Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Black lace maxi dress: my Duo challenge night time outfit...

You have already seen how I styled these lovely boots for day time but styling them up for a night time outfit was a bit more challenging. I tend to stick to a tried and tested formula of shortish dress and heels but after this gorgeous lacy maxi dress from Monki (where else?!) arrived last week, I knew these boots were the perfect match. I don't often wear all black but I love how dramatic it is against my pasty porcelain skin. The sheerness of the skirt also makes this a bit more wearable. to all intents and purposes I am wearing a short dress but I still have the security of a longer skirt to keep my legs covered up. You can't beat a good swooshy skirt either! I have been wearing my leather jacket more and more recently and it is getting to the most delicious beaten up stage. Maybe one day I will even look slightly cool?! 

Jacket: New Look, dress:Monki, boots: c/o Duo
Sleeveless dresses will always be my favourite thing to wear and the lace details on this one are ace. I think it also helps to sass it up a little, never a bad thing in my book! I also managed to do a mini victory roll in my hair which I loved, I am trying to experiment more with my hair to distract from the triangle hair issue and I think this worked! My lipstick is a gorgeous pink colour called Seduction from Tesco of all places, another beauty bargain, it was only £2.50!

And of course, these boots provided the perfect finishing touch! Initially I was a little bit scared of rocking a black sheer maxi dress but I think I have pulled it off, what do you think? 

What do you wear on a night out? 
P.S. Duo sent me these boots to style up for this challenge

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Oversized cream smock: my Duo challenge day time outfit..

I love a good challenge, my competitive instincts saw me crowned arm wrestling champion at my work do on Friday (I'm not going to lie, I am massively proud of my mad skillz) so when Duo challenged me to style up a pair of shoes for both day and night, I was super psyched. I chose the gorgeous black suede Hana ankle boots and couldn't have been more thrilled when they arrived. I have been looking for an alternative to my beloved Bertope ankle boots and these have plugged the gap wonderfully. Although the weather was absolutely miserable, I decided that the boots and my leather jacket would toughen up this oversized cream smock dress perfectly. I realised when I was uploading these photos that this could easily be one of those 'festival fashion' outfits but as you are unlikely to see me anywhere near a festival or a muddy field (especially not in these lovely boots!) I figure I can get away with it, right?! ;)

Jacket:  New Look, dress: French Connection, belt: New Look, boots: c/o Duo
French Connection always has an awesome sale and this beauty caught my eye immediately. I had been eyeing it up at full price so as soon as I saw it was reduced, I was thrilled. I sized up because their clothes usually run pretty small but the fit is pretty generous thanks to the smock shape. I should probably avoid any dress that has pannier-like hip details but it is so lovely I couldn't resist. I love the embroidery on it and the mesh details make it more interesting than your average sweet frock! I cinched it in with a belt here but it looks equally nice worn loose. If we ever get the summer heatwave we are promised I can see this dress becoming a staple in my wardrobe!

I love the little heel on these boots, at 5'4" (standing up very straight) I'm not exactly short but it's nice to have the option for a little height. Luckily these boots have a lower front which helps to minimise the stumpifying ability that all ankle boots possess - always a winner in my books! I have been wearing these boots quite a lot seeing as we have plunged back into cooler temperatures and although they are comfy, they have rubbed on the back of my legs. Not a massive deal but worth remembering if you are thinking of purchasing. I think this is probably more to do with my impatience rather than the shoes but oh well!

How would you style these boots for the daytime?

P.S. Duo sent me these boots to style up for this challenge, I can't wait to show you my nighttime outfit! 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Lazy days...

The other day I was feeling absolutely awful. Flu has been going round the office and I was feeling very sorry for myself. Unfortunately my jazzy pyjamas are not acceptable office wear so I had to resort to my comfy jumper and jeans combo instead. This Seasalt jumper was given to me by my friend Matilda and I absolutely love it, it is ridiculously comfy and oh so soft, just like getting a hug. Paired with some comfy jeans, I was good to go! I always umm and ahh about including outfits like this in blog posts but then I figure this blog is all about the ups and downs of my life and wardrobe so causal outfits should be up there with the fancy dresses amirite?! 

Jumper: Seasalt from Matilda, top: Primark, jeans: Topshop, shoes: Dorothy Perkins from Matilda

I have been having issues with my hair recently, it has grown at an alarming rate and thanks to the volume of it, I now have triangular hair, the one thing I was afraid of when I went shorter :( I am getting it cut on 3rd May but until then, any help would be appreciated! You may have spotted my lovely initial badge here, Claire at The Bellwether was kind enough to include it alongside the cross-stitch kit she sent me (I am making slow but steady progress!) and I absolutely love it, anything with my initials on is sure to be a winner in my book! Red lipstick is my go to for brightening my face up when I am tired and this Tesco sheer lip stick is ace, I can't find it on the website but have a look instore, I managed to pick this up for £3!

These shoes were also a gift from Matilda, I love having a friend who is the same size in clothes and shoes, I get all kinds of awesome clothes! ;) I'm not sure what happened with this photo, it looked fine on screen and then looked massively overexposed when we transferred it to the computer. I really need to work on my photography skills... 

What do you wear on lazy days? Can you recommend any good photography tutorials? 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Disco skirt....

This outfit is one of my favourites (don't tell the others!) - there’s nothing better than a brightly coloured blazer and a shiny pleated metallic skirt of dreams (thanks Monki!) to make you feel fancy. I am a complete magpie and  love anything shiny and although I already have a coppery metallic skirt (ahem) this looks much nicer with cool blue and green colours and is actually much easier to wear (mainly due to the slightly shorter length). It’s always good to know that you have both ends of the shiny skirt spectrum covered though and it's always good to have an unusual wardrobe staple too… I was going to leave the houselike this but it was freezing outside so I added my grey short-sleeved jumper.  My colleagues thought I looked like a jazzy 1940s secretary, never a bad thing in my book! 

Blazer: Miss Selfridge via Matilda, top: Oasis, necklace: New Look, skirt: Monki, shoes: Marks & Spencer
My hair has grown so much already (I can see that my haircuts are going to become an expensive habit!) but I really love it at this length. I am loving the sunnier days too, my peachy coral make-up is getting a proper showing recently! The Dr Jart+ Platinum BB Beauty Balm may be expensive but it is so worth it...

I mean just look how shiny this skirt is! The mini pleats are super flattering and skim over my sizeable hips. I love the length of this too, I prefer to wear skirts high on the waist but you could make it even longer by wearing it on the hips. I will even be able to wear it without any tights once we hit the summer, I love an outfit I can wear all year round!

Do you have any unusual style staples? 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Drapery and denim...

I used to spend a lot of time stalking my local charity shops hunting out bargains and my final year at uni was a goldmine for bargains. Seriously, if you are anywhere near Kenilworth, go and have a rummage, the shops there have the nicest stock!  Tewkesbury also has some awesome ones and I picked this top up a few weeks before Christmas but it has been hanging unworn in my wardrobe. I really love the colour but I wasn't sure how to style it. I have a couple of white and striped draped tops from H&M already but the colour of this one makes it much more difficult to  wear- at least in my head. I originally planned to wear this with either a patterned skirt or blazer but the colour was statement enough by itself. 

Blazer: New Look, top: Jasper Conran via charity shop, jeans: Topshop, shoes: Marks and Spencer
Now I have worn it once, the fear is gone and I will be wearing this a lot over the summer. I knew this top reminded me of something- this coral dress from H&M! The colour is a lot brighter but it is the perfect colour for summer, I'm just imagining it with turquoise jewellery... Drapery is one of my favourite details on clothing and I think it is super flattering too, especially if it has some clever gathering like this one does!

I am still on the hunt for some new jeans- I love the stretch of these but hoicking them up has been driving me mad recently. Does anyone have any recommendations for indigo high-waisted jeans? I am at my wits end now! I dug out this owl necklace to add a bit of interest too, I have had it for years and it is one of my favourite pieces of jewellery, owl themed or otherwise!

What details do you look for with clothes?


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Homemade vegetarian curry...

I never used to like Indian food, curries were always too spicy and I hate coriander but recently I have been experimenting with trying different recipes and I have finally found a curry recipe that I love. I am even warming to coriander- I know, who am I?! Mark and I are obsessed with these garlic and coriander naans from M&S. It is pretty lethal having a mini M&S at the garage up the road, their food is far more delicious than our food budget allows... 


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Willpower and a Warehouse dress...

Anyone who has ever met me knows how easily I am persuaded to do something. My willpower is non-existent and as soon as I see sale signs, it is inevitable that I will end up purchasing something. This Warehouse dress was an absolute steal in their sale last month and I have been wearing it whenever I want to feel a little smarter at work. It is made of a lovely textured jacquard material and as the material is fairly heavy, it hangs beautifully. Warehouse is definitely one of those brands that I only seem to look at when there is a sale on as it is just that little bit too expensive. I mean the original price of this was £40 which I think is steep, but the £15 I bought it for is much more reasonable (at least that's what I am telling myself!) I am trying to cut down on the amount of rubbish-y clothes that I buy but I have still manged to add new items to my summer wardrobe. I just hope we get the sunshine I have been promised now so I can wear these dresses and shorts

Dress: Warehouse, tights: Tesco, shoes: Marks & Spencer
I never used to like dresses with sleeves but I think this looks much better with the higher neckline and makes the dress much more elegant- hooray for fun, work-appropriate dresses! You can also see the texture of the dress better here, monochrome can sometimes feel a bit dull to me but the pattern makes it feel more 'me'. That and the swipe of red lipstick... ;) I have been really pleased with the improvement in my skin recently, I have been wearing Dr Jart+ Platinum BB Beauty Balm rather than foundation recently and it has really cleared my skin up. I loved writing a post on my make-up staples way back in 2011 (!) would you guys be interested in an updated version? 

I love how full the skirt of this dress is, it is deliciously swooshy and the sheer amount of material means that it skims over my ever-growing food baby. I really need to stop going out for meals, my figure is not thanking me for it, however delicious the food may be! I told you I was obsessed with these shoes, I should stop wearing them but they seem to be the perfect match to every outfit in my wardrobe...

Would you like an update on my beauty regime? How much is too much to pay for a dress? 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Stripes and straight hair....

Every week when it gets to Friday, I thank my lucky stars that I don't work in an office with a dress code. When you can wear nearly anything you like (within reason!) casual Fridays are a thing of the past. This outfit is ridiculously comfy but I know denim shorts (however fancy they are) just wouldn't fly in the majority of workplaces so I do feel very lucky! These photos were taken before the clocks went back and I cannot wait to start taking photos outside again in the morning before I go to work. These ones required some (minimal) editing but brightening them is a small price to pay for being outside again, lighter mornings are just so hopeful feeling! I really love this H&M top, they really make the best Breton tops on the high street. I am seriously tempted to get this blue version too...

Top: H&M, shorts: Jaeger, tights: Tesco, shoes: Clarks
I told you that I have been experimenting with my hair recently and I really love it straight. I never used to straighten (or even style) it much but since chopping all of my hair off, it has been so quick and easy to do, 15 minutes tops, rather than the hour and a half it took previously! I still prefer sleeping on my hair once I have straightened it though, I prefer a less polished and more lived in look!  This lipstick is one of my favourites and is perfect for brightening up my grumpy morning face. I'm not quite sure why I look so unsure here, I guess it still felt too early to be up and about... 

These shorts could really do with an iron but just look how cool they are! Although they may not look it here, they are actually longer than your average denim shorts and are made out of a gorgeous soft linen chambray fabric- what they lack in the sartorial stakes they make up for in comfort value!

What do you wear on casual Friday? Any tips for getting that perfectly undone look with my hair?


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Marilyn moments and messy hair...

It is always difficult to know what to wear to family events, my family tend to go fairly dressy but you still have to keep things family appropriate so bodycon and low necklines are out. I have had this dress for a while and although I seem to have shrunk it in the wash (seriously even when I follow washing instructions, I still go wrong!) it is still the perfect spring dress and I decided to wear it for Mother's Day lunch. I really love the print on it but it does it is pretty twee (even for me!) so I decided to incorporate my beloved leather jacket and my new favourite shoes to add a bit of an edge. I don't wear this jacket as much as I used to but it is one of those items that I just can't let go of, I even wore it this weekend...

Dress: Mela Loves London via New Look, leather jacket: New Look, shoes: Marks & Spencer
I have been playing around with different ways to style my hair recently and I decided that  it would be a good opportunity to debut my natural hair. The gale force winds didn't help but you can see how messy it is here. I tend to go for a sleeker look day-to-day but it's nice to know that I can shake things up if I want to. With more eyeliner, I imagine this would be an awesome way to style my hair for a night out...

The breeze also led to more than a few Marilyn moments, I guess short skirts and British weather are never a good combination! You may have already seen my new shoes as I have been wearing them a lot since I bought them a few weeks ago. They are the perfect height to make my legs look longer and comfy enough to wear all day. The triangular (!) rose good heel is gorgeous, I just wish they had had the red versions in my size too :( 

What is your favourite Spring outfit?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Pineapple upside down cake recipe...

As you may have seen from the sudden influx of new recipe posts, I have been doing a lot more baking recently. I end up switching between new recipes (like these cake bars) and old favourites like this pineapple upside down cake which was one of the very first recipes I ever posted on this blog. There's something about the super sweet pineapple and fluffy sponge that's hard to resist...



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