Grey and pink...

Long time, no speak! It feels strange to be back here writing when it has been so long since I last posted (and even longer since I was posting regularly!) but I guess that's what happens when life gets in the way! We took these photos a long time ago but as I style this dress the exact same way every time I wear this dress, I figured it was still worth sharing! I never used to be one for either midi lengths or trainers but this dress was my first step into a whole world of comfort. I love pale pink and grey together and the grey sweatshirt element of this makes it super easy to wear and cosy to boot!

Dress: Topshop, shoes: Converse 
I have spent a lot of time (and money) trying to find a skincare regime that works for me and Caudalie seems to be the holy grail! I don't know what magical ingredient it is in their products that suits my skin but it has made me a lot happier overall, even without make-up. All I am wearing here is a swipe of Glossier's Boy Brow (another favourite of mine) and some tinted lipbalm, younger Maria could have never...

I do love a dramatic ribbon! 

I spotted these rose gold Converse in the Office sale a few years back and immediately fell in love. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I like shiny things so it was inevitable that they were coming home with me. They made trainers feel much more accessible to me and for that I will be eternally grateful! They are also proof that basics don't have to be boring!

How do you jazz up your basics? Which colour combinations so you always come back to?

Spring staples: the trench coat

Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons, I hate being too warm so anytime I can get sunshine without boiling to death is a winner in my book. April showers though can be tricky to dress for. Luckily this jazzy trench coat is the perfect final layer for drizzly days. I have been a massive Whistles fan for as long as I can remember and eBay is my best friend when it comes to finding gems to add to my wardrobe (without the premium price point!). I'm definitely not one for a minimalist capsule wardrobe (I like the range of choice!) but certain things you are likely to find in lots of people's wardrobes and trench coats are certainly one of them. No boring beige for me though, this baby is more brown sugar than blah...

Coat: Whistles via eBay, top: Topshop, jeans: Gap, shoes: Betty London, necklace: Accessorize
The overall effect of this trench coat is pretty classic but the colour is more brown than camel which is much nicer and more flattering on my pasty pale skin tone. I really like the oversized shape and the belt is great for cinching you in too. The best part about it though? I look and feel like a private detective whenever I wear it! Which is pretty fitting really when it comes to my social media stalking skills 😏

You really can't go wrong with a red lipstick and this one by Chanel is perfect! It's the Rouge Coco in shade 440 Arthur and I really love the finish (so much so, I also bought it in Etinenne!) My hair is getting longer and longer again and although I still have a lot in my wardrobe from 2013, I'm not sure I could ever go back to super long hair

Teeny bags are truly my kryptonite, I absolutely love them but with the amount of junk I lug around on a daily basis, they are just too impractical. This Brit Stitch half pint satchel is teeny but I can just about fit my phone, bloods stuff and a few cards. The colour is really unusual and it may not be practical, but it sure is fun!

Where do you find your basics? Could you ever have a capsule wardrobe? 

A fresh start

It has been a long time since I have posted on my little corner of the internet but I wasn't quite ready to pull the plug just yet. I started this blog with Danni nearly a decade ago (!) and I never imagined all of the different opportunities it would open up for me. Nowadays I am a social media marketer by day and I'm less inclined to take photos and rattle off a post when I get home from work, mainly because my need for a creative outlet is much less urgent than when I was working at ASDA for instance. The usual joys of stress and pressure have also piled up so I couldn't dedicate the energy I needed to make this a feasible part of my everyday routine.  
I still love seeking out bargains and styling up outfits though, so expect to see a bit more of that here. Mark and I also bought our first house back in December 2018 so a lot of our disposable income is going on finding pieces for that rather than adding to my ever-expanding wardrobe! I have also set myself a challenge to read more books than last year and I'm pleased to say I'm already 40 down towards my target of 130. If you've got any recommendations, please do let me know. Looking forward to re-acquainting myself with everyone's blogs (hopefully at least some of my faves are still posting!)

Here's to fresh starts!

Candy pink...

Bright colours have long been a staple in my wardrobe and this candy pink Whistles dress was a fun workwear addition. The shape was boxier than I would usually go for but paired with some fun shoes and a jazzy necklace, it was much more firmly in my comfort zone. I am a big fan of sleeveless dresses (I am always warm!) and I can't wait to layer this one up with some stripes and a polo neck!

Dress: Whistles (via eBay), shoes: Topshop, necklace: Topshop
I have had this necklace for nigh on 7 years (!) and although the attached leaf is long gone, it is still one of the pieces of jewellery I have on regular rotation. It is simple but so unusual, not bad for a Topshop sale bargain! My hair has got so much longer recently and I have really been enjoying brushing it out into soft waves. It does have a mind of its own so I sometimes have to use my GHDs to help tame it. I really should do more with my hair as it does hold a style when I bother but I am just too lazy, I would much rather have an extra 20 minutes in bed...

These shoes were another Topshop bargain a while back and I love them They are ridiculously comfy and make a real statement without being completely impractical. I am always a bit wary of wearing heels with higher hemlines but I think the chunky block heel and the straps helps to stop them from looking too much, what do you think?

Where do you buy your workwear?

A fresh start...

2017 highlights ❤
2017 was another strange year for me, it was busy but a lot of fun too. The biggest thing I did was starting my new job back in April and as a result, the rest of the year just flew by. I have missed blogging but every year I seem to end up writing less and less blog posts. Katy has written much more eloquently about this but I guess life just gets in the way sometimes! I'm really looking forward to 2018 (we finally booked our big trip to New York City and Washington DC, eek!) and although I can't promise to be back blogging regularly, I will share snippets here and over on Instagram as and when I feel the urge.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Beautiful broderie...

Little white dresses are always my go to in the summer; sunshine just calls for something light and breezy and this pretty broderie anglaise dress from Warehouse fitted the bill perfectly! I love the oversized sleeves (re-reading Anne of Green Gables has definitely reignited my appreciation for puffed sleeves!) and it is so light to wear. Paired with my beloved coral shoes and bag, it's perfect for these last few sunny days before we slip fully into Autumn!

Dress: Warehouse, tights:Tesco, shoes: Clarks, bag: Clarks
I don't look very impressed but I promise I wasn't feeling as miserable as I look here! Someone needs to tell my face to cheer up! 😂 This Max Factor lipstick (Bewitching Coral) is one of my favourites and the bright pinky-coral matched my shoes and bag perfectly, I love it when a plan comes together...

I have been trying to use more of my accessories recently and this teeny bag is more practical than you might first think. I can't carry the kitchen sink around like I usually would but actually that's no bad thing, I always lug far too much stuff around with me!

I did worry that this dress was a little bit short as I have been conscious of wearing clothes that are too young for me but I'm hoping I can get away with mini hemlines for a little while longer yet?! 

What are your summer staples?

P.S. Did you know that there is a whole series of books about Anne Shirley? I didn't realise until recently but I did enjoy reading more about Anne growing up!

Styling a floral maxi skirt...

If there's one thing you can count on, it's the fact that summer will be a bit of a washout. Now I prefer gloomier weather as I am always too warm but I know that I am in the minority here! 😉 Maxi skirts will always be my summer clothing of choice and this floral skirt from Topshop is a fun addition to my wardrobe. I thought pairing it with a cropped jumper would be conceding to Autumn too early so I opted for this orange silk blouse instead. I don't want to wish my life away but I can't wait for the cooler months and I imagine this skirt will get a lot of wear layered up with some cosy tights and boots!

Top: French Connection, skirt: Topshop, tights: Accessorize, shoes: River Island
My hair does not do well with rain (hello frizz!) but this Bumble and Bumble styling creme has been helping me to stave off the worst of it. I have been using it for a while now but haven't posted about it much but can thoroughly recommend it if you have wavy, frizz-prone hair like me!

I wasn't sure what to do with the extra length of the blouse but I think knotting it like this looks pretty neat. Fifth Avenue is the latest addition to my Essie collection and it is a lovely coral red. I'm not very good at painting my own nails but I did feel pretty darned glam in this shade! 💅

The slits in this skirt come up pretty high (I had to resist the urge to pull an Angelina Jolie!) but these chunky block heels (hopefully!) helped to tone down the revealing nature. I may try it with a cream top and trainers next, how lush would these be?! 

How would you tone this skirt down? Are you counting down to Autumn like me?

Interesting workwear for a smart office...

Since starting my new job, I have had to get back into the habit of wearing smarter clothes for work. Whilst I miss my more casual workwear, it has been good to challenge myself and push out of my (very literal) comfort zone. Life's too short to wear boring clothes so I have been wearing a lot of fun printed dresses (this geometric number and this blocky beauty were particular favourites) to make it a but more interesting. I have been lucky enough to find a few dresses in my favourite charity shop to add to my collection, including this beautiful printed one from Hobbs. The shape isn't one I would usually go for but the drawstring waist was able to cinch me in and it is so light to wear, making it perfect for the summer!

Hobbs orange Broughton dress
Dress: Hobbs via charity shop, tights:Tesco, shoes: Whistles
I love the slash neck on this and the print is really unusual, does anyone else think it looks like rain? I have been trying to be more inventive with how I style my hair and I was pretty pleased with this sleeker look, thank goodness for my GHDs!

I wear these Whistles shoes a lot and I am cautious abut wearing them out as they are just so darned comfy! Has anyone seen any interesting black blocky heels recently? I need to find an alternative to these but ideally with a pointed toe too... let me know if you have more luck than I do!

What do you wear to work? Where do you buy interesting workwear from?

Punchy prints...

I have always been a fan of statement jackets and when I spotted this one in Seasalt, I knew I would be taking it home with me. I love the colour teal and this print is perfect for adding a bit of interest to a pretty basic outfit. Admittedly I would usually associate Seasalt with stripes or anchors than with prints like this but it was definitely a pleasant surprise! Paired with bright lipstick and glasses, it did feel like something an art teacher might wear, I just need to figure out how to layer my necklaces...

Jacket: Seasalt, top: Gap, jeans: River Island, shoes:Whistles
Pink lipstick is always so fun to wear and I have raved about this Bourjois velvet formula many many times. You should definitely get your hands on it if you like bright shades that last all day! Statement pieces need a blank canvas to really shine and this beige top from Gap was ideal. It is a lovely soft cotton and crucially is long enough in the body for me. I can't stand tops that are short in the torso!

My lovely colleagues bought this 'M' necklace for me as part of my leaving presents when I left for my new job and it is so lovely, you can't go wrong with rose gold! I wore it on my first day at my new job and it definitely gave me a confidence boost 😊

Finding a good pair of jeans can be tricky but this River Island style is so good that I have them in black and blue! I love the fact you can get them in a shorter length and the slight stretch to the denim is super comfy too. 

Are you a fan of statement jackets? How do you jazz up your basics?

Peacock print...

BIBA is one of those brands where subtlety is in short supply. I love all of their jazzy prints and they always look so luxurious. I spotted this top in the House of Fraser sale back in March and I fell in love, the peacock print is beautiful and I love the swooshy sleeves! I have been trying to focus on quality over quantity with my clothes buying and this was an ideal candidate: it wasn't cheap but the standard is so much higher than anything I buy from H&M or Primark and I know it will still be in my wardrobe  years later. 

Top: BIBA (from House of Fraser), jeans: River Island, shoes:Whistles
Eyeshadow has always been out of my comfort zone but I have been trying to wear it more recently and I was pretty pleased with the result here. Paired with my favourite nude lipstick (Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Liv it Up) I was hot to trot! I treated myself to Liv it Up and Pink Venus when I got my new job and I absolutely love them, I will definitely be treating myself to a few more shades come next payday...

The back detail on this top is fab too, the tie allows you to adjust how wide the neckline is which I like. I always get a bit paranoid that the sleeves will keep slipping off my shoulders but this helps to keep them firmly in place. My hair has grown a lot recently and I have been able to coax it into soft waves which is fab. I have always been very low maintenance with my hair so it's nice when it cooperates!

These River Island jeans are so comfortable and due to the stretch in the denim, they stay comfy even after a large meal (which let's face it, is the whole point of going out!) I really want some new berry jeans this Autumn, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they bring some out in this style.

Are you a fan of BIBA?