Thursday, 26 April 2012

Always the wedding guest, never the...

As many of you may know, for The Boy and I this year will always be known as The Year of the Wedding. Oh no, not our wedding, the wedding of pretty much everyone we've ever met.

So far, five invites and counting.

We've got weddings abroad, weddings in the country, vintage weddings, city weddings, you name it, we're going to it. Not that I'm ungrateful, I love a good wedding, but five? This means some serious thought needs to go into what I'm wearing so as not to repeat an ensemble and, more importantly, not bankrupt myself when trying to achieve the perfect look.

Every year as wedding season approaches I find myself frustrated that all The Boy needs do is put on a suit and tie and he's good to go. Yes, I know that suits do get warm on the rare occasion that a wedding actually takes place during the elusive few hours of British summertime, but a stiletto heel on grass is a far more treacherous situation entirely. We girls tread a very fine line when considering appropriate wedding attire, with the risk of being too dressed up or, god forbid, too dressed down always at the forefront of our minds. Fashion faux pas I myself have witnessed include: wearing a white dress (no really, I'm not joking), wearing the same dress as the bridesmaids, and need I say more about strapless dresses? Ladies, if you have big boobs wear something with straps, otherwise you run the risk of always being known as The Girl Who Got Her Boobs Out At Cousin Frannies Wedding (or something of that nature).

 The Boy and I at his sisters wedding, July 2011

My wedding attire of choice is usually a dress and although I have some ideas for what I want to wear to this years events, Becky over at Milk Bubble Tea has got me thinking that at least one of my ensembles needs to involve a dipped hem, due to how nice she looks in the mint waterfall dress from Glamorous. I'd never heard of Glamorous before but after checking out their website I'm pretty sure I'll be getting a lot of dresses from there from now on.

Here's my top picks for wedding guest attire for the coming season, all available at Glamorous (expect updates on the ensembles I eventually choose over the coming months):

Find all these dresses and more on the Glamorous website here

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Hobbs & NW3 press day

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited to the Hobbs and NW3 Autumn/Winter 2012 press day (is there a better end to a rainy Tuesday?) and let me tell you, I was more than impressed. I've always loved the classic tailoring of the Hobbs main range and the quirky prints of NW3 but for AW12 they have really outdone themselves. What I loved most about these collections were that whilst Hobbs have nodded towards some of the key looks for the coming season they have remained true to their roots of quality and quintessentially British style.

The jewellery and accessories have really stepped up as well (who doesn't love a necklace with a bike pendant?) and I think these are areas where the brand will really set themselves apart going forward. Stand out pieces for me were a two-tone shift dress combined with a detachable peplum belt in black leather, a floral fifties-style dress and a faux fur collar (along with just about every print in the NW3 range). Oh, and some of the amazing leather bags. Obviously.

I personally can't wait to shop the Hobbs and NW3 AW12 collections - but for now take a look at the awesome SS collections here (I love the floral blazer and the dani bag by NW3).

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Looks I'm loving

I've always had a soft spot for seventies inspired fashion. Maybe it's because flared jeans just really suit my shape or because I love a good hat, either way, my style often seems to lean towards a seventies twist. 

This weeks look I'm loving belongs to Louise Ebel, a 23 year old art history student from Paris, who also often seems to lean towards retro styling. I love Louise's sense of style, she's really eclectic and has no fear in switching from one time period to the next (although most of these pics are seventies inspired, she also often posts looks that seem strongly influenced by the 1920s).

Find out more about Louise at her wonderful blog Miss Pandora

Monday, 23 April 2012

My week in photos 2

On Friday night, as The Boy was staying away at a friends for a Saturday suit fitting, I took the opportunity to do something I don't do very often: relax. I settled into bed (the lounge just won't do for a proper veg out) with a pile of magazines, documentaries on 4OD (I know, I'm a geek), Bridesmaids on DVD and a Kit Kat chunky (a girl's got to eat). It was a wonderful evening, nowhere to be and nothing pressing to do, it was bliss. My week wasn't particularly crazy but, as usual, I'd had lots on and it was nice to just spend an evening doing basically, nothing. My wonderful friend Zsa from The Life Wardrobe had surprised me with a bag of popcorn and a DVD as a treat "just because" (don't you just love friends like that) so my evening was mapped out for me with food, comedy and relaxation. 

Saturday saw me hit the market for the weekly fruit and veg shop, stopping at Sports Direct on the way to pick up some new running trousers (who knew I would actually get into this running lark). It was nice to have a day entirely to myself, a spot of shopping, a sandwich for lunch (that definitely wouldn't have passed The Boy's portion control rules) and then an afternoon of cleaning whilst watching American trashy TV. You wouldn't think cleaning would make me happy, but tidy house tidy mind and all that. We went for a curry and drinks with friends on Saturday night followed by a day wandering along the river to Chiswick on Sunday. It was a lovely weekend and a relatively nice week, here's some pics of what I've been getting up to:

 Pretty much my dream house - dressing like my Grandmother - a visit to the lovely Hobbs store in Bluewater - surprise gifts from Zsa - browsing the fashion books in Chiswick - loving the new Chanel ad campaign

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Nails of the day: Out of the blue

I've been trying to take more care of my appearance of late, particularly my nails, which seems to have led to me developing somewhat of an obsession with buying nail varnish. Two recent shades include Deep Sea Blue by George at Asda and a Blue Glitter by Barry M, which I layered this week to match a necklace (that's right, I'm that type of girl). 

As both my mother and Zsa often tell me, I am like a magpie when it comes to anything sparkly and as soon as I saw this necklace in Dorothy Perkins I knew I had to have it, regardless of whether or not it was my style. I decided to layer it over a white collared shirt and black round neck jumper, paired with blue jeans to make the look more casual, and I must say I am now very much a fan of this type of ensemble. I'm already thinking of other ways to create a similar look using different accessories and colours. My outfit did get a few comparisons to the style of Caroline Flack over the course of the day (I'm not sure if this is a good thing) which I suppose I can see, must be my expertly dip dyed hair*.

Overall I was really pleased with how well this varnish lasted, it went on easily and didn't chip until the fifth day, however I must say it was an absolute bitch to get off. As much as I love the look of glitter varnish I usually have to resort to picking it off once it starts to chip as removing it with cotton wool and nail varnish remover tends to create a mess - if anyone knows of an easy way to remove glitter polish do share, you'd make my life.

*more than a years worth of grown out roots

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Looks I'm loving: I wish I was a punk rock girl

This week I'm feeling a bit rock chick in my weekly look I'm loving. I used to dress a little bit more punk (believe it or not) back in my youth and even had pink and green hair at one point (a strong look). I'd like to think that if I was growing up today I'd have more of an urban, cool take on the rocker vibe, basically I'd want to dress exactly like nineteen-year-old Taylin from Montreal, all dark lashes, short shorts and big hair.

Find out what Taylin loves over at her Tumblr, Down the Rabbit Hole or on Lookbook.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Designed By

Yesterday, in a bid to escape the craziness that is Mondays-for-a-fashion-merchandiser, Kirsty and I took a trip down to the newly designed Miss Selfridge at Oxford Circus. I was in a quest for leather-look-leggings (I know, I myself am embarrassed by this), while Kirsty was on the hunt for some dresses for her holiday in Africa in July. 
I've been wanting to visit ever since I saw the Tweets about the stores revamp a week or so ago, and having spied Lydia wearing an amazing Designed By ensemble on Sunday night's episode of TOWIE (apologies, it's my guilty pleasure) I took the opportunity to pop down.

Firstly, I love the new shop fit. It's exciting and vibrant and everywhere I looked I saw things I'd like to try on. I was really attracted to the Designed By range, which is exclusive to Miss Selfridge and is created by their in-house design team. All of the pieces looked fantastic and I was really impressed by the price - only £50 for this beautiful printed shirt (if only I wasn't trying not to spend - I know, I know, the leather leggings).
  DESIGNED BY Bird print shirt £50

DESIGNED BY Tropical shift dress £50

I also saw a great oversize tote in a bright pink plastic-fabric, sounds disgusting I know, but it's exactly the kind of thing I need for carting my clutter around London and is an easy way for me to embrace the neon trend without breaking the bank.

Neon pink frosted tote bag £26

It's safe to say I'll be paying Miss Selfridge another visit come payday.

To find out more about the Designed By range and all the other fantastic fashion finds Miss Selfridge has to offer, visit

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Love list

Ok, so lots of new things for the love list this week. Am feeling really inspired at the moment and I hope that you are too - here are some of the things I've found recently that are worth checking out.

Ashlina over at The Decorista has me ready to have a major spring clean - there's no reason for my flat not to be a style haven that I love to come home to, my own sanctuary that is intrinsically me (with elements of The Boy of course). Find out how you too can achieve domestic bliss by following Ashlina's five step plan. Sara over at Chalk White Arrow has also had me dreaming up new decor (but this time for if I were to live in New York). Hey, a girl can dream

Zsa zsa over at The Life Wardrobe pointed me in the direction of an amazing post she had found on The Beauty Department for DIY ombre stain manicure - seems a little like hard work to me but the end results look fantastic! I also love their idea for creating your own nail art using scotch tape - ingenious, this is one I may even have a go at myself.

Once again, Yara over at This chick's got style has been inspiring me with her always stylish everyday ensembles. This week she has me wanting to buy striped tees and leather waistcoats (who would have thought it?).

Katy over at Rottenotters thoughts is doing bad things to my diet by posting this delicious looking recipe for Peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake, while the girls over at A Beautiful Mess (one of my all-time favourite blogs - creative, inspiring and fun, basically all my favourite things!) have me lusting after frozen hot chocolate (it is almost summer after all).

 Image by Janae Hardy

Another nail based website I am currently OBSESSED with is Nailside - the manicures they come up with are nothing short of amazing.

Image by Nailside

I hope you've enjoyed this week's love list - see you again next week for some more of my weekly obsessions!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

I left my heart in Tokyo

Last night The Boy and I spent a cosy night in eating pasta, drinking wine and just generally enjoying each others company. It was a lovely lazy evening that followed on from a pretty uneventful day (saving money is boring but sometimes a weekend at home is just what the doctor ordered).

We seem to have watched many a film of late, mostly chosen by The Boy; Unknown, Drive and many an episode from The Wire box set (a Christmas present, what was I thinking?!), so I put my foot down and declared that I wanted to watch Memoirs of a Geisha. This was not The Boy's first choice that's for sure, but I love this film, the storyline, the scenery, the outfits; pure cinematic bliss.

The film got me thinking about when I visited Tokyo in 2009 and what an absolutely amazing place it is. I'd love to go back someday and stay for a while longer (we were only there for a week) as I love the culture and would like more of a chance to explore.

Watching the film and looking back through some of my old pictures inspired me to take some pictures for my look of the day today next to some amazing trees I saw in the cemetery yesterday when I went for my run. I'm not sure what trees they are but to me they have a similar feel to the Japanese cherry blossom and I really love the colour.

Jacket: Tesco
Scarf: H&M
Top: New Look
Trousers: Matalan
Pumps: Marks and Spencer
Belt: Primark
Bag: Hobbs

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Today is the day...

Last week (in a moment of what some might call madness), I decided to sign up for a half marathon. I know it may seem like I’ve lost my mind, but I am relatively fit and am considerably lighter than I once was, plus I do like a challenge! So this week I embarked on my first bout of training, namely Austin’s Army in Hyde Park on Tuesday followed by a brisk run around the block this morning (that’s right, no lie-in for me). 

For those of you unfamiliar with Austin’s Army (basically any of you who aren’t lucky enough to know Kirsty Austin), the session consists of circuits and drills which, I hope, will enable me to look lean and toned by summer and just generally build up my fitness levels., whilst letting the city workers walking by on their way home think that I’m so rich I can afford a personal trainer (when really, I can’t even afford a gym membership). Now let me be clear: Austin was not messing. She literally had me doing push ups in the mud (pretty much in a thunder storm). As much as I didn’t enjoy it at the time (or for the next two days when I could barely walk due to all the squats), I do feel a lot fitter, even after only one session – who knows how I’ll feel in a few months time, let alone how I’ll look! Watch this space for updates.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Date day dissected

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be treated to a "date day" with The Boy, as for once we had nothing else planned for our Saturday, so we hopped on the tube and ventured over to Greenwich to spend the day exploring the area. I'd only ever visited Greenwich once before, years ago with an old school friend and her family, and I was pleased to find that it had lost little of it's charm. I think one of the things I like most about the area is that it's easy to forget you're in London at all, more that you're in some quaint town in the heart of the English countryside. I love the old houses, cute shops and fish and chip restaurants that litter the winding streets, whilst finding the contrast in the view of the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf across the river truly awe inspiring.

We spent a while wandering around the food and craft market where I discovered a wonderful homewares shop called The Home Front (basically I wanted to buy EVERYTHING), got some great Christmas present ideas (I know it's early but I like to be organised) and shared a delicious Malteaser cake from one of the food stalls. 

My main reason for wanting to visit had been to go to the Titanic exhibition, so after we'd had our fill of art and food based treats we wandered along to the Maritime museum. Having seen the 1998 film four times at the cinema, countless more times on DVD and watched many a documentary on the tragedy, the sinking of Titanic has always held my interest. To be honest I was a little disappointed with the size of the exhibition as it only filled one small room, although I did enjoy reading the letters and looking at the artifacts documenting the tragedy. It could be because we decided to visit on a Saturday coupled with the recent ITV drama on the sinking but the exhibition was very busy and battling through the crowds to get to each display cabinet didn't make for a particularly enjoyable experience. That being said, I did love seeing the clothing which had been worn by survivors on the night the ship sank, as it made the tragedy seem more real, and not just the work of the Hollywood film directors.

We rounded off the day with a visit to what is fast becoming our favourite local pub, The Cumberland Arms, with some friends, followed by a mezze style dinner at home watching Breaking Dawn (the less said about this part of the day the better: what a truly awful film that is).

I also decided that this would be the day that my Topshop rainmac got it's first outing. I bought it a few years back but had never worn it (I know, this is becoming a habit) and I must say I was pretty pleased with the result even if, due to my shape, I'm not really supposed to wear anything double breasted.

Coat: Topshop
Jeans: Dorothy Perkins
Ballet Pumps: Tesco
Bag: Hobbs

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Easter round-up

Firstly apologies for the lack of posting of late, I was haring around the south coast doing store visits whilst trying to keep the Mother happy (it was her birthday after all) and then I was simply enjoying eating my body weight in chocolate whilst relaxing at the family home for a few days. The Boy took the opportunity to have a boys weekend in London with some of his friends which was fine by me (all the more chocolate for me to eat) as it meant I could spend some quality time with the family. We managed to fit in quite a bit considering I was only really home for three days but it still felt like a nice long break for me to recharge my batteries, work having been a tad hectic of late. 

Mum always does the house up for any occasion, with Easter being no exception, so I was greeted with bowls of eggs and an Easter tree in the conservatory, it really was lovely to be home. We managed to fit in a trip to see Grandad over at Bracklesham Bay and take him out to dinner to a great little pub called the The Lamb where all food is half price on Thursdays. I had a burger which was delicious, if a little on the large size. Saturday Mum and I took in the charity shops and boutiques of Southsea before spending a couple of hours at Gunwharf Quays (which was heaving). I'm not sure why but we only ever seem to end up at Gunwharf on a bank holiday and then swear never to return due to the long queue for the carpark and congestion in the walkways. Still, I managed to fight my way to the till point in Dune and purchase a pair of black wedges that I've been after for a while (and at half the price that they are in London (winning).

On Saturday night I met up with Jade, an old friend from my waitressing days who I miss greatly when I'm in London, and we went for dinner at TGI Fridays. The less said about the meal and service the better (half an hour for a diet coke? You are joking) but the company was great and it was really nice to have a catch up.

The main reason for coming down had been to try and do some car boot sales to get rid of some of the junk that seems to be overtaking the house but due to the weather this plan was scuppered and will have to wait for another time. Shame because I could really have done with some extra cash this month, looks like the eBay shop will be back up and running shortly.

Monday, 2 April 2012

My week in photos 1

A sunny day in Hyde Park

Finally found the type of nail polish I've been after thanks to American Apparel

Got to love a morning freebie at the tube station

 Quality me time with mint tea and a favourite read

Lovely summer wedges from an Australian brand, Call it Spring, discovered on a lunchtime trip to Debenhams

 Mezze style Sunday dinner with The Boy

 The Titanic exhibition at the Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Jalapeno bread warm from the oven (a gift from a wonderful friend)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Roman holiday

My wonderful cousin Rebecca is getting married this summer to her delightful boy Robert and she mentioned to me when we met up on Thursday (catching up over a pot of fresh mint tea at Le Pain Quotidien) that they will be honeymooning in Italy. You really have no idea how jealous I am. Not only are they getting married at an amazing house in France and then staying in a chateau for their wedding night but a holiday in Italy?!? Some people have all the luck.

Naturally the conversation turned to fashion (obviously, what else would happen with me around?) and Rebecca mentioned that she pretty much had no idea where to go to buy some suitable attire for such a momentous occasion. This is where I come in. The SS12 collections on the high street are, in my opinion, the best ever. I feel as though this year I am meeting the thought of peeling off the winter layers with far less trepidation than in years gone by and I personally have relished putting together my own summer wardrobe. So what else is left to do but live vicariously through Rebecca and imagine what I would take should I be lucky enough to be going to Italy this summer? I'm imagining Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday for 2012:

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