Meadham Kirchhoff x Amazon scarf...

I have always been a massive fan of designer collaborations, I will never be able to afford couture (only in my dreams!) or the ready-to-wear collections so this is as close as I can get to getting a taste of the high life! Initially I was slightly skeptical of the idea of Meadham Kirchhoff working together with Amazon but when this beautiful scarf arrived, I fell in love! Apparently  "the Drawings design is a visual archive of Edward's sketches from our 'Cosmology of Women' autumn 11 show'' and I adore all of the different outfits you can see on the scarf...

Jumper: charity shop, scarf: c/o Meadham Kirchhoff x Amazon
First things first, this scarf is actually huge! I had a lot of fun playing around with it by the river in Tewkesbury- my (slightly less glamourous) homage to the Vogue pictures of the collection ;)

Oh hello!

This is the slightly sheepish face of true love! The more I look at this scarf, the more I notice in the pattern. It is also edged in a beautiful pastel pink/baby blue that reminds me of a winter sunrise (how poetic!) Honestly, if I didn't wear this so much, I would happily frame it and display it!

Which pattern would you have chosen?
P.S. This scarf was sent to me for review

Teapots and mustard...

Occasionally certain pieces of clothing become extremely popular with the blogging community and this Very teapot dress is another one of those blogger specials! Both Sarah and Gemma  own it (and look absolutely gorgeous in it!) and when you see its cute print and flattering shape, you can understand why it is just so popular. I had a bit of trouble getting hold of a dress in the right size (if anyone is interested in buying a size 10 version, please let me know!) but when it arrived, I couldn't have been happier.  The fit is true to size (perhaps a little generous around the bust) and it is really easy to wear. I paired my dress with all mustard accessories but you could easily pick up some of the other colours in the pattern and pair it with purple or red too! Very is not a brand I have ever bought from before as I was always put off by the fact it seemed like you had to sign up for store credit to pay for your (fairly expensive) purchases (you don't FYI) but I was really pleased with this dress and I will be keeping an eye out for their sale- I want this dress in every colour and print!

Dress: Very, shoes: c/o Zalando, belt: Miss Selfridge (off a playsuit)
I am always slightly wary of dresses with sleeves, they are much more flattering on my less than slender arms (at least until I get on with actually doing Sophie’s triceps exercises!) but as a 'human radiator', I always get far too warm. Luckily these ones are  loose enough that your arms don’t get all claustrophobic (surely this can’t just be me?!) and gently skim over my wobbly bits thanks to some oh so flattering ruching...

I mean just look how flattering this dress is! The shape of this dress reminded me of a classic 1940s tea dress so I wanted some quite classic shoes to pair with it. These mustard shoes were sent to me a while ago but I don’t wear them as much as I would like as I always forget that I have them (oops). I am always a bit wary of wearing heels when I have to get the train (I blame falling flat on my face one winter evening for that one!) but this pair are reassuringly ‘solid’. Mustard can be a difficult colour to wear but I really love it with navy; it is much more interesting than beige or cream but it still looks quite classic.

Please ignore the creases in the dress, I have just realised how much this needed ironing!
Have you succumbed to the lure of this Very nice dress? (har har)

Gorgeous glasses 8) ...

 When I went to the opticians last year, I was terrified slightly apprehensive. I knew that I needed to wear glasses, having worn them throughout my teen years (hilarious MySpace photo proof here!)  but I had never managed to find a pair that I liked enough to wear consistently so when I was told that I needed to wear them all the time, I panicked. Luckily there is a lot more choice available now (especially for the right price!) and over the past year I have had some rather lovely pairs making full use of the various deals at Specsavers to give myself a bit of choice. Mark is always horrified that I am willing to pay so much for some frames but I figure that I am wearing them everyday and a good fashion blogger needs choice, amirite?! ;)

This pair were from the Gok Wan at Specsavers range and were my go to pair for everyday wear. The colour and shape are pretty inoffensive and easy to wear without becoming the focus of an outfit. I liked them but they never set the world on fire...

These glasses on the other hand were a statement pair, worn when I was feeling either particularly confident or particularly timid. It is difficult to be shy and retiring when you have such a humongous pair of frames on your face! I actually preferred the colour of these to the other Gok Wan pair but they can seem a bit harsh and definitely need to be paired with strong lipstick to work!   

These burgundy beauties are a new addition to my glasses collection and are actually from Karen Millen- not a brand I was particularly familiar with, until I saw these beauties. I love the burgundy frame and they are an easy way to introduce a splash of colour to an outfit without looking too gimmicky. The tone of the  purple seems to change depending on what colours I wear them with which I also like, you can't beat versatility! 

 As you can see, I tend to go for an oversized cat-eye shape and this pair are absolutely gorgeous. I think the  shape of the frame suits my face better than my last oversized pair and the gold detail across the top adds some subtle glamour. (The fact that they reminded me of a more wearable version of these also helped with my choice!) It was really difficult to photograph them properly but this photo gives more of an idea of the blinginess...

Despite my unsure looking face, this last pair have probably been my favourite ones to wear recently. When MyOptique asked if I wanted to try one of the pairs of glasses from their 'London Retro' range, I leapt at the chance. These glasses are like the lovechild of my first two pairs and those of a 1950s secretary- cat eye perfection! I was worried that they might seem a little costume-y at first but actually the shape is less cartoony in real life and more subtle than these photos make them seem. I had never heard of London Retro before they got in touch but any brand that names a range of glasses after Tube stations is A-OK with me...

 A snazzy orange leather lined case doesn't hurt either! 8)

Do you wear glasses? How do you choose your frames?

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

Tapestry dress...

The best part of blogging for me has always been the community. I have made some wonderful friends and I will never cease to be amazed by the helpfulness of people online, especially when a pretty dress is involved! ;) I first saw this dress on Alex and fell immediately in love but unfortunately it was out of stock online in my size and my local store didn't have it either. Luckily, Alex is all kinds of awesome and managed to find me one in my size and get it posted out to me from a store up by her and I couldn't have been more excited than when I opened up my parcel the other week, you have to love 'Internet friends'!

I do actually already own a tapestry dress from Warehouse but I tend to keep that for nights out as it is quite a bit shorter and way more cleavage-y! This however has a beautifully high neckline and a lovely A-line skirt and thus is even appropriate for work! I am a big fan of buying clothes that I like in as many colours and cuts as possible as I know that I suit them or at least will want to wear them. The colours in the pattern are absolutely beautiful and I imagine my jewel toned tights will be getting lots of wear with this little dress.  I wanted to wear my burgundy coloured tights but they clashed with the only cardigan that worked, so I had to wear some boring brown ones instead  #fashionbloggerproblems. I felt kind of like a jazzy librarian in this outfit (I blame the shoeboots/cardigan combo) which is never a bad thing! 

Keep an eye out for a post featuring my new glasses soon, I was a bit more adventurous with my choices this time round and this pair are such a gorgeous shade of burgundy purple! You can also see the print better here too, just look at all those beautiful colours!

Although it won't be for everyone, I really like the fact that this is sleeveless, I am never a massive fan of sleeves and actually this gives me a few more options for layering too- is anyone else picturing this with a lovely polo-neck?

In other news, you may remember that I was trying to lose weight and despite eating far too much bread recently, I have managed to shift a whole 5 lbs! It may not seem like much but it has given me the motivation I needed to spur me on! :D 

Do you buy duplicates of clothes you love or am I just a crazy hoarder?! (P.S. Don't answer that!) 

The Lazy Hostess...

Although I love having friends and family over to visit, I am the world's laziest hostess. Whilst I love fancy meals and admire anyone who has the brainpower to work out meal timings (Mark) and delicious recipes, I am not one of them.   If we ever have people over, I tend to go with my tried-and-tested combination of pizzas, homemade bread, lots of nibbly snacks and plenty of booze. It's not fancy but it sure is fun! 

This bread is always the pièce de résistance of any social gatherings that we have. I sometimes use a packet mix of Parmesan and sundried tomato but if I am feeling more adventurous I use our bread-maker to mix up a dough using 1 tsp of yeast, 14 oz of strong white flour, 15 g of butter, 1 tbsp of milk powder, 1 tbsp pf sugar, 1 tsp of salt and 280 ml of water. I sometimes add garlic or rosemary but tomato and cheese really is the best combination! Once it has made a dough (45 minutes) I knead the mixture and add it to a tray in roll shapes and bake for 15 minutes. These quantities can make a loaf or a 'tear and share' bread but the latter is better if you have a group of people over. I really love our bread-maker and the fact that you can have fresh bread within an hour never fails to cheer me up! 

The contents of our alcohol cabinet taking up a good portion of the table (ahem). We usually just buy lots of crisps, a big bag of salad and cook some new potatoes to keep everyone nice and full- no-one has complained of being hungry yet!

When I was offered the opportunity to review 'The Lazy Hostess'- Babe Scott's new book, I was intrigued. It promises to cover everything from drinks, to food and even inspiration for your outfit. (I wore a snazzy jumper and jeans combo for this meet up!) Although I cringed at some of the phrases used to describe the book (putting the 'ho' into 'hostess' being the main one) I actually really like it. The book is filled with fun quotes and easy to follow cocktail recipes (always key for me as I never know what to make/buy!)

In the name of science (!) Sophie and I decided to try and make the sinister sounding 'Mafia's Kiss' which had only 3 ingredients. I am a massive fan of Amaretto and cranberry juice so anything that manages to combine these two ingredients will definitely get my seal of approval!

I would guess that the majority of people would have at least 1 out of the three ingredients required for this cocktail so it is ideal if you need to make something at short notice that still looks and tastes fancy. Thank goodness for Mark who managed to take a photo of this before we drank the entire jug and spent the rest of the evening giggling our way through Tangled and Dirty Dancing! I particularly like the fact that the book gives quantities for both individual drinks and pitchers, it definitely helps to be able to scale your quantities up or down!

Use equal parts of vodka and amaretto and then top up with cranberry juice for a truly delicious cocktail! (I am writing this at work and can't remember the exact quantities the recipe says to use but I will update this when I get home...) 

This book would be the perfect gift for someone heading off to uni or just moving into their own house- it is fun but still comprehensive enough to ensure that your party goes with a bang! 

What is your signature cocktail?

P.S. This book was sent to me for review 

How I wore printed trousers...

This outfit has been one of my favourite ones to wear recently; it is ridiculously comfy (hello oversized top!) but these beautiful printed trousers from Topshop are jazzy enough to lift it out of complete slob territory. I usually wear it when I feel in need of cheering up- it is impossible to stay grumpy when you have such a fun bottom half! I actually spent weeks tracking down these trousers, I spotted them online but they had sold out of my size and the same was true in-store until recently. When I saw them on the rail, I launched myself at them and was at the till quicker than you could say fashion victim, I love it when a plan comes good! Printed trousers can be pretty difficult to style but but a plain top and a jazzy pair of heels go a long way to make them more wearable...

Top: Fat Face via Matilda, trousers: Topshop, belt: Primark, shoes: c/o Spartoo
I love this oversized top but it does have a tendency to make me look slightly pregnant, just look how much material there is! I'm not sure whether the excess material helps to make my waist look smaller in comparison or just make my hips look bigger ;) The fit on these trousers is a little odd too, the waist and hips are pretty roomy but the calves have absolutely no wriggle room at all- avoid these if you have legs that are any more muscular than mine! 

Navy and orange is one colour combination that I really love and this Primark belt is the perfect shade of orange to match the abstract floral print on the trousers. I am on the hunt for a dressier navy or cobalt blue top to pair with these trousers over Christmas, any ideas where I could get one? My usual search of ASOS has let me down :( 

This waffle-y texture may look cosy but it is actually made up of teeny holes that let in a lot of cold draughts-  lots of thin layers are essential with this one!
I don't need to tell you (again) how much I love these heels, I am seriously tempted to get the metallic version for the festive season, especially as I know how comfy they are! Although I'm sure I could get away with flats with this outfit, wearing heels actually gave me more of a spring in my step and the extra boost of confidence I needed to ignore the slightly confused faces of Tewkesbury's residents and wear these trousers with the panache they deserved!

How do you wear patterned trousers? Any ideas where I can get a 'fancy' cobalt blue top from?


Even though I loved this jazzy work dress, this here is a more typical work outfit for me. However much I love the look of heels, I just can't wear them on a day-to-day basis (although I admire anyone who can!) I never thought I would buy a drop-waist dress but I have been trying to break out of my sartorial comfort zone recently and this jazzy little dress from Monki (where else?!) was the perfect introduction to a less fitted style. I really love the mini hand prints that make up the pattern and it is one of the comfiest dresses I own. I imagine you will be seeing a lot more of this one!

Cardigan: Tesco, dress: Monki, tights: Tesco, shoes: New Look
When it gets colder, I plan on layering this dress up with long sleeves and knee high socks, much like I did with this dress (can you believe how long my hair is here?!) I did toy with adding a belt to this outfit to prevent looking like a sack of potatoes but hopefully I look relaxed rather than pregnant!

Just look at those teeny little hands! I am trying to use up my massive collection of lipsticks and I was pleasantly surprised by this rosy Kate Moss lipstick, I forgot how much I liked it! I tend to go for brighter shades but sometimes a neutral just looks that little bit more polished...

The print hides the drop-waist but you can see just how much extra material there is here! I love how the watch matches perfectly too, experimentation is all very well but there are some things that will never change! 

Have you got any drop-waist dresses?

A full skirt and orange heels...

When I first put this dress on the other day, I was a bit unsure about it. With my less than willowy legs I have always been quite wary of midi lengths but with my favourite pair of heels, I felt surprisingly elegant for a Thursday- usually by that point in the week I have resorted to cosy knits and jeans! This dress is a good compromise, though. The material is lovely and heavy, making it super cosy but thanks to the fact it is a dress, it still looks fancy! Based on the response I had from people (online and off) this has been one of the most popular outfits I have worn for a while. I have never had so many compliments! :D I will definitely be pulling this out again when I am in need of a confidence boost...

Coat: Marks & Spencer, dress: Marks & Spencer, shoes: Clarks c/o Spartoo, unimpressed face: model's own
Although I do tend to get quite warm, I really like the fact that this has sleeves, it definitely makes it look much more elegant and actually cuts down on the need for lots of layers. It was a mild day but I was the perfect temperature all day, no mean feat in my office! I really like the black detail around the top of the dress too, originally I was going to add this necklace but actually it looked too fussy. You can sort of see my new glasses here too, I love the gold band across the top of the frames!

A close up of that gorgeous textured material and the waist detail. I can't resist adding belts to outfits (I blame Gok) but anything that has one built in is even better!

I was going to play it safe with my shoes and wear my trusty black heels but I spotted this pair of shoes in the hall as I left and I am so glad that I changed my mind. I think they lifted the outfit to take it out of the ordinary and give it something a little bit more special. I cannot recommend these heels enough, they are ridiculously comfy and although I am notoriously unsteady on my feet, even I can walk comfortably on the slim heel. (Plus the colour is just so jazzy!) I just wish they came in more bright colours, please take note Clarks!

Which outfits boost your confidence?

Crème caramel (or dressing like a Mad Men secretary)...

This dress was an impulse purchase a little while ago but I have only just got round to wearing it. I wore it on my last day at work before I was off for my birthday and felt like a 1960s secretary for the whole day (although thankfully without the institutionalised sexism!) I really like the camel/caramel colour with the cream- it felt like a really classic combination but the cut of the dress helps it to feel more modern. I look weirdly tanned in all of these pictures, I guess I chose the wrong shade of nude tights! ;)

Dress: ASOS, necklace: Miss Selfridge, shoes: Office
 I have been trying to experiment more with my make up recently (you saw how much I love my new liquid eyeliner!) and I have been trying to wear more neutral make-up recently. I haven't quite mastered that 'no make-up, make-up' yet but once my skin clears up, I am hoping to wheel out my Nars Sheer Matte foundation again. 

The best bit about this dress is how it looks like a skirt and a top. This more generous cut also allows for wriggle room when eating tons of birthday food (ahem). I love fitted dresses for work and it is so nice to have one that works better with flats than heels! I imagine this will be my go to dress for when I have meetings in London, you can't wear heels when running across the city!

However many tutorials I watch, I will never be able to master the art of a beehive but tumbling curls and some volume at the crown is my (much easier) version, no backcombing required here!

Do you know of any good YouTube hair tutorials?

A love letter to Jaeger...

I promised you an outfit post with my beautiful red lace Rosie dress and I finally have one to show you! I wore this dress on my actual birthday for a big family meal at a local pub and it really was the perfect choice. Usually when I buy something new, I can't wait to wear it and it gets worn within a day or so (if not less!) upon its arrival. This dress on the other hand has been hanging patiently in my wardrobe since July as I was saving it for a special occasion and what can be more special than your birthday?! When I was wearing this dress, I felt comfortable but also really special (red lace detailing will do that to a girl!) and I don't think it will be long before I wear this again, it will be perfect for my work Christmas do! I'm not entirely sure what is happening with my hair here but it was in a messy bun to show off the neckline but it has completely dropped out here...

Dress: Boutique by Jaeger, tights: Tesco, shoes: Office
As it was a lunchtime 'do', I kept my make up fairly simple: a slick of the most idiot proof liquid eyeliner and gorgeously creamy red lipstick (Max Factor Ruby Tuesday FYI) I promise I'm not sponsored by Max Factor, I just really love their products- they just really work for a make-up novice like me :)

You really can't go wrong with a sweetheart neckline in red lace!
 Even the back is gorgeously detailed! Helpfully you can still comfortably wear a bra without flashing it as the lace detail ends just above where your bra would be visible. This may seem like a small thing but for those of us who can;t get away without one, it makes a huge difference! Word of warning though, the hook and eye on my dress managed to unfasten itself and I spent a chunk of the day wandering around with it unhooked, get someone to check that it is fastened properly rather than trying to do it yourself! ;)

I swear, this dress was designed with flattering me in mind! It hits just above the knee and flares out gently to flatter those of us with less than willowy legs! ;) I should have probably paired it with a more elegant shoe (perhaps these?) but comfort always prevails and out came my trusty Office heels. I don't know what I will do when these finally give up the ghost (they are already looking a bit sorry for themselves) as these really are the comfiest heels in the world!

What would your perfect dress look like?