How I wore patterned velvet leggings...

I can safely say patterned velvet leggings were three words I never thought I would type on this blog but this year, in the spirit of challenging myself and with the unmistakable allure of Monki, I was swayed. I loved how cosy these looked when I saw them on the website and I succumbed to temptation and ordered them. They are even nicer in the flesh, the colours look like watercolour paints and the velvet is super soft and cosy, perfect for all this horrible weather! I decided to keep the rest of the outfit pretty simple and let the leggings do the talking, this oversized blazer is so cosy and (hopefully) smartens this up a bit too...

Blazer: La Redoute via charity shop, sheer shirt: Monki, top: H&M, leggings: Monki, shoes: Stylist Pick c/o Spartoo
 This blouse was another Monki bargain, I love how oversized it is and I feel super cool swooshing around in it. It is the perfect piece to wear on days when I want something easy but not too lazy looking, Monki really are awesome!

H&M have the best basic pieces, I am always wary of flashing a little too much flesh with leggings so a long line t-shirt is a must! Remember, leggings are NOT trousers! ;)

Just look how awesome these leggings are! The one thing I'm not so keen on is the length. Clearly these are made for those with much willowier legs than mine but a pair of heels helps them to look slightly less ridiculous!

What items of clothing did you never think you'd wear?

Chilli, lemon and ginger noodle soup with fish...

I promised that I would try and cook more this year and share my favourite recipes so here you go! My best meals usually come from an adaptation and this is no exception. Here is my take on Tesco's delicious Vietnamese cod steamer.  Surprisingly it didn't take that long but it is absolutely delicious! I didn't have a lot of the ingredients on the cupboard but with a few tweaks I was up and running! Apologies for the blurry photos, photos taken on an evening midweek will never have the best lighting!


Teal is a colour I really love and it is moving from my soft furnishings into my wardrobe . This blazer was from Matilda (I love having a friend who is a similar size to me!) and it has quickly become a firm favourite in my wardrobe. Imagine my excitement then when I realised it matched my teal suede shoes, you really can't beat a bit of matchy-matchiness! Jeans and a stripy tee probably wasn't the most exciting way to wear this blazer (I am imagining it will look awesome with my Hawaiian print dress) but it was the perfect way to jazz up a Wednesday! I'm not quite sure what is happening with my face in this picture but I promise I was a lot more enthusiastic about this outfit than I look here...

Blazer: from Matilda, top: H&M, jeans: Topshop, shoes: Marks & Spencer
I love the three-quarter length sleeves and the material was really comfy. Usually I end up taking off my jacket as soon as I get into the office but this lasted until after lunch- a new personal best for me! 

When I first got these jeans I loved them but I haven't been so impressed recently. The inside seam on the left leg has unravelled and I constantly have to hoick them up. I'm not sure if it is because I sized up when I bought them, the fact that I have lost some weight recently (whoo!) or because they are quite stretchy but they don't fit properly and they have been driving me mad! I did buy a new pair of jeans in the ASOS sale and I am loving them so far but I want some that are less stretchy and more denim-y- any recommendations? 

These shoes are one of my favourite pairs, the colour is really bright and as they are from M&S, they are ridiculously comfortable too! I think the straps make them really unusual and they always get a load of comments when I wear them. I really should wear them more but until now I never had anything to match them with, hopefully you will be seeing a lot more of these on the old blog over the next few months!

What colours have you been wearing recently?

£100 ASOS gift card giveaway...

Today I'm happy to be co hosting an-amazing 'bloggers give back' give-away hosted by myself Rachel The Hat and what we are affectionately calling ourselves... The Brit Pack...


10 Fabulous British Bloggers have all rounded up together to give one lucky winner a spending spree at ASOS with a £100 gift voucher. Its our way of starting the 2014 off with a bang, and also as a big THANK YOU to all of you who read and follow and comment on our blogs week after week.

The Brit Pack are some of Britain's finest bloggers. Every single one is worth getting to know! So in good old fashioned Blighty style, grab a cup of tea and take a moment to check out their links, find some new favourites, and enter away!


The competition will run for 10 days and is open internationally. Winner will be emailed an asos gift voucher with an e-code worth £100 (approx $160 at current exchange rate) and announced on the rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cobalt blue tweed dress...

This is a pretty simple outfit but I promised to share more of my work outfits and this is one of my most complimented, so I thought it was worth sharing! This beautiful cobalt blue dress was from Tesco (I told you they were good for work outfits!) and I picked it up in the sale. The material is a beautiful heavy bouclé tweed and although this makes the dress feel quite rigid, it is also deliciously warm and meant that I didn't have to wear a cardigan with it which I like - much less muss and fuss! I have to admit, I wasn't 100% convinced by the shape of this dress as it is quite loose around the waist but actually it makes it much more comfortable and the fact that I got a lot of compliments made me feel much happier ;) A few people commented that this dress looks quite vintage which I think is due to the low pockets and the slightly sixties shape. I can never usually find vintage to fit me so this is the perfect compromise!

Dress: Tesco, shoes: Clarks
A close up of that gorgeous tweedy material! I have really enjoyed wearing my hair up recently and this is my current favourite style - a ponytail tucked underneath into a mini beehive with a low side parting, which is again quite retro looking. I have pretty much perfected my liquid eyeliner technique now and I was particularly proud of this effort! 

I have barely taken these wonderful Clarks loafers off my feet but when they are this comfortable, why would you?! Nude tights were perhaps slightly optimistic but I don't think this dress would suit black tights, perhaps I could try it with sheer spotty ones next time? 

Any tips for finding 'proper' vintage workwear?

Red and leopard print...

As you may have seen from my excited Instagram post, I have just been promoted which I was very pleased about! Luckily my work is not particularly formal and I already have far too many clothes but I decided to use my Christmas vouchers to buy a few more work outfits so keep your eyes peeled for them in outfit posts! This is one of my favourite work outfits, I love the colour and shape of it and paired with these leopard print accessories, it is a pretty fun outfit too. I can't believe that I have never posted this dress up on the blog, I wear it all the time (although I have never worn it with its matching jacket) and it was a real bargain from Tesco - definitely the best place to buy pretty dresses!

Coat: Dannimac via Mum, dress: Tesco, belt: New Look, shoes: French Sole c/o Spartoo
It can be difficult to know what colours to pair with red but I really like it paired with this camel coat, it is much less harsh than black but looks really luxe especially paired with this leopard print belt...

Sleeveless shift dresses will always be my favourite thing to wear and this is such a lovely fit. I have a real thing for high necklines at the moment too, they always feel much more work-appropriate to me, even if my legs are on show! 

These leopard print flats are one of my favourite pairs of shoes, they are just so jazzy - plus the red trim matches this dress perfectly; it's the little details that make a difference! 

Where do you buy your work outfits?

Hawaiian print dress...

I have been super lucky with the sales this year, despite being quite restrained (a very unusual occurrence for me!) I picked up some real bargains. I usually find Topshop sale a bit disappointing (not helped by the insane amount of tweenage girls who crowd my local store at sale time)  but over the years I have picked up some really nice and unusual pieces (see these jazzy trousers for proof) and this dress was too pretty to resist. Although the colour and print make it summery, with the addition of my trusty camel coat and some thick tights, it was definitely winter appropriate! I also like the fact that it isn't too short on me, despite my less than willowy proportions, I usually find most high street dresses too short so this is a refreshing change! Now they just need to find a fabric that doesn't crease so badly and I will be sorted...

Coat: Dannimac via my mum, dress: Topshop, tights: John Lewis, shoes: Clarks
I can't wait for the weather to warm up as the Hawaiian print incorporates some of my favourite colours and I bet it would look brilliant with my orange suede shoes or bright blue blazer amirite?!

I have really loved all of the new shorter hairdos that bloggers have been debuting recently. Lily, Gem, Amy and Lizzie all look awesome after going for the chop and when I went to get my hair cut the other day I also had a few inches chopped off. I had been desperate to get my hair cut for a while and I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. It feels a lot healthier and although it probably doesn't look too different it definitely feels better!

In an attempt to be more adventurous this year, I swapped out my trusty black opaques for my green 'Robin Hood' tights and even dug out my green eyeliner and eye-shadow, maybe 2014 will be the year I master eye-makeup?! These tights were a John Lewis sale bargain years ago (along with this burgundy pair) and have lasted really well, it was definitely worth stocking up on the higher quality whilst they were on offer!

A big shout out has to go to these shiny Clarks loafers which are so comfy and currently the hardest working shoes in my wardrobe. I bought these at the end of November and have barely taken them off my feet, another quality investment that was well worth splashing out a little bit more for...

Have you picked up any sales bargains? 

Red lentil, chickpea and chilli soup recipe...

Like everybody else, I have taken the new year as an opportunity to assess my life, health and everything else in between. I asked what you would like to see on the blog in 2014 and a few people said that they would like to see more food and recipes and I am always happy to oblige when I have to taste test everything ;) Saying that though, I'm not very experimental with my weekday meals and I am hoping that if I am sharing my favourite recipes, it will force me to change it up a little. The lovely Emily shared the link to this recipe on Twitter and I couldn't wait to try it and it was so easy and tastes delicious! Luckily I already had the majority of these ingredients in the cupboard and I only needed to buy chilli flakes, cumin seeds and coriander (I'm not usually a fan but this recipe may have convinced me!)  I have been taking this to work for my lunch and it has been delicious - you should definitely try this! 

Black and white and red all over...

Not just the punchline to a bad joke (a newspaper being the answer!) but one of my favourite work outfits to date. Monochrome is a classic combination and paired with red, it always looks quite fun! Since wearing this, I have managed to shrink it somehow in the wash and it is now far too short but by swapping tights for leggings, I can still get away with wearing this into the office. I'm not sure what is happening with my posing here but I do look extraordinarily pleased with myself! I know some people are always a bit dubious about wearing horizontal stripes but I actually think they are quite flattering here, especially with the combination of a cropped cardigan and a slightly A-line skirt... 

Dress: Tesco, cardigan: BHS via Mark's mum, body: Wolford, tights: Tesco, shoes: c/o Matalan, necklace: Dorothy Perkins
I am envious of how lovely and clear my skin looks here! I need to step up my skincare regime again and try and combat the excesses of Christmas- do you lovely beauty bloggers have any recommendations for  something to combat dry, flaking skin? This necklace is 8 (!) years old and is starting to look a little worse for wear, but I can't bring myself to throw it away as it is just perfect for adding a splash of colour to an outfit. I guess I will just have to keep my eyes peeled for a worthy replacement!

This is possibly my favourite bag in the whole world- I love how red and shiny it is and despite being 'well used', it still looks as new as it did on the day I got it (all the way back in 2011!) Despite how small it looks it is surprisingly roomy and I manage to get my purse, keys, phone, diabetes stuff and passport inside it- no mean feat, I think you will agree!

Bag: NW3 by Hobbs

What are your favourite bad jokes?

Polka dot prom dress...

 I love a good prom dress, especially if it has a swooshy tulle skirt and this spotty little number from Tesco looks really fancy but isn't the slightest bit uncomfortable - a winning combination in my eyes! The best part though was that although it looks pretty expensive, it only cost £25 from Tesco. I would be more than happy to pay that for a dress this pretty but I was lucky enough to win the lovely Sarah's giveaway a few months ago and this was one of the things I picked up with my voucher. I wore it for my third (and final) day of Christmas and it was perfect; the layers of tulle managed to hide my food baby and I felt really happy in it. I have resolved to really focus on my health this year and as I plan to (eventually) run a 5k with my boo Claire I have started my running up again. It is slow work but I hope that I will feel even more confident this year once my health improves even more!

Dress: Tesco, cardigan: BHS via Mark's mum, shoes: Clarks, posey face: model's own
Although the dress is mainly black, I wanted to try something slightly more interesting with it than my trusty black opaques and as the weather was so nice I plumped for some nude tights and my favourite pair of heels. Thank goodness for mild winters eh?! I was a very lucky girl this Christmas and Mark bought me the black patent versions too as I love these shoes so much!

You can tell how mild the weather has been, I was chilly when I took my cardigan off to take these pictures but nowhere near cold, I couldn't believe it! I know some people aren't fans of sleeveless dresses but I love them and I'm sure you could layer a thin top or long sleeved body underneath if you are self conscious... Prom dresses are universally flattering and this one has gone straight to the top of my list of favourite party frocks! I was going to wear this dress on New Year's Eve but I decided to go for my perfect party dress instead as this was still in the wash - the glamourous truth behind fashion blogging eh?! ;)

I never know how to style my hair with a high neckline, a bun just looked strange and my usual side sweep of curls was far too busy looking so I decided to experiment with my hot brush and ended up with a bouncy cheerleader ponytail. Paired with winged eyeliner and a bright lipstick, I looked as chirpy as I felt. I think you can see from these photos how much I loved this outfit, now I just need Tesco to make a version of this dress in every colour!

What are your goals for 2014?