The year I decided I can...

As we get to the end of 2015 (I can't believe it has gone so quickly!) it is interesting to look back across the year. There is always a lot of talk around what women can't do and I'm pleased to note that this was the year of saying that I can for me. I have changed quite a lot this year and I'm ending the year happier than I started it. I always think that confidence is very visible and I was really chuffed with how this outfit turned out. This would be perfect for a festive drink with friends, you don't want anything too fancy but still like you have made an effort and the addition of pleather trousers allows you to do just that, especially when you add heels!

H&M cream oversized slouchy jumper, ASDA faux pleather trouser leggings, ASDA black suede wedge heels, cosy, winter, Nars Audacious lipstick in Grace on pale skin (1)
Jumper: H&M, camisole: Tesco, trousers: c/o George at ASDA, shoes: c/o George at ASDA
This jumper is super cosy and goes with pretty much everything in my wardrobe because of how plain it is. I love the stepped hem and it helps to skim nicely over my (ever-growing) food baby too!

H&M cream oversized slouchy jumper, ASDA faux pleather trouser leggings, ASDA black suede wedge heels, cosy, winter, Nars Audacious lipstick in Grace on pale skin

Lipstick is one of those things that always makes me feel pulled together and Nars Audacious lipstick in Grace is my newest addition. It adds a splash of colour to a very plain outfit and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, I mean, just look how pretty it is! I decided that I am going to grow my hair slightly longer and although it's already annoying me a little bit, I can already do so much more with it. I don't think I could ever go back to having it this long, it's nice to have a bit of a change...

H&M cream oversized slouchy jumper, ASDA faux pleather trouser leggings, ASDA black suede wedge heels, cosy, winter, Nars Audacious lipstick in Grace on pale skin

I am always worried that I end up looking a bit sausage-y when I wear a fitted bottom half but hopefully I manage to pull this off. These are supposedly leggings but as they have a fly and working pockets, I felt justified in calling them (very tight-fitting) trousers. You know how much I love ASDA shoes and this wedge pair are ideal for adding a bit of height without the fear of toppling over.

H&M cream oversized slouchy jumper, ASDA faux pleather trouser leggings, ASDA black suede wedge heels, cosy, winter, Nars Audacious lipstick in Grace on pale skin

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, see you in 2016!

Feeling like Kim Kardashian...

I have spent a lot of time recently watching Keeping up with the Kardashians (no shame for my trashy TV habit!) and I think my obsession with their polished lives is filtering into my wardrobe. This outfit felt very Kim K to me (only without her awesome make-up skills!) and although my outing to the the International Centre for Birds of Prey was decidedly less glamourous, this outfit was super cosy and I felt amazing in it. Thanks to my diabetes I am always really self-conscious about my tummy so would usually avoid anything quite so bodycon but this is such a soft dress that it was impossible to resist, Monki struck lucky again! This faux fur gilet is one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe, it is just perfect for making even the most casual outfit look dressed up. Purple and faux fur seem to be a bit of a recurring theme in my wardrobe, although this version is distinctly less chilly looking ;)  I'm not 100% sure why, but I felt unstoppable in this outfit, I do love how transformative clothes can be!

Dress: Monki, gilet: from a charity shop, shoes: Office
Unfortunately my lipstick had rubbed off by the time we took these pictures (although you can see it better on Instagram) but just imagine a gorgeous dark purple-y berry lip! ;) The long sleeves on this dress would have been a complete no no for me in the past as I was always far too warm and got sweaty (TMI I know) but Driclor has opened up a whole new world of clothes for me and I can't recommend it enough! I think the reviews speak for themselves but honestly, if you get self-conscious about sweating, this is the product for you and it is so freeing to have that confidence..

Flat shoes are the only option when you are on your feet all day and this nude pair came to the rescue once again. I would have preferred a slight heel but until I manage to replace these ASDA shoes, I am stuck with this pair... 

Are you a Kardashians fan? How do you stay confident?

Our trip to the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Newent... (PICTURE HEAVY)

Living where we do, there are a lot of cool things on our doorstep and the International Centre for Birds of Prey is one such thing. Mark and I had been planning to go since my birthday last year but I was so overexcited about my birthday that I cried when he mentioned it and he thought it was best to postpone (yes I like my birthday!) We finally got round to visiting this year and it was such a great day out, even if you are not as crazy about owls as me. We arrived as a flying demonstration started and wowee, can those birds fly! They swoop down really low above the benches and apparently have been known to catch people's hair as they swoop around. Luckily my hairdo remained intact but it was breathtaking to see these beautiful birds up close...

My 2015 winter essentials...

Winter seems to have taken quite a while to kick in so far this year but the chill is definitely here now and since we have put the tree up, I am feeling really Christmassy! For once I have been really organised (don't hate me but yes, I had bought and wrapped my presents before the end of November! ;) I'm not a fan of the dark evenings but Mira Showers challenged me to share my wintry essentials and actually there's a lot to be said for these cheery items!

 I have a bit of a thing for scented candles (blogger clichĂ© alert!) and have had
This Yankee Simply Home candle in 'Savour the Season' smells so Christmas-sy. I love anything cinnamon scented so between that candle and these tealights, our flat smells like a bakery at the moment!

Scarf: Accessorize
You know how much I love the colour red and this cosy scarf is a recent addition to my wardrobe. I got some Accessorize vouchers for my birthday and decided to treat myself. It is so cosy and the perfect splash of colour.
Hats: River Island, Accessorize, Topshop and Accessorize
I am lucky enough to own a lot of cute hats and I have been wearing a lot of berets recently as they look pretty darned cute with my short hair. I have had this embellished black beret for years (just look at my little baby face!), the leopard print and the red bow one for a few years and this cute chunky beret was a birthday present from my lovely friend Naomi this year. I think most people suit a beret and there's nothing better for keeping you warm in winter!

The Internet has brought me some wonderful things and friendships are top of that list. I absolutely love owls so this hot water bottle is a fun way to keep cosy (yes I also have owl pyjamas!)

I got this cute cup for my birthday from my friend Becky and I really love it. I can't resist a pun and it is the perfect size for a hot chocolate with some marshmallows!

Cold weather always makes my skin really dry so I have been combating it with this La Roche Posay set and the Elemis Hydra-Boost day cream I got free with a magazine a few months ago. It gives me a really nice glow and my skin is just drinking it up at the moment.
Top: Ellesse via TK Maxx, leggings: Puma
I rejoined the gym recently and have really been enjoying it. Half of the battle is finding a routine that works and I think I have finally managed it.I have been going a couple of times a week before work and despite aching all over, it does start my day off right! You know that clothes are a great motivator for me and this crop top and these Puma tights are a fun addition to my workout wardrobe. I feel so cool in them and that's half the battle, right?!

I have been reaching for multi-purpose products recently and this Dainty Doll cream blusher in Paper Roses is great for whacking on after the gym and works well as a lipstick too. I wish it was still available to buy but I guess I can track it down online somewhere when this one runs out...

I'm usually a shower kind of gal but there's nothing nicer than a hot bath to keep you cosy. I must be the worst blogger ever as this Magic Christmas bubble bar was my first ever Lush purchase! I always love the look of individual products but the store always smells far too overwhelming for me. I had seen this one online and in the window and went in when I had a cold to buy it. It makes the bath a gorgeous orange colour and my skin feels so soft afterwards. Now that I have dipped my toe in, I will definitely be back, I just need to decide what to try next!

 Nars make some pretty lovely make-up and I am a little bit addicted (I may have got Mark to order this set ready for Christmas!) Nars Audacious lipstick in Grace is a gorgeous bright creamy pink with a coral undertone and you only need one swipe for full coverage. Mark balked at the cost of this but the payoff is well worth the price and you can't beat an embossed lipstick for a bit of luxury ;)

What are your winter essentials? Which Lush products would you recommend?

The Lulu Kennedy printed mini skirt...

Over the years I have learnt that certain clothes just don't work on me. Not from following any 'rules' but from the fact that the reality is always a disappointment. Pencil skirts are one such item on me, I love the idea of them but the reality is less than ideal. Mini skirts however are something that make up a huge part of my wardrobe and I think they look pretty darn good doing it! You can see from these leaves that these pictures were taken a little while ago, but with a few extra layers (I'm thinking this jumper and coat combo with these boots would look ace) it could still work now. Obviously it depends on how casual your office is but with some opaque tights and a sharp blazer, I imagine this would make a pretty fun work outfit...

Top: Vila via ASOS, skirt: Lulu Kennedy x Marks & Spencer, shoes: Office
It took me so long to track down a plain navy top to go with this skirt, you have no idea! Everything I foud was either too fussy or far too short. Luckily the ASOS sale came to my rescue and this Vila blouse is absolutely perfect. I am really self-conscious about my tummy so any top that is long enough to skim over it is ideal in my book. I have raved about the Bourjois velvet lipsticks more often than I care to remember on the blog and this gorgeous Grand Cru berry shade is my new favourite. It is still quite pink-y in colour but adds a vampier edge, perfect for this time of year. 

The fact this skirt has pockets is a MAJOR plus point for me!
I must admit, I had no idea that Lulu Kennedy had done a collection for M&S but it seemed to go down a storm with the fashion press. Most of the designs are a bit too bohemian for me but I spotted this skirt in my size in the sale and snapped it up. I really love the assymetric hem and the contrast waistband and the thick woven cotton is surprisingly cosy. With nude tights and a hemline this short, I wasn't sure what shoes to go for but these trusty nude flats saved the day once again. 

Did you pick anything up from the Lulu Kennedy collection? Which clothes don't work for you?

My Christmas jumper...

This post contains clothes that were sent for review by ASDA
know it's early but I'm going to mention the C word. I'm usually a bit of a humbug until mid-December but this year I have been feeling particularly festive. Perhaps it's because we have some really fun stuff planned for Christmas and New Year but I cannot wait to put on the BublĂ© Christmas album and start eating my body weight in mince pies. Christmas jumpers have become a bit of a thing in the past few years and I can never resist a bit of sparkle! This jumper may be snazzy but even with the sequins I will be happy wearing it all year round as it is just so soft and cosy. The perfect test for this was standing outside whilst Mark took these photos and despite the 'brisk' wind, I was snug as a bug! I went very out of character with the rest of this outfit, opting for pleather legging/trousers rather than my usual mini skirts but I actually love them. They are super cosy and the fit balances out the volume of the jumper, even if I did feel a bit like a sausage when I first put them on!

Jumper, camisole, trousers and shoes all c/o ASDA
I really need to work on my make-up skills, I tend to wear bright lipstick but thought this called for something different. I had done a soft smoky eye here but as my eyes are so small, you can't actually see it :( In real life the neutral lip (Topshop lip bullet in Tamed) balanced it out but it didn't photograph so well. Ah well, I guess you live and learn! With thick jumpers like this, I tend to just throw on a camisole, I am always too warm to wear much more!

This glittery bag is possibly the most festive thing I own; long-time readers will know that I am a sucker for anything sparkly so I fell in love with this when it arrived. It is much smaller than I thought but I can still fit my phone, diabetes stuff and a (small) purse in, I just won't be able to use it day to day. So far, I haven't noticed much glitter shedding from it but it will scag your tights if you aren't careful so consider this a warning!

Although they have a bit of stretch in them, I am definitely classing these as trousers as they not only have a fly but pockets too! They remind me of these waxed jeans, just slightly tighter ;)

ASDA shoes are always ridiculously good value and this wedge pair are just as comfy as my beloved block heels, I think I am going to have to buy another pair before they (inevitably) sell out.

Are you a Christmas jumper fan?
P.S. I was sent these clothes to review but if I didn't love them, I wouldn't feature them!