31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014!

As the clock struck midnight and signalled the end of 2013, I decided that 2014 would be a year of achievement. I think it's safe to say: mission accomplished. This year I started a fantastic new job, I created a new blog and I took a trip to Paris, I made an embarrassing appearance on TV (irrelevant but worth mentioning) and celebrated the arrival of four lovely kittens. One of my best friends got married, I saw Noel Fielding and I got front row seats at a fashion show. I ate innumerable burgers, Nando's, chocolate bars and Meateor pizzas. And most impressively, I got all this done despite finally joining Netflix.

Here are the highlights... 


Dear Paris, will you have me back?


A lot of good food has been consumed this year.


The year of the #OOTD


I miss them being this small!


So that was 2014. And 2015? I'll be sharing my resolutions with you soon! x

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30 December 2014

Studland beach






Goodbye 2014


How are you enjoying the last two days of 2014? I'll be spending mine with friends and family, watching more films and polishing off the Christmas chocolate! 

I spend yesterday at Studland beach, along with plenty of people trying to burn off their festive indulgences. Not me though, I balanced out my walk with another hot chocolate. It was so cold out, I needed the warmth! 

For me, Studland beach isn't the most beautiful part of the Dorset coastline - the beach huts could do with sprucing up and there aren't a lot of facilities on offer... but boy does it have good views! You can see for miles. The top image was taken on the drive down - although my lens wasn't anywhere near wide enough to capture the amazing panoramic view, so you might have to catch this yourself one day!







Coat - George | Hat - River Island | Boots - New Look (similar) | Skirt - H&M | Blouse - Sugarhill Boutique

How will you be spending the last couple of days of 2014? I'll be back soon for a round-up of the year and some New Years' resolutions! x
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27 December 2014

Take a walk

Ah, the Crimbo-Limbo! The only week where leftover sausage rolls, unwanted slices of pudding and segments of chocolate orange are the plat du jour - and that's okay! Actually, this is probably my favourite time of the year - all one is expected to do is eat, snuggle up in blankets and watch films - I've been preparing for this my whole life. But today I thought I'd venture from the sofa and take my new favourite dress out for a spin.




Vintage Style Me


I can't believe I started this new blog two months ago and I haven't yet mentioned Vintage Style Me, my favourite online boutique! They handcraft (to perfection) the loveliest collection of retro-inspired clothes - and their dresses make up a chunky percentage of my wardrobe. I discovered them almost a year ago and have been infatuated since I ordered my first piece: a red tartan smock dress I still adore. 

It had gone a little quiet on the VSM front this season, but when I saw this oriental trapeze dress I knew it was the one for the holidays. It's beautiful, intricate and it's genius shape can disguise approximately 4 roast dinners, 3 chocolate oranges and 2 Christmas puddings. Trust me, I've tried and tested it. 





Note to self: bring a scarf


Today was not warm. But my new coat mostly saved me from the Arctic breezes! I found this burgundy beauty in the New Look sale - £20! I got a little over-excited when I realised it matched my boots. And did you notice my pretty necklace? It's by Susan Caplan (read more in my last post) and as soon as it arrived on my doorstep I knew it'd go perfectly with this oriental dress! I don't often wear gold, but anything goes in the Crimbo-Limbo - and I must say, I think this luxe combination is slowly converting me...





Dress - Vintage Style Me | Bag - New Look | Coat - New Look | Boots - Dorothy Perkins

Of course, I didn't stay out in the cold for too long - and an indulgent hot chocolate soon warmed my bones! I hope you've had a lovely holiday - tell me how it went in the comments! x
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22 December 2014

December Favourites

Wow. Recently I've been feeling like one of Santa's Elves - it's been a month of buying presents, wrapping, baking and demolishing candy canes! My Christmas activities haven't left me a lot of spare time to blog - but not to worry - I have two weeks off work to write and snap photos until my heart is content! I'm very excited about this - we have a lot to catch up on!

So let's start with this month. What have I been loving?

Sparkles




 J2O Glitter Berry
I basically count down the months until my beloved Glitter Berry hits the shelves again. The fact that it has actual gold glitter inside is probably a huge factor in explaining why I love it so darn much. Well, that and it tastes delicious. If you like the sound of cherry, grape and festive spices (and I do), I'd recommend trying this. As I don't drink, it's nice to have a festive alternative to mulled wine!

Susan Caplan jewellery
 I was recently sent these beautiful jewels from Susan Caplan, who specialises in vintage jewellery sourced from all around the world. She's now stocked on ASOS, so check her out if you love retro looking pieces! I chose this lovely necklace and earrings set because the clasping hands reminded me of the Celtic Claddagh design - the symbol of love, friendship and loyalty. I've had so many compliments on the necklace it's fast becoming one of my favourites!

Barry M nail polish
These sparkles were a whim in Boots after seeing the 3-for-2 deal and remembering I wanted to attempt candy cane patterned nails. And at this time of year, a spot of nail glitter never goes amiss! Barry M, in my experience, is one of the better quality polishes under the £5 price tag, so if you're looking for a new colour, I'd recommend these.

Topshop. Glitter. Shoes
I've never loved a pair of shoes like these before. Just occasionally it's nice to totally throw any sense of practicality out of the window in favour of complete whimsy and childish girliness. I think 10 year old me would definitely approve! On a side note, they're wonderfully comfortable and the heel is the perfect height for me. They've got more colours on the website... and I'm so so tempted.




Beauty products

Herbal Essences Naked Shine Shampoo & Conditioner
I'm a marketing dream. Because after seeing Herbal Essences' #GetNaked campaign on Twitter where they answered questions and handed out advice, I was convinced that with their Naked Shine range I could achieve the glossy locks of an A-lister. So I rushed out to buy it. This is what I have to report back: it lathers up so much more than my usual Aussie stuff, and leaves my hair feeling much cleaner and softer afterwards. There are no naughty parabens, silicones or dyes in this - which, unsurprisingly, aren't great for your hair. And my hair feels suitably healthy, lightweight and shiny - and gets a lot less tangled! Mission accomplished. 

La Roche Posay
I'd been using the La Roche Posay skin care kit for nearly a year and, to be honest, I wasn't wowed. The kit included a foaming face wash, a toner and the mega-hyped Effaclar Duo cream that beauty bloggers have been raving about for millennia. Last week, the cream finally ran out, so I was faced with a difficult decision: re-purchase or find a new product? I looked online and discovered something a little weird. I read that the kit was only supposed to last six weeks. And I'd been using it for about ten months! Now, I'm pretty sure the 'six weeks of use' is a gigantic understatement - but even so, I must have been seriously under-using it. So, I repurchased and started using more cream each morning and before bed. My skin is looking an awful lot better, so I think Effaclar is back in my good books!

Red lips
Nothing makes me feel a) as festive and b) as confident as a nice red lip - these are my top four picks.
  • Barry M's Cor Balmy! (Jam Jar) - a lovely tinted lip balm which features a moisture-rich core filled with goodies like shea butter and Vitamin E. For me, this is pretty essential stuff during chapped lips season. Always in my handbag. 
  • Sephora cream lip stain (shade 01) - if you want a red red that demands attention I cannot recommend this highly enough. It applies like a gloss but dries within a few seconds, leaving you a smudge resistant bright red lip which rarely needs touching up. 
  • Revlon Colorburst lacquer balm (Enticing) - I really don't like traditional lipsticks, which can feel all dry and cakey. Instead, I like balms and stains - the Revlon Colorburst balms are my favourite, as they feel very soft and moisturising whilst giving a great pop of colour! 
  • Revlon Colorstay moisture stain (New York Scene) - the only way I can describe this product is to say it applies like a gloss, but doesn't stay sticky. Unlike the Sephora stain, it doesn't dry - your lips still feel highly moisturised (with the Sephora stuff you usually need to add a clear balm or your lips can feel a tad Sahara desert-y! But that's the price you pay for an amazing colour). I've purchased a lot of colours from the Colorburst and Colorstay range, that's how much I like them!

Reading

I've been reading a lot of great books recently - Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, Bonjour Happiness by Jamie Kit Callan and I'm now tackling Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Unfortunately most of those are eBooks... so here's a couple of actual real life books I've read too. 

Everything is going to be OK
This is a lovely collection of inspirational pictures that always make me smile. I don't need to have a bad day to want to pick it up and flick through - in fact, I can probably credit part of my usual cheeriness to reading things like this! But seriously, who wouldn't giggle at the book's sage advice: "one cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin". 

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
This was my favourite book when I was little - and I love it just as much now. Reading it around Christmas makes it feel even more magical and special. Because this edition has such a beautiful cover and gorgeous silver edged pages (good ole Waterstones), I display it proudly in my bedroom. Those are the best sort of books, don't you think?

What are your favourite things this month? Let me know in the comments! x
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13 December 2014

Ten pieces of really good advice.

Here's a fact about me: I love a good quote. I collect them. In my 23 years, I've come across so many good ones; my favourites often written on scrap paper and stuck around my room. I'm always searching for new words of wisdom and I thought I'd share my current favourites from a few inspirational women. Girl power!



There are so many quotes from Audrey - you can spot my favourite in my header. But this one I like to remember when I feel myself leaning towards superficiality, vanity or insecurity - and with being a fashion blogger in my early twenties that's probably all too frequent. But then I'll think about this, and use my time and energy to do something kind or useful instead. Because, let's face it, being a lovely person makes you far more attractive than a great haircut ever will. 



The happiest, most successful people are those who have found something they love and refused to let it go. If I could go back in time I would impart that advice to myself - it's all too easy to feel sensible and give up the things you're passionate about. Never do that! Clawing back my love of writing was probably the single greatest decision I ever made. 




I think if I knew Emma Watson, we'd be best friends. This is pretty spot-on advice for everyone trying to suss out who they are, what they want in life and what they're looking for in a partner. Which is... just about everyone! It's easy to feel like having a relationship is a priority, right? But if you make loving yourself the priority before worrying about anyone else, you'll feel good, make better decisions and attract better people. As Michael Scott would say: win-win-win. 



This probably doesn't apply for everyone. But I am certainly partial to minidresses bedecked with ribbons and splashed with glitter. I feel like I need to add another Zooey quote: "I'm just being myself. There is not an ounce of me that believes any of that crap  that they say. We can't be feminine and feminists and successful? I want to be a f*cking feminism and wear a f*cking Peter Pan collar. So f*cking what?" - I am a sparkly pink feminist. My love of the Peter Pan collar doesn't make me any less intelligent, hard-working, or strong than someone in a grey suit. I think if you want to wear pink, wear pink. Don't ever be afraid of being judged. 



This quote makes me wish I had one of those big spinning globes to play with. It's always good to remind yourself how many adventures are out there to be had - you should never, ever feel bored - life is far too short and there's so much to do. You can remind me of that next time I'm desperately tweeting from my commute to work.



I think I originally read this quote in the Princess Diaries book series about 10 years ago - I've remembered it ever since. You can't control what other people say or think - but you do have some control over how their words affects you. Whether it's a friend, family member or colleague at work who's hit a nerve, just remember: you're fantastic. Hold your head up high and don't listen to the haters. (I think about this when my friend reminds me I'm an idiot.)



When I reignited my love for fashion and realised I wanted to write, I felt like I'd won a battle. I was so relieved - I'd been struggling for so long to find something I could be really passionate about and here it was. My new destiny. Sadly, sitting on my butt and watching Judge Judy re-runs wasn't going to help me achieve my dream career. I worked my ass off (I will stop mentioning my posterior now) interning for several online magazines, which paid no money, to get the right experience and sharpen my skills. I took part-time jobs so I had time to write in the afternoons because I couldn't face giving up writing - even though people encouraged me to just keep it as a hobby. But eventually my determination paid off and now my job is to write. Months on, I still smile to myself when I think about having achieved my goal. I'm such a cheese-ball. But to me, it's proof that working hard and never giving up on your dreams works.



Has anyone read Mindy's book 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)'? I loved it! She refused to give up on her passion - comedy. When you're in scary new territory, just remember: someone has to be the first. Why can't that be you? If you're passionate about something, go for it and be your own trailblazer.



As day-to-day advice goes, this is a gem. Getting obsessed about your weight is an easy trap to fall into and, long-term, it's pretty awful for your mental health. Frankly, it's easier to just throw away the scales and trust the waistband of your favourite jeans to let know whether or not you need to start taking the stairs a little more or cut down on the chocolate bars. Hopefully we can explore this topic a little more in a different post.


 
When I grow up I want to be Helen Mirren. It can be hard to deal with when you know someone doesn't have the best impression of you, but you know what? It's almost never worth the effort of changing their mind. You will never win over everyone - just be yourself and find out who likes you for you. To put it another way - think of your very favourite celebrity. Now think of how many internet haters they have. Does that make you like them any less? Do you think those guys keep them up at night? No? Exactly. 

I hope you enjoyed reading my favourite quotes - I'd love it if you shared your favourites in the comments section!
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2 December 2014

Step into Christmas

It's December! 

I wanted to share a few of the things that are making me feel festive this month. Enjoy!



Food, flicks and fluffy duvets


I discovered Snow Bites one chilly day in 2011. Every winter since, I've hunted them down and bought several bags at a time! They're delicious. In case you've never tried one, they're solid chocolate balls in a crispy sugar shell (sort of like a Smartie) and dusted with white icing sugar. At least, I think it's icing sugar.... whatever it is, it's addictive. 

Let's not forget Frosty Fancies and Festive Friends (the latter I couldn't source for the photo shoot, sad times), as well as Thornton's chocolate lollipops. Lovely. The ultimate Christmas snack is, of course, the mighty Chocolate Orange - but I know I'll have accumulated a small grove's worth in Christmas presents, so, for now, I'm holding off. 

I found these heart shaped bowls while on a trip for festive bits'n'bobs at Wilkinsons (not strictly festive, are they?) and thought they'd be perfect for presenting my snacks. My favourite purchase has to be this amazing glass mug though, it's a thing of beauty! Especially when filled to the brim with delicious frothy hot chocolate (Aero Bubble is my current favourite) and piled high with whipped cream and marshmallows! And it was only £2 from Asda. I'm one of those people who gets very distracted when food shopping. 




But this post couldn't be solely about food, could it? I've thrown in my supremely attractive squirrel pyjamas, which are ridiculously fluffy. So fluffy, in fact, that I become roughly 1000 degrees Celsius after wearing them for an hour. 

I'm also in love with my duvet set, which I got on a pre-festive whim about two months ago. I was originally seduced by the stylish reindeer motif (or are they stags?), but when they arrived I found they were made from brushed cotton, which is the most delicious thing to sleep in/touch/curl up with. Thanks Tesco. You did good. I found a very cheap brushed cotton bedsheet in Primani too, which is on theme. Bedtime is now my favourite. 

Finally, DVD's. I'm an avid film watcher at the best of times, but December brings out a desire to watch all the Christmas films. This is what my 'To Watch' list currently looks like. Now to combine the bed, snacks and films - and I have the perfect night in. 




What are you favourite festive things? Leave me your list in the comments! 
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