Wild thing...

For someone who never used to like leopard print, I sure do own a lot of it! It started off small with a scarf, moving to my trusty leopard print belt and shoes and now fully fledged leopard print clothing in the form of beautiful leopard print dresses. Great Plains asked if I would like to review something from their gorgeous dresses range and this Wild Thing Hoxton dress is the latest addition to my wardrobe. It should come as no surprise that I have fallen in love with Great Plains, they are the sister company to my beloved French Connection and have so many beautiful clothes- we won't mention the fact that my wishlist is now currently totting up to a mere £731.50 (ahem) We found a pretty spot by the river to take these photos but really a dress this cool needs a lot more eyeliner and some kind of concrete backdrop, amirite?!

Dress: c/o Great Plains, shoes: Marks & Spencer
You can't really tell here but I was wearing quite a lot of smudgy eyeliner here, it just hasn't photographed very well! I was going to try and do something fancy with some eye shadow to match that gorgeous print, before I remembered just how cack-handed I am. One of the days I will sit down with a YouTube tutorial and learn to do it properly but I really don't have the patience! 

Long sleeves and a high neckline can sometimes feel quite oppressive but this dress is so light you barely notice them. It also means that this dress is also suitable for work, although I would probably save it for when I was going out for drinks as it is a little too jazzy for just an ordinary boring Wednesday! Originally I was going to wear this with a pair of black tights, to dress it down a bit but that actually made it look fancier- maybe it is the contrast with the brightness of the print?

Have you ever bought anything from Great Plains? What are your secret obsessions?
P.S. Great Plains sent me this dress to review but if I didn't love it, I wouldn't feature it! 

Berry boho...

As the temperatures have started to drop, everyone has started complaining about how they aren't ready for the cooler weather but I couldn't be more thrilled. Autumn is my favourite season and I love being able to wear long sleeves and darker colours again. Sorry sun-worshippers, you have had your fun for this year! ;) I have had this jacket since my 11th birthday (!) and it still fits (just about!), it's probably the only piece of 'vintage' in my wardrobe! I don't wear it very often as it ends up looking pretty casual but I think it works with these cords, what do you think? 

Jacket: Marks & Spencer , top: ASDA, camisole: Tesco, cords: Gap via Matilda, shoes: ASDA
Even my make-up is getting more autumnal! This Revlon lipstain in Berry Crush is the perfect berry shade and I know I will be getting a lot of wear out of it this winter. I am on the lookout for more darker lipsticks though, has anyone got any recommendations?

 Last year I wore this top with my berry coloured jeans but I actually prefer these cords with it as they are much more comfortable! They are supposedly part of Gap's leggings range but considering that they have pockets and a proper zip and button, I feel justified in wearing them as trousers! I never know what shoes to wear with this outfit, white would match best but the closest I can get is these nude shoes which are super comfortable, even if they are looking a bit shabby!

Any tips for darker lipsticks? Are you craving Autumn yet? 

Red and white candy striped...

It seems like a lifetime ago that it was warm enough to go out bare-legged and although I much prefer the cooler temperatures  (I am the human radiator and have had my fan on since January at work!) I miss wearing cute dresses like this to work! I said in this post that I wanted to buy the red version of this gorgeous H&M wrap dress and when I spotted it in the sale for a mere £7, how could I resist?! A wrap dress is one of those styles that looks good on anyone and this is so easy to wear- just add a cute camisole and sandals for an easy breezy outfit...

Dress: H&M, camisole: Tesco, shoes:Nine West
I never used to like the fact that my hair was curly. My childhood years were spent dreaming of long blonde straight hair and bemoaning the fact that mine was more blah than beautiful. Luckily, my mum found the 
Umberto Giannini Curl Scrunching Jelly for me and it was a revelation, finally I could tame my hair! I had forgotten about how much I loved this product until I picked up this gorgeous set in the Boots sale back in January which had the scrunching jelly in it. Using the shampoo and conditioner definitely makes my hair more curly so I tend not to use it if I want a sleeker style but if I do decide to go curly, a dollop of the jelly helps to keep it looks shiny and bouncy. Despite my gushing praise, this isn't an advert for them but just testament to how good UG's products are on curly hair! 

These shoes are also a long time favourite of mine (check out them in action from April 2011!) and are super comfortable. Tan is a universally flattering colour in summer and just makes everything feel more summery. Paired with this huge tan ASOS bag, I was hot to trot. I will always be grateful for my online archives on the blog, I knew that I had bought both the shoes and the bag quite a while ago and had worn them on the blog at some point, I just didn't realise it was quite so long ago! My style has clearly changed over the past five years but some things have managed to endure the many house moves and wardrobe clear outs!

Whats the oldest thing thing you have in your wardrobe?

Preppy inspired...

Smart casual is a tricky one to pull off, it is very easy to look crumpled rather than chic but this tried and tested combination is my favourite on days when I want to look pulled together, but still be comfortable. There's nothing worse than feeling trussed up all day when you're at work! It's the lovechild of this outfit and this one and is such a cliché 'I work in marketing' outfit- I blame the buttoned collar and the hipster glasses ;) I can't believe how different I look with longer hair either, those pictures were only taken a few months ago but I look (and feel) like a completely different person. It's amazing what a sassy haircut and a slick of jazzy lipstick (MAC Impassioned FYI) will do for your self esteem and your wardrobe!

When Joshua James Jewellery (try saying that in a hurry!) got in contact to see if I wanted to review something from their website, I was thrilled. I immediately headed to the watches section as I lost my blue Guess one in the move (sob) and ordered this Radley one but when it arrived it was far too small for my wrists so I swapped it for this one (which I actually prefer now it has arrived). I love the rose gold dial and the white leather is surprisingly chic (not a sentence I ever thought I would type!) The teeny Radley dogs on the inside of the strap have also elicited many coos of admiration too, they are just so darned cute!

Watch c/o Joshua James Jewellery

I really love these dalmatian print shoes and they were perfect for adding a bit of excitement to a fairly plain outfit. I seem to be drawn to plainer outfits than I used to be, is this a sign that I am growing up?!

How do you shake up your style?
P.S. Joshua James Jewellery sent me this watch to review but if I didn't love it, I wouldn't feature it! 

Summer wedding...

A couple of weeks ago, my cousin got married at Ansty Hall and Mark and I were invited to the ceremony. The location was absolutely beautiful and the ceremony was lovely, very relaxed but very moving. I am a complete sap when it comes to weddings, I always get all over-emotional and end up crying. I dread to think what I will be like at my best friend's wedding in a couple of weeks! I managed to find this gorgeous Coast dress in my size on ASOS and I was absolutely thrilled. The colour is right up my street and I love the top too. Thanks to my pasty porcelain complexion, it looks like it is strapless, but without any of the faff or hoisting that a strapless dress requires! ;) I did have a pashmina type shawl with me too but I'm not sure what had happened to it in these photos!

Dress: Coast Mineraux dress, fascinator: Accessorize, bag: ASOS, shoes: New Look
I managed to get my hair cut the day before the wedding by my awesome hairdresser (go and see Thomika at Blushes in Cheltenham for the best haircut around!) and my blow dry managed to stay intact until the next day- result! I had such a faff trying to find a fascinator in the right colour but struck lucky in the Accessorize sale a couple of days before the wedding. The tendrilly bits were a bit annoying but the colour was a perfect match in the end!

The detailing on the dress was absolutely beautiful. I love the pleating on the bodice and the lace panels really give it that something extra special (can you tell I love this dress yet?!) These shoes were a bargain from New Look and matched my bag perfectly. I used to wear a lot of New Look clothes and shoes but other than this pair, I haven't been that impressed with their shoes recently. Is it me or do they just feel really cheap?

Gratuitous soppy couple photo, doesn't Mark look cute in his suit? 

What would you wear to a summer wedding?

White out...

I'm not sure why I look quite so cheery in these pictures but it makes a refreshing change- usually I tend to  look bleary-eyed rather than chirpy! This outfit is a more casual version of this one and I have been wearing it a lot recently. The top was a recent impulse purchase in the Matalan sale and it looks equally good with high-waisted skirts as it does with skinny jeans- always a winner in my book! I love the jazzy print at the top too, it makes even the most simple outfit look more pulled together. The one problem is that it creases ridiculously quickly, I had ironed it not more than 10 minutes before these photos were taken but you wouldn't know it from all the creases. It's a good job I'm looking pretty relaxed about it huh?! Matalan have really impressed me recently, I could spend a fortune in my local store and I'm sure I certainly will come payday...

Top: Matalan, jeans:Gap, shoes: Matalan, cheesy grin: model's own
The best part about a simple outfit like this is that you can go completely overboard on the accessories! This bright yellow bag is the perfect way to add some sunshine and paired with my new favourite lipstick (Mac Lady Bug) I was hot to trot... 

I know I have been raving about these skinny jeans but they are just so darned good! The cuffed hems were slightly annoying but they do mean that I can show off my snazzy shoes nicely ;) These sandals are the best thing I have bought in a long time and seem to match everything in my (ever-growing) wardrobe, I will definitely be buying a spare pair for when these wear out...

Which brands have impressed you recently?

Sausage casserole slow cooker recipe...

I have to admit, although I always hear rave reviews about slow cookers (Mrs Thrifty is always sharing the slow cooker love), I don't use ours as often as I would like but I am always on the lookout for new recipes. In theory I should be all over the 'throw it all in and let it bubble away' method of cooking but I have always been a bit paranoid of leaving it all day (despite it being perfectly safe) so I only tend to use ours when one of us is around. This sausage casserole recipe came about (no jokes please!) due to a long day working from home and it was absolutely delicious! The best bit is, this would taste equally delicious with vegetarian sausages or even without any meat whatsoever... This takes between 6 and 8 hours to cook so make sure it is on by 10.00 if you want to eat at 6.00 pm! 

What I wore for hen-do hijinks...

Last weekend it was my best friends's hen do and I was very excited! I had never been to one before and needed a pretty dress to see me through the day time activities. I was really having trouble tracking one down but the lovely Life Wardrobe directed me to ASDA where I found the most perfect dress, which also had an extra 20% off- winner! Apologies for the slightly grey photos too, they were hastily taken in the rain but luckily the weather did cheer up in the end. I love the floral print and the fact that it is sleeveless makes it ideal for any kind of spring or summer activities. I didn't realise that this entire outfit was from ASDA until I started writing this post- clearly I have a bit of a thing for supermarket bargains! The hen itself was a lot of fun and I was keen to get stuck into the party games (luckily my team won the treasure hunt- YES!) My friends and I found this website very useful for the more inappropriate gifts, well worth a look if you are heading to a stag or hen do any time soon!

Dress: George at ASDA, shoes: George at ASDA
 I think this photo shows off just how excited I was, look at that cheesy grin! I treated myself to a couple of Mac lipsticks from Debenhams on World Lipstick Day when they had £5 off and I am loving them so far. This is Lady Bug and is a really nice day time red  for pale skin which I have been wearing a lot recently- you will definitely be seeing more of this one on the blog! I wasn't sure what to do with my hair here as it desperately needed cutting but I found this fake plait from Primark when I was packing which jazzed it up nicely. You would never know it was fake, the colour matches perfectly!

Essie 'Aperitif' is the perfect red nail varnish and has further cemented my love for the brand. I was tempted by Fishnet Stockings but actually the lighter red is a bit more wearable! I don't tend to wear any bracelets other than my MedicAlert but this delicate heart bangle from ASOS caught my eye when I was looking for presents for the hen (ahem) and it is so pretty! I am looking weirdly tanned in these photos which is most unlike me, I am normally pasty pale and interesting so this is a nice change, long may it last... 

Have you been to many hen- dos? What did you wear?

Green and gold...

I have raved about French Connection several times over on this corner of the internet and this dress was from my recent splurge in their sale (P.S. it is still on sale here!). I really love the geometric print and the retro shape is oh so flattering! Until I was seduced by skater dresses, I was a massive fan of tea dresses and this may have rekindled my love affair with them. I was going to go more retro with the styling but I thought a sharp bob would look better than my usual curls and it made it feel a bit more work-y too. I may have a relaxed dress code but I do like to dress up every now and again! I thought I had managed to share all of my outfit posts from the old flat but this one managed to slip through the net and even though I have worn it since I didn't manage to take any more pictures!

Dress: French Connection, belt: Miss Selfridge, shoes: New Look
Just look how jazzy that print is! This gorgeous green 'Aqua Marine' Max Factor nail varnish is my absolute favourite at the moment and is way more interesting than my usual pink and coral shades. I am counting down the days to Autumn so this is giving me a fix until the weather cools down...

I must admit, I didn't realise just how short this skirt was until I wore it all day, luckily I had my little lacy shorts on underneath as otherwise I would be very self conscious otherwise! I love these gold wedges, I planned to throw them out in the great wardrobe clear-out when we moved but they survived another day! The pale gold colour is super flattering and the wedge is comfy enough to wear all day, they may just be the perfect summer shoes!

Any ideas where I can get my hands on some tea dresses?

Coral stripes and summer sandals...

You know that you have bought a good dress when you can't stop thinking about it and are getting excited to wear it when you get back off holiday! I found this dress in the Gap sale the day before I went away and although I was seriously tempted to take it with me, I resisted as I knew it would be perfect for work. The best part though was the price! I ended up paying about £14 for it as the sale price had an extra 10% off. A super cute dress AND with extra money off? I was sold! You can see from these pictures just how swooshy it is. I love a full skirted dress and felt like a million dollars in this one!

Dress: Gap, shoes: Dorothy Perkins
I didn't take my glasses on holiday with me so the last few weeks have been pretty weird as I have to get used to seeing life through a lens again. I am getting a little bit bored with my current frames so might get some new ones, any recommendations?

I have complained before about dressing for work in summer but this dress may have solved all of my workwear problems! The length makes it comfortable to wear and the higher neckline means that you don't feel too exposed. There's nothing worse than wearing something that you thought was long enough and then having to pull it down all day! I have raved about these sandals before but I think they are the perfect summer sandals for both work and play - I just need to find a pair in every other colour now!

Where should I go for my new frames? Any tips on how to dress for work in the summer?