French inspired...

As you may have seen from my over-excited tweets and Instagram posts, I had 4/5 inches chopped off my hair last weekend and it was one of the best things I have ever done.  I asked for this style and I am so pleased with the result. Everyone told me that having short hair would be more high maintenance but so far it has been just as easy, if not easier to cope with than my old hair, I love how quick it is to wash and style. This was the first time I had styled it myself and I actually like the more dishevelled finish to it. You know how much I love stripes and this outfit felt really French, especially paired with this tweed miniskirt... 

Blazer: New Look, top: New Look, skirt: Marks & Spencer, shoes: Clarks, necklace: New Look

This blazer is a long term resident of my wardrobe and always gets pulled out when I am looking for something comfy to smarten up my outfit. I was pretty nervous about debuting my new hair so I went back to my old favourites of a blazer and a striped tee so I felt less freaked out about the whole thing. I needn't have worried about it though as everyone was really complimentary which eased my nerves slightly! The true test of a haircut is how good it looks after you style it yourself and luckily this was super easy to do- this hair styler is my secret weapon at the moment! I feel so much cooler with shorter hair and it has me experimenting more with my make up too, I have never worn so much eyeliner or lipstick!

This skirt was a real bargain in M&S a week or so ago, I love their sale and normally manage to pick up a few bits and pieces for work. I love tweed and red is my favourite colour so this was a no-brainer.This also felt quite French, especially paired with this stripy top, there's nothing like trying to inject some European cool into your wardrobe!

Any tips on styling shirt hair?

Monochrome smock dress...

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I am a massive fan of supermarket clothing. I have found some of my favourite clothes alongside my shopping and this dress is my latest favourite. It is such a lovely length and it will be perfect for when the weather warms up again. I sized up as I wasn't sure of the fit (and annoyingly the changing rooms were closed) and it is almost like a smock shape on me. I'm not 100% convinced is flattering but it sure is comfortable!

Dress: Sainsburys, belt: Primark, shoes: Tesco, tights: Tesco

Although I'm a stripes kinda gal, I love this polka dot print and the monochrome makes it perfect for wearing in the office. I haven't worn this belt for ages but it added just enough colour to make it interesting and also cinched in my waist which hopefully makes the dress slightly more flattering. I really admire anyone who can wear an oversized silhouette but it makes me feel far too self-conscious...

These shoes are another supermarket bargain. I love Mary Janes but wearing heels all day is just not practical on a day to day basis so that is when these shiny wedges come in. They are from the 'Sensitive Sole' range and are both shiny and ridiculously comfy, what more could you ask for?! My legs also look super tanned here, I guess my legs aren't the shade of 'natural' that Tesco expects ;)

Have you ever found any sartorial gems in the supermarket?
P.S. I will be sharing proper pictures of my new hairdo soon (eek!) I just need to get Mark to take some outfit pictures for me!

Geometric florals...

This is possibly my favourite outfit from all the years I have been blogging. It felt really fun and still 'me' but it felt a bit more grown up too, something I often struggle with! It also feels very spring like which is a plus although I actually wore this back in January when the weather was anything but. You know me, always being contrary! ;) I also just realised that all of these things were sales buys, there's nothing like some money off to push you out of your comfort zone!

Blouse: Topshop, skirt: Oasis, necklace: New Look, shoes: Stylist Pick c/o Spartoo

More and more I have found that there aren't many clothes that I can wear from Topshop but occasionally they come out with a corker, this shirt being a case in point. They have taken a plain white shirt and instantly made it way more interesting with a sheer panel and a mullet hem. (I told you more and more would sneak into my wardrobe!) This necklace is my go-to whenever I need to add a bit of interest to an outfit, it's the perfect length and looks way more expensive than the £3 I paid for it!

This skirt was such a bargain from Oasis when I bought it in the sales after Christmas, the print really reminded me of this Boutique by Jaeger one but actually I think it is much nicer. I have been wearing a lot of jazzy skirts recently and this is the perfect print for Spring, I love the geometric florals! 

What's been your best sale bargain recently?

The Brit Pack Presents: the Pastel Parade...

I will admit, when we agreed that the theme for this month's Brit Pack would be pastels, I did panic. Thanks to my ghostly complexion I don't wear them that often (only a handful of times over the past 4 and a half years!) I was struggling to think of an outfit that fitted the pastel criteria when I remembered this 'Easter egg' dress which I have had for years. I love the pale yellow colour and it is perfect for the beginning of Spring, especially now the sun is out on a regular basis!

Dress: Topshop, camisole: Primark, shoes: Clarks
Although the colour is potentially a bit too twee (even for me!) bright lipstick and an open back help to add a bit of an edge. I have never actually worn this out of the house without a camisole or slip dress underneath it as the open back goes all the way down to the waist and I;m not quite brave enough to wear it out of the house! ;) I always seem to pair pastels with this gorgeous coral lipstick, it is just the perfect spring-like colour! 

I normally end up pairing grey or red with this dress to make the pastels more wearable but as soon as I remembered my orange shoes, I was sold. The orange colour looks fab with the lemon yellow and these heels are just so darned comfy that I would wear them with everything if I could! You can see how pale the dress is here along with my pasty limbs, the orange looks almost neon in comparison!

How do you wear pastels?

Rhubarb and ginger tray bake recipe...

Tesco have been knocking it out of the park with their recipes recently, I loved their chorizo, kale and rice stew recipe and this rhubarb tray bake was definitely a hit with my colleagues! It must be good as Mark ate several slices, despite not even liking rhubarb!  I added some ginger to this as I love rhubarb and ginger together and I think this really helped to lift the flavour and add a bit of an edge to a very sweet mixture. I did completely mess up this recipe as I made too much topping but actually more crumbly goodness can never be a bad thing right?!

Cowl neck and checks...

Heading into work on a Monday is difficult at the best of times but knowing that the heating won't kick in until later in the day makes it much more difficult. Ideally I would be able to wear pyjamas but until duvets are compulsory workwear, slouchy jumpers are going to have to do. I have been wearing a lot of  mini skirts to work recently (see here, here and here for proof!) they are just so easy to wear and add a bit of personality to my boring functional jumpers. This skirt has been in my wardrobe for just over 2 years now and I have been wearing it a lot recently, it really comes into its own paired with cosy jumpers and thick tights, it's just too short to wear with bare legs or nude tights! This top was a jumper dress but somehow I managed to shrink it in the wash so it now moonlights as a jumper - you can't beat a good cowl neck!

Top: George at ASDA, skirt: ASOS, tights: Tesco, boots: Nine West, moon face: model's own
I could have really done with some brighter lipstick with this outfit, I didn't realise just how pale I was! Admittedly the bright light isn't helping but I have been kinda ghostly recently, I need some sunshine! My hair is getting really out of control recently too, I am seriously tempted to just chop it all off like this, what do you think? The last time I went this short was back in 2010 but I am due a change I think!

These boots are nearly 8 years old now (which is all kinds of crazy!) and they get comfier with each year that passes. I did think I was going to have to retire them at one point as I completely wore through the sole and I even bought a replacement pair but luckily my local cobbler is a genius and managed to resurrect then for me! 

Which old favourites do you keep going back to?

Stained glass dress...

This dress is somewhat of a blogger favourite, Sarah wore it first back in November (and I loved it then) then when Alex posted about it at the end of January and it was in the sale, I caved. It is such a gorgeous dress and as well as getting so many nice comments about it (both online and off!), I know at least 3 people who bought it as a result of me being so excited about it. There's a stained glass dress wearing army out there! ;) I took Alex's advice and sized down a couple of sizes and it fits perfectly. I have avoided smocks up till now as I was worried about looking like a sack of potatoes but I will definitely be trying more (there's something I never thought I would be saying!) I'm not sure why I look so confused/grumpy in these photos, as I was super smiley for the whole day, perhaps it's the 5.00 am starts?!   

Cardigan: Gap via Matilda, dress: ASOS, tights: Tesco, shoes: Clarks
A better look at that amazing stained glass print! I love unusual patterns and this is my favourite so far. Being raised a Catholic meant I spent a lot of time in churches growing up, so this is an oddly comforting sight for me. I could probably even make a guess at which saints are featured but I'm not that sad ;) You know that I love the colour red but I really wish I had a purple cardigan to go with this dress! Weirdly I don't have that much purple in my wardrobe and this cardigan just didn't look right, I think I need to track down more Cadbury purple for my wardrobe!

The look of love! I love the little sleeves on this dress (they make it way more work appropriate) and it is made of a gorgeous heavy jersey so is super flattering too. This fits just like a skater dress as I have sized down. Not bad for a mere £14 eh?! It is still available in a few sizes AND you can get it with am extra 20% off here with the code 20MORE, go go go! 

What unusual prints have you got in your wardrobe?

Chorizo, kale and rice stew recipe...

Cooking and baking at the weekend is so much easier, mainly due to the fact that I have more time, making it a much more relaxing process. The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is spend a load of time so weekday meals tend to be either jacket potatoes or stir fry but this chorizo, kale and rice risotto stew recipe is a new favourite. I adapted this recipe from the current Tesco magazine to use up some of the spare veg I had in the fridge and it was absolutely delicious, I have already bought another lot of chorizo to make this again this week! 

Cosy cashmere tights...

Last week I went with Mark to a work 'do' with him and his colleagues at a local pub. I always hate going to the pub, I never know what constitutes dressing too fancy and the pressure is certainly on when you are meeting people for the first time! You know how much I love a little red dress and this New Look number is the perfect mix between comfy and fancy. I think it's the fact that it is crochet rather than lace that makes it so easy to wear and paired with black tights, it was perfect. Unfortunately it never seems to photograph very well but you will have to take my word for how nice it is ;) 

Dress: New Look, belt: New Look, tights: Aristoc c/o MyTights, shoes: Clarks 

I have been wearing a lot of dark nail varnishes recently, T K Maxx had some Essie polishes for really cheap when I went in the other weekend and the 'Sole Mate' shade is my new favourite (Fair Game isn't far behind!) Dark nails add just enough edge and I have been super impressed with the quality of Essie polishes so far- I just need to decide what shades to try next! 

When the lovely people at MyTights got in touch recently to see if I was interested in reviewing some tights, I was thrilled. I have worked with them a few times before (see here, here and here for some snazzy tights goodness) and bought tights from them myself and I have never had a bad experience. Both their range of tights and their service are fantastic and they are the go to place for all things hosiery.

 These tights are a gorgeous 100 denier cashmere blend by Aristoc and are the luxe grown up version of the tights I used to wear at primary school - perfect for keeping you cosy in all of the horrible weather. I am a complete convert to cashmere tights, they are a touch of everyday luxe that might not be overly exciting but sure are practical! 

What would you wear to a work meal?

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