Saturday, 29 June 2013

Digital print maxi dress...

Now that summer is finally here to stay (fingers crossed!) I have been making the most of the sunshine and trying to wear my gorgeous new maxi dress as much as possible. This fiery orange beauty was a sneaky purchase from Monki last payday and I couldn't be happier with it. I ummed and aahed for ages between the dress and the skirt version in this print but I'm glad I went for the dress- much less faff when getting dressed in the morning as I don't have to find a top too ;)

Dress: Monki, belt: Primark, shoes: Nine West

I love how bright the colours are and the pixelly print is much more interesting than one of my many floral maxi dresses. It is definitely eye-catching and matched this skinny orange belt perfectly! (I love it when that happens!) 

This is actually supposed to be a midi dress but as I am sadly lacking in willowy long legs, it is more like a maxi on me. I actually prefer it this length though, no stepping on the bottom of your dress and accidentally garroting yourself (ahem) and short enough to show off your shoes! As you can see, the lining for the skirt only reaches mid thigh but luckily it isn't too sheer without it ;)

These gorgeous tan peeptoe shoes are a summer staple and get pulled out every year, I don;t know what I am going to do when they finally give up the ghost! I have been scouring eBay but haven't had any luck so far...

Are you too mini for a maxi dress? Are any of your shoes irreplaceable?


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Making wedges wearable...

Whenever I am nervous about wearing a particular item of clothing, I pair it with old favourites in an effort to tone down whatever it is I am scared of. My Topshop wedges are a bit 'out there' and I wasn't sure how well they would go down at work but I figured that a Friday was the perfect day to try them out. I have worn them quite a few times since I bought them and they are really comfy, I think they will make perfect  dancing shoes! I can't see these black ones on the website but they have the grey and brown pairs which also look pretty nice...

This is pretty much this outfit with slightly snazzier shoes but it just goes to show, even fashion bloggers wear the same outfits repeatedly ;) I was lucky enough to visit the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery a couple of weeks ago with work (which is absolutely amazing by the way and well worth a visit!) and this necklace was a sneaky purchase from the gift shop. I love unusual jewellery and the Herbert has an amazing selection from local artists and I'm guessing most museums do. Much cheaper than Topshop and supporting local craftspeople, what more could you ask for?! 

I told you these were jazzy!  I love the gold buckles and the wedge is just high enough to make my legs look longer without causing me to topple forward a very real possibility when you are as clumsy as I am! 

How do you wear things that are out of your comfort zone? 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

What a fashion blogger wears to the gym...

I posted a while ago about needing to lose some weight and recently I joined a local gym and have been going a few times a week. Anyone who knows me will laugh at the thought of me in the gym but I have actually been enjoying it and it is nice to have an hour to myself in the evening after I get home from work. I am never going to look particularly glamourous in gym wear but it definitely helps to look good if you want to feel better. I picked up this bright coral top and snazzy leggings at a local sports store, I have never been one for wearing a lot of black so why would I want to change the habit of a lifetime?! 

Top: Adidas, leggings: Adidas, socks: Adidas, trainers: c/o Sports Shoes
 These trainers were sent to me by Sports Shoes and have made going to the gym so much nicer. I love how bright they are and most importantly they support my feet. I used to just wear a pair of cheap trainers whenever I was exercising but since switching to these, my knee has stopped aching which can be no bad thing!

These trainers are ridiculously light and make my gym bag much easier to carry. These Tesco cleansing wipes have been perfect for taking off my make-up before I start my workout, my face without make-up may not be pretty but it saves my skin from trying to sweat though my make-up (niiiice)

A close up of the neon pink and flexi-sole which is supposed to make it feel like you are running barefoot. I'm not sure how true this is but it certainly helps with my ungainly stride! 

Does looking stylish help you feel better when you are exercising?
P.S. This post was done in collaboration with Sports Shoes

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Victoriana mark II

There's something about lace dresses that I just can't resist. This is completely different to my beloved lace dress from Monki but with the high neckline, they both have a hint of Victoriana about them which I love. I just realised that this dress is basically a day time appropriate version of my favourite festive frock which seems fitting as they were both from Miss Sefridge. I clearly gravitate towards similar clothes without even realising! I picked up this dress when I was shopping with a friend. Naomi made me promise that if it didn't fit or if I ever got bored of it, that I would pass it on to her but unfortunately for her, I can't see this leaving my wardrobe any time soon!

Dress: Miss Selfridge, tights: Tesco, shoes: New Look
There's something about a high lacy neckline that gets me every time, I guess I can't resist the peekaboo nature! Without it, this dress would be far too plain for me but it jazzes it up enough that I don't have to think about jewellery or a belt. This is always particularly useful if when I am running late in the morning (read, always!)

I have said before that I'm not a fan of a dipped hem but if a dress is pretty enough then I don't mind it too much, there just has to be enough length at the front. Luckily, unlike a lot of Miss Selfridge dresses and skirts, this isn't too short and I would even feel comfortable enough to wear it with nude tights...

Twisted curls and the pretty cut out back...

Do you like dipped hems? What styles do you gravitate towards?


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Counting your blessings...

Life has been more than a little hectic recently and I have been constantly complaining for the past few weeks (poor Mark!). Rather than staying grumpy, I have been trying to appreciate the things I do have rather than the things I don't and actually I have a hell of a lot to be grateful for. I thought it would be nice to share some of the things that have been making me smile, the little things make a hell of a difference! Apologies for the Instagram photos, I don't usually post them on the blog but sometimes your SLR is too much of a faff! #firstworldproblems

Peonies are my favourite flowers and these have been brightening up the flat for a while now and smell absolutely gorgeous! 

Pretty cross stitch tea-towels to help to make washing and drying up slightly more enjoyable...

Gin + tonic + elderflower= perfection. Now I just need to work out how to make my own version in much larger quantities...

Carrot cake and iced peach lemonade are the best way to celebrate the end of the working week, Costa really is dangerous!

A little friend who we got for buying the paper when we visited Manchester. Mark and I would both love a dog but Betty will have to do until then...

I know every blogger and their dog has this bedding but it is just so pretty! I have always been a big fan of ASDA bedding, I don't know what it is about their duvets but they are just so darn comfy!

It is so nice to spend the weekends catching up with friends- this picture was taken on a lazy day spent in various pub gardens by the river. Although I may complain about the rural location where we live, views like this make it all worth while... 

I know my new shoes won't be to everyone's taste but I absolutely love them! I have never been particularly cool (understatement of the century) but these Topshop wedges make me feel like I can conquer the world and they have been the perfect boost to my confidence (or lack thereof ) recently.

What are you grateful for? Share your smiles with me below!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Monochrome floral dress...

Wearing only black and white has never really been my thing, I prefer bright colours to black and white and monochrome has always felt just a bit too safe for me. There are some notable exceptions to this rule, I loved this spotty top from Next and this maxi skirt and blouse combination is perfect for the summer but generally I steer clear of the (black and) white stuff. I really shouldn't have bought this dress from Primark, I try not to buy clothes that won't last more than a few washes but I loved the fit of this and the length makes it perfect for work.

Dress: Primark, belt: Primark, shoes: French Sole c/o Spartoo
A slick of eyeliner and a mini beehive worked perfectly with the high neckline. I have been having a bit of trouble with my skin recently but it seems to have cleared up. It's amazing how much it can dent your confidence when your skin is less than perfect so I am glad it is looking fresher. The last thing I want to be doing is wearing a full face of make-up in the warmer weather!

My Office loafers are probably the most worn shoes in my wardrobe and it is starting to show. The inside is completely ruined so I have been looking for a pair of patent flats to replace them. You know how much I love my leopard print French Sole flats and when I saw this patent pair I thought they would make a worthy replacement. They don't fit as well as my other French Sole pair but I'm hoping that the leather will soften as I wear them.

Do you have any tips for keeping your skin clear?

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

Monday, 10 June 2013

Manchester, I love you... (PICTURE HEAVY)

Manchester has been on my list of places to visit for a long time now, both Mark and I have family who live there but we have never actually got round to visiting. This weekend we finally made it up there and did a whirlwind tour of the city before heading over to Mark's brother's house for a barbeque to celebrate his birthday. We only had a couple of hours in town but I fell in love with the city and I will definitely be back. Warning: this does sound like the Tourist Board have asked me to write a gushing piece about the city but I was just bowled over by the place; I mean how could you not love somewhere with more trams than you could shake a stick at?!

The Old Wellington near the Corn Exchange looked brilliant, I love the wood panelling on the eaves of the pub and it was absolutely heaving with people. Apparently there was some kind of festival on over the weekend and it was pretty busy but despite the crowds, everyone was in a good mood because of the sunshine...

The Oast House is an absolutely amazing building, next time I visit, I definitely want to go there, the food looked incredible!

I loved all of the different street performers that were around, this guy looked like he had been blown off his feet by the wind, I don't know how he managed to balance without falling over!

I know not everyone is a fan of buskers but this guy was incredible, he had such an amazing voice! Apparently the 'Hoochie Coochie Mancunian' is the 'self-proclaimed king of buskers'- it's hard to disagree when you hear him sing...

The highlight of our trip was undoubtedly the Lego store in the Arndale centre. Mark and I were very excited and we spent ages in there trying to decide what to buy. Mark was very taken by Jabba's palace...

...whereas I wanted to take home the Arkham Asylum, just look how amazing Poison Ivy is!  I have major hair envy...

In the end though I settled for a worried looking Frodo, a jazzy Wonder Woman and a Stormtrooper for Mark. Next time I go, I will definitely be bringing Gimli home with me...

A really cool water feature near the Printworks, there was a paved stream which extended down the street but I didn't manage to get a photo so here is one to show you what it looked like...

The building for the National Football Museum was really cool and looked amazing in the sunlight. Apparently the museum used to be in Sheffield but not enough people visited it so they moved it to Manchester in 2011. 

Spinningfields is a 'business, retail and residential development in the west of Manchester city centre' (ooh fancy!) and it really reminded me of Canary Wharf or the Mailbox in Birmingham. How great are these flats though?! I'd love to live in the ones in the middle!

We called into the People's History Museum for a quick look at the post-1945 political posters (the perils of hanging out with two politics geeks!) and I really wish we had had more time to spend there as it was absolutely fascinating. I will definitely be devoting a full day to look round the museum next time, there looked like so many interesting collections. I especially wanted to see the one relating to Emily Wilding Davison and women's suffrage but we didn't have time :( 

Possibly my favourite poster in the collection...

Sir Robert Peel looking out over the city - I love playing guess the famous figure with statues, I had never even heard of half of the people whose statues we saw, I think I need to brush up on my history!

Beetham Tower - apparently this is not only the tallest building in Manchester but the tallest residential building in the world. I would hate to live on the top floor if the lifts broke down! 


Me and Paul by the National Football Museum - can you see the family resemblance between him and Mark?!

Mark looking like a German tourist...

The placement of these windmills was a bit random and I had to look them up when I got home as I was so intrigued by them. Apparently the artist saw the reflection of the Triangle Shopping Centre and the old Corn Exchange in Selfridges' window, thought it looked like a sandcastle and came up with these over-sized beach windmills. Thanks Manchester Evening News!

The birthday boy looking decidedly unimpressed. I'm not sure if that face was because of the chocolate cake or the insanely strong vodka jelly, who knows?! 

I hope you enjoyed my whistle-stop tour; have you ever been to Manchester? Where do I need to visit next time I go?



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