is so comfortable! I love the fact that it is longer than the majority of dresses on the High Street [some of them are literally bum-skimming!] and is a really flattering fit. I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this if we ever get a summer, just imagine it with bright colours and sandals... Plus, I get to wear denim without wearing jeans all the time! ;)

My favourite part of this though is definitely the bodice, I think a sweetheart neckline is universally flattering, especially if you have a figure like mine. I loved the contrast between the soft angora of the jumper and the more utilitarian denim too, I love texture in outfits!

Outtake of the day: nearly being blown away by the gale force wind outside. Although it was fairly bright and sunny, it was absolutely freezing, I think the weather is struggling to make up its mind too!

What type of bag do you have for work? How do you wear denim?
P.S. This post was written in collaboration with Spartoo

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hot pink and dalmatian print...

If you know me, you know I love hot pink. It's a colour I always go back to and when I saw these trousers in H&M it was love at first sight. I had been looking for some clothes to update my work wardrobe and these were perfect, a classic shape in a modern and fun colour. 

Blazer: New Look, top: H&M, trousers: H&M, belt: H&M, shoes: George at ASDA, necklace: Accessorize 
With trousers this bright, I thought I had better tone the rest of my outfit down so I stuck to a monochrome palette...

Messenger bag: c/o Spartoo
Totally in love with my bag too, it is the perfect size for work and even manages to fit my lunch in [not bad considering that needed a bag all of its own before!] I only wish it was leather although PVC is probably a bit easier to keep clean!

Unusually with these trousers, they fitted both my waist and my hips, quite a feat when you consider the size difference between the two... I think my waist is 30" whereas my hips are 38", quite a difference!

These shoes are definitely  my favourite bit of the outfit though, you  know how much I love a good block heel! The best part though? They cost the measly sum of £12 (!) and are ridiculously comfortable, get yourself to ASDA, pronto!

What are your recent bargains? Which colour do you always go back to?

Monday, 14 May 2012

Mint florals...

I love pastels, they remind me of spring and blossom and all things lovely. The only thing is, I look a bit ghostly if I try and wear them, the combination of pale, pink-tinged skin and pastel tones is not a good one.  I don't tend to follow trends religiously but the abundance of mint green all over the High Street has been difficult to ignore and I was determined to make it work for me. When I saw this dress in Primark, the bold floral splashes convinced me that they made the dress more wearable and so I found myself at the till, dress in hand.

Leather jacket: New Look, dress: Primark, belt: Primark, sunglasses: Primark, loafers: Office

Luckily it looks good with black (another colour that I don't wear very often) This leather jacket is one of the biggest bargains I have ever had and I wear it all the time... This backdrop is just around the corner from our flat and I loved the dappled sunlight and gorgeous blossom, with the sunshine it almost felt like Spring!

In an attempt to be more adventurous with my make-up, I actually wore eye shadow which I haven't done since I was about 14. I used to be obsessed with Rimmels's green eye-shadow [don't ask me why!] but this Little Round Pot in Anis from Bourjois is infinitely more sophisticated...

Blusher: Model's Own in Peach Blush, the most natural peach colour I have found. 
My amazing bargain from ASDA of all places. I have been looking for a watch for work for ages and this one fitted the bill perfectly as I have never been able to pull off chunky watches, more delicate bracelet style ones are what I prefer and I don't have to worry about breaking it as it is a lot sturdier than it looks...

The perfect shade of mint on my sunglasses, another Primark bargain!

How do you adapt trends to suit you? What colour are you lusting over at the moment?


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