Saturday, 29 September 2012

How to make fish pie...

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 Now I know it isn't for everyone but fish pie has to be one of my favourite dinners, it is (relatively) good for you and is definitely high on my list of comfort foods.  I made this one last weekend and deliberately made a huge one, Mark and I had a massive portion each and we have another 2 dinners (at least) in the freezer...


I swear that the best fish pies include smoked haddock, prawns and lots of garden peas. Break your fish up into the dish you will be using and stick it in the microwave on a medium heat for 2 minutes at a time, stirring until your fish is cooked. BEWARE, your house will smell of fish but the finished product tastes so good you won't even care...


Whilst your fish is cooking, prepare your white sauce. I always melt a blob of butter and then mix it with some flour then add milk slowly until you have a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool slightly. If you have any parsley, chop it finely and add it to your sauce as this also tastes amazing...


Chop some potatoes and cook for 22 minutes, drain them off and leave to cool before adding a splash of milk, blob of butter and mashing them...


Drain any excess liquid off your fish once cooked (niiiice) then mix in your white sauce.  Add your mash and score the top with a fork (this means you will get nice crispy bits of mashed potato on the top...)


 Preheat your oven to 200°C  and cook your fish pie for around 30 minutes or until golden brown


Serve with your choice of vegetables and enjoy curled up with a good film.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Student nostalgia...

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With everyone posting about university (I particularly like Hayley's post about  things she wished she knew before uni) it has made me all nostalgic for my student days. Now I couldn't be happier than I am now, not being a student (especially now I have a job I enjoy) but I do sometimes wish I could spend more than just the weekends curled up in bed! I have had this dress since college (!) and is one of those things that I just can't bear to throw away as it is just so easy to throw on...

Dress: Oasis, cardigan: Dorothy Perkins, satchel: Benetton c/o Spartoo, belt: vintage,  boots: c/o Spartoo
I felt very student-y wearing this outfit, I think it was the combination of the satchel and boots but also slightly like a cowgirl, all I needed was a hat to complete the illusion...


I don't know what it is about these boots but I just feel so darn cool in them and confident too, which is something I never was until I went to uni. Although I still have the occasional wobbles, I am almost unrecognisable as the girl who started at Warwick back in 2008. Starting this blog with Danni back in October 2009 was one of the best things I ever did but I never would have imagined that I would (willingly) take photos of myself and put them up on the internet (OOER!) but university gave me the confidence to try completely new things and that has got to be one of the best things it ever did for me. I loved my degree but the confidence it bestowed is much more valuable and I am now a lot more willing to take risks, fashion or otherwise... 


Admittedly I probably should have worn this dress with black tights, it is fairly short and those boots aren't doing the length of my legs any favours but it was the perfect attire for mooching round the shops on a Saturday (a favourite pastime of mine when I was a student!)

What did university teach you?

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Panda print...

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This blazer is definitely a case of heart overriding head- is there really any need for a blazer covered in miniature pandas? Not really but there is definitely a want! Although I love blazers, this one and my tweed one are the only ones which are patterned. And I think this one may be pretty difficult to beat...

Blazer: Primark, dress: Debenhams via charity shop, belt: Primark, tights:ASDA,  socks: H&M, boots:  c/o Spartoo
 I kept the rest of the outfit simple (and wore this dress backwards to make it a bit more wearable!) and let the panda print do all the talking, it is definitely a worthy addition to my #wardrobezoo...


Aren't they just adorable?! Everyone thought that it was a geometric or floral print until they got close up and saw these little fellas in all their glory. This blazer is really cute and I think I was subconsciously influenced by the WWF's guerilla (or panda, har har) marketing campaign which I had seen a few days earlier! 


Now I will never look as good as Michelle in cute socks and ankle boots but I will give it a good go, especially now the temperature is back down to single figures again, I am not a fan of the frosty mornings, it feels far too much like winter already :( I want it to be warm again, like the weather in my last outfit post


Do you have a wardrobe zoo? How do you make your simple outfits not feel boring?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Oranges and lemons...

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For a few glorious hours, I could put my sunglasses back on and pretend I was back in Italy. I actually wore this dress when I was away but when the sun came out I pulled it out of the wardrobe again. Paired with my favourite summer shoes, it was probably my cheeriest outfit to date...

Dress: Dorothy Perkins, shoes: Clarks, sunglasses: Accessorize, watch: Guess
The shape of this dress is one I tend to favour with its nipped in waist and swooshy skirt but the pattern is not something I would usually choose, I don't tend to like things that are too direct a rip off of the catwalks and this was definitely inspired by that Stella McCartney show but it's pretty fun and looks great in the sunshine too...


For someone who never used to wear yellow, I sure have a lot of it! These shoes from Clarks are so comfy and such a talking point you would be crazy not to buy them (especially when they are on sale!)

Watch: Guess via Sherin 
Still in love with my watch despite my initial misgivings. I always find the things I am slightly ambivalent about are always the ones I become completely attached to (case in point a ridiculously unflattering gold Gap cardigan which is still floating around somewhere, rips and all...)
I'm worth it...
Outtake of the day: trying to flip my hair out of my face, I'm not sure I could look much more ridiculous!

What outfits put a smile on your face? Do you have clothes that are blatant catwalk rip offs?

Monday, 17 September 2012

Cream lace and studded shoes...

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Can you say cliché?! This outfit looks like every festival inspired look or 'ways to toughen up a pretty dress' post that you have ever read but oh well! My new boots arrived at the weekend and I couldn't have been happier. I have been looking for some black ankle boots for ages and these ones are lovely- the leather is so soft and the studs are very subtle and perfect for adding a bit of interest to a more practical shoe...

Dress: Forever 21, belt:ribbon, shoes: Betty London from Spartoo
I wore this dress to celebrate my Grandad's birthday and although it was perhaps a silly idea to wear a cream dress when eating curry, I did appreciate the elasticated waistline ;) A new photo location too, my grandparents really do have a beautiful garden...


I love the wooden heels on these boots, I do wish they were slighter higher but actually, being flat, they will be much more practical once the weather gets worse.


For now though, I will enjoy wearing impractical clothing in the last of the sunshine...
OH HAI beautiful new ankle boots
I would never have usually chosen boots like this in the past but recently I have found myself drawn to things that are slightly edgier than I would usually pick and these boots are a perfect example of how my style has changed since I started blogging. 

How has your style changed? Have you been making the most of the sunshine?
P.S. This post was done in collaboration with Spartoo

Friday, 14 September 2012

Monochrome polka dots...

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A little while ago I was offered the opportunity to review something from Next after being sent a voucher to use in store. I am always in two minds about Next if I'm honest, I love seeing the pictures from their press days and inevitably end up craving absolutely everything but so little seems to filter down to the store near me, one of the perils of being a country bumpkin I guess! Thank God for out of town retail parks though, as the one near me has a huge Next store which had so many nice home-ware pieces and more than enough clothes. I managed to get a top and a skirt for just over £40 which I think is pretty reasonable especially when places like Topshop charge that for just a skirt... I love the slightly longer sleeves on this top and polka dots will always be a winner in my book! It was a bit of a culture shock coming back from blazing sunshine but the new clothes are helping to cushion the blow as I ease myself back into my work routine... (first world problems, I know!)

Top: c/o Next, blazer: New Look, skirt: ASOS, belt: Primark, shoes: New Look, watch: Guess which I won off the lovely Sherin! 
  I paired this top with my denim ASOS skirt which I bought in my first year of uni (it seems so long since I was a fresher, *sob*), a skirt which went on the eBay pile a while back but never quite got sold- sounding familiar yet?! I tried it on again and I have fallen back in love with it, I think it will be getting a lot of use with my new boots, thick tights and jumpers this winter...


I love the length of the sleeves on this and of course polka dots will always be a favourite and I know that this will also get a lot of wear...


My new favourite accessory! I won this beautiful Guess watch off the lovely Sherin and although I was a bit unsure about the blue colour, I actually love it and it has proven a real talking point. I think when you wear something every day, you have to love it and my heart has definitely been stolen by this little guy. All of my favourite watches have been Guess ones so definitely check them out if you are on the hunt for a new watch!

Which brands are you always a bit unsure about? What clothes can you not bear to part with?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

What to wear on holiday...

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As you all know, summer in Italy is absolutely gorgeous, blazing sunshine and ridiculously hot, I don't think it dropped below 35 degrees until the very last day. I usually hate summer clothing, I never know what to wear when it is warm but I think I did a pretty good job of packing this time and I wanted to give my recommendations for what to wear...

Top: Gap, skirt: Kimchi Blue at Urban Outfitters, sunglasses: Accessorize
Shoes: Marks & Spencer
Patterned skirts/shorts and plain sleeveless tops- the pattern on this skirt incorporated a few colours making it extremely versatile and the light cotton of both the top and skirt was ideal for keeping me cool as I was sight-seeing. I have this Gap top in at least 5 colour-ways and the fit is second to none. I don't know what it is about these ones but they hold their shape after wearing and washing and the ribbed fabric is way more flattering than a plain style... I also had two amazing pairs of patterned shorts but I didn't get any pictures, I will have to dig them out again!

Draped top: H&M

High waisted shorts: Miss Selfridge, stripey top: Gap (as above!)
High waisted shorts and neutral colours - These high waisted shirts from Miss Selfridge proved to be a life-saver, the denim is super soft and stretchy, much like my favourite jeans and the higher waistline meant I could eat as much pizza and pasta as I wanted without feeling self conscious. The draped top from H&M also skimmed over any potential food babies whilst paying homage to the wonderful drapery on the local statues and the stripey top is exactly the same top from Gap but in a lovely pale stripe. 

Top: Gap (as above) skirt: Pepe Jeans, shoes: Marks & Spencer (borrowed off my mum)
Dress: River Island via ASOS, floral belt: George at ASDA, sandals: Clarks via Spartoo

Dress: vintage via charity shop, sandals: Marks & Spencers (as above)
Midi length skirts and dresses- This gorgeous bright skirt has been with me on all of my trips to Italy, the length means that it is suitable for all sights, including the Vatican. Many places won't let you in unless you are dressed appropriately so a longer length skirt or dress is ideal as you just have to wrap a scarf around your shoulders to get in. This River Island dress I found so easy to wear as it is so light and also covers most of my legs, again ideal in the scorching heat. My favourite vintage dress also came along for the ride and again, the colour and cotton combination meant it was perfect for the sunshine. 


Hard working accessories and well fitting shoes: I wore these sunglasses and this bag, every day when I was away. I love the slight cat-eye on the glasses and the bag was the perfect size for fitting in my diabetes essentials and the aforementioned scarf whilst being able to keep a tight grip on!.  also wore my two pairs of Keds (these and these) but typically I don't have any pictures of me wearing them! I cannot stress enough how important it is to have shoes that fit well and I will always love Clarks and Keds as they support my feet whilst still looking pretty, no mean feat, I think you will agree!

Mark doing his best fashion blogger pose
My photo pose has become a bit of a running joke with my friends both online and off and now Mark is trying to get in on the action, do you think he is fashion blogger ready?! 


A nice natural photo of the two of us, I definitely need to get this printed off, I have so many photo frames to fill! As you can see I wore a lot of red on holiday (why deviate from a colour I love?!) and hopefully my holiday wardrobe isn't so wildly different to my normal one, just slightly more leg on show ;)

What do you wear on holiday? Do you have a signature pose?

P.S. This post was done in collaboration with Spartoo

Monday, 10 September 2012

Days 3 and 4: The Colosseum and the Pantheon...

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♥ This amazing building was just opposite the police station, don't you think the colours and architecture make it look Portuguese?
♥ A little Fiat police car...
♥ Striking a pose outside the Colosseum
The Arch of Constantine- it was so amazing to see this in person after studying it at uni, my Early Christianity module was one of my favourites so this was really awe-inspiring stuff! 
♥ The Colosseum- such an iconic building and pretty much a glorified roundabout ;)
♥ The temple of Castor and Pollux (or what's left of it!) in the Forum. This looked so precarious, it's a good job you couldn't get too close!
♥ The most delicious bruschetta eaten in a tiny pizzeria near the Trevi fountain... 
♥ The Forum- I love how things are left where they have fallen or been excavated
♥ Chilling in the Colosseum... I asn't quite sure what to expect from one of the world's most iconic buildings but it was just very brown. I thought they might have made a bit more effort with the inside (I wanted fake lions!) but the scale was jaw dropping...
♥ A slight fish-eye view of 'Il Colosseo'
♥ La piazza della Minerva- this was tucked around the corner from the Pantheon and when I saw the elephant I was super excited as you can tell from my smug little face!
The Pantheon was perhaps my second favourite touristy site- the conversion from a pagan temple to a Christian church resulted in some rather OTT decoration and it is a strange mix. I am always surprised by how these iconic buildings are surrounded by so many other buildings, I always imagined them to be in acres of space!
♥ The oculus in the dome of the Pantheon filled the church with light even though it had been raining not long before...
♥ This plaque was covered in dust and I loved how the light caught it in the entrance.

I decided to clump days 3 and 4 together as day 3 was pretty much a write off as my dad had his wallet stolen on the Metro. You really do have to have your wits about you otherwise you spend the best part of a gorgeous day stuck inside a police station, not really my idea of fun! What I loved most about Rome was being able to visit such iconic buildings with the minimum amount of planning. There was something interesting round every corner and I enjoyed just wandering around as much as visiting 'real sites'.

Have you ever been to Rome? What did you enjoy the most?

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