Monday, 30 April 2012

May 31 Day Blogger's Challenge

Happy Monday guys!

I just found this blogging challenge for May (can't believe it's May tomorrow- where have the months gone?) while reading through today's blog posts.

Shared by knightseclectic and created by FlyingSaucer the 31 Day challenge encourages us to blog the first idea that comes to our heads for each day's challenge, post the photos even if they're not perfect, and encourages us to avoid using Instagram as much as possible.

I'll definitely be giving this a go- I need something to keep me busy!

New May 31 Day Blogger's Challenge

1st. Your wardrobe 

2nd. You have the most... 

3rd. Something you're wearing for the first time 

4th. Your favourite print 

5th. Your best bargain 

6th. Something out of your comfort zone but you love it 

7th. A special occasion outfit 

8th. Something you forget you have but love 

9th. The item at the top of your wish list 

10th. Cute tights 

11th. Your spring essential 

12th. The outfit you've had the best times in 

13th. Your lazy day at home with style (in front of your housemates/bf/visitor) outfit 

14th. The item that was hardest to hunt down/buy 

15th. Nail art/your favourite polish and your nail varnish collection 

16th. A customised item 

17th. Something you wear when it's sunny 

18th. Your brightest lipstick 

19th. An article of clothing/jewellery that instantly makes you feel great 

20th. Shoes you love but hardly wear 

21st. Something that is your favourite brand 

22nd. A piece of clothing or jewelry that was a gift 

23rd. Something from your favourite store 

24th. The item that brings all the boys to the yard 

25th. A totally YOU outfit 

26th. What's in your bag 

27th. Inspired by your style icon 

28th. Something everyone has now 

29th. Face of the day 

30th. Pretty hair 

31st. The thing you're obsessed with at the moment!

Who else is going to give it a try?

Before I go, here's a sneak peek at my new Topshop Studded flats. I love them already!


Sunday, 29 April 2012

One Girl's Love Of Dresses

So, who here in England has been forced to take a duvet-day for fear of being blown away outside?

It's been so blustery here, I began to wonder if a hurricane was brewing. My bedroom window was torn open while I slept (luckily not off it's hinges), and I kept waking repeatedly thinking the house was going to fly off to Oz. Thankfully the tree over my rabbit's pen didn't fall down in the night but it's still batting furiously against the wind. Scary stuff!

Anyway, I was really excited to get dressed this afternoon in to my new dress. You've probably noticed how much I love dresses. If I could wear them all day every day I would be content for the rest of my life. I feel most like myself when I wear one, and feel they're more flattering on my curves than a pair of trousers.

You all read how much I love the same bird-print dress in black, and I just had to get it in brown. I love the shape, fit, and style. It's so comfortable to wear. It's a bit chilly today, so I threw on a cardigan and purple leggings, and accessorised with a black belt, an owl brooch, and a polka dot hairband.

Sorry about the crap photos. My camera needs charging so I was forced to use my iPod. Here is a pasty-faced make-up less me wearing:

Outfit Details

Belt- Dorothy Perkins.
Leggings- New Look.
Cardigan- New Look.
Owl Brooch- Accessorize (I think).
Dress- Dorothy Perkins (it also came with a nude belt).
Polka Dot Hairband- From an accessories shop in South Street Sea Port in New York. I can't remember what it was called, but it was inside a little mall there.

My hair is actually a brighter red than these photos show. Although it does need redyeing. I didn't dye it for four months, which really faded the colour, so when I dyed it last month the colour didn't come up so bright. I use Schwarzkopf live xxl "Real Red", but am naturally a mid-dark brown with a few hints of auburn.

I can also report that I gave in and ordered the envelope clutch I was talking about yesterday. I kept thinking about it all night, and was still obsessing over it when I awakened. Maybe I'll put something up on ebay to compensate for it, but I doubt it! I've no regrets, and can't wait for it to fall in to my hands.

Have you ever came away from a shopping trip, knowing you just had to have an item you saw but didn't buy?

Hope you all have a good night.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Money Can't Buy Me Love... But It Can Buy Pretty Things

Evening fashion lovers,

So it's that time of the month again when our overdrafts/ bank managers/ shopaholics-within can breathe a sigh of relief again. Well, for most of us, anyway. That's right, it's payday!

I think somebody is going to have to hide my bank card and wheel me off to shopaholics anonymous! There are too many lovely things available this season- probably one of my favourite seasons yet, but I really should be watching the pennies until I know where the next ones are coming from. I've made a couple of purchases on things I've been lusting after and/or actually need, and now will try to be sensible. We'll see what happens! I really do have the sense to spend only what I can afford!

I love my black bird-print Dorothy Perkins dress so much that I had to get it in brown, too. I know I will be wearing them both for years to come as the cut and style is so lovely. The fabric is so soft and comfortable, too. It was delivered this morning and I'm already in love with it. It came with a belt, too, along with a further two I purchased in black and teal.

Last night, still wide awake at 4am, I was sat browsing the Topshop website, trying to justify buying these studded slippers which I've been admiring from a far for months. Since I haven't bought shoes since last August, and am lacking everything that isn't a sandal or ugg boot, I justified buying them. The price is so low (£28) for how expensive they look, and I know I shall be wearing them with everything from dresses to jeans. I just hope they fit my annoyingly-wide feet.

I also returned a basic purple wrap dress I've had hanging in my wardrobe for a few weeks. There was something about the particular shade of purple I decided I didn't like and on reflection, realised I probably would never wear it. I got a refund and put the money towards a couple of Dorothy Perkins scallop trimmed cardigans, as that is one thing I'm lacking in the wardrobe after a clear out of ones which had become faded, torn, and shapeless. I love the scallop edge to the collars!

I was looking at the cardigans on the H&M website, but as I'm not sure how their sizing is, I held off. How do you guys find their sizing? The last time I shopped I had to size up, but as their cardigans are dual-sized I wasn't sure if doing so would make them too big. Any feedback would be appreciated!

I have my eye on this envelope clutch (also from Dorothy Perkins), so MAY give one a home somewhere down the line.

Have you been shopping this weekend? What have you all been buying? Or what are you lusting after?

I'll hopefully be back with an OOTD post tomorrow.


Thursday, 26 April 2012

There's No Place Like London

I had to tear myself away from reading Catching Fire to get dressed this evening. Yes, you read that right. This evening. I've been pretty much nocturnal for months now. Not intentionally, but because a mixture of pain, and pain medication keeps me awake all night, often until the sun comes up. As an early-riser my entire life (9am was a lie-in for me), it baffles me that I've adapted to this sleep pattern so well, although when I sleep is the least of my worries as long as I do.

Anyway, I was so cold in my pyjamas, that the only solution was clearly to stop being a lazy scruff and get dressed. April is usually quite warm here where I live in England, with the occasional heat-wave if we're lucky. Not this year though. This past week has been chilly and it's rained most of the time, too. It's a good thing I actually like the rain, really. I love listening to it pelt against the windows when I'm curled up with a book.

I've blogged about this skirt before, but because it's brand new, and I love it, it deserved another wear. Today, I've dressed it with dark brown tights, a black basic scoop neck tee, and a charm necklace.

Outfit Details

Skirt- Matalan.
Top- Dorothy Perkins.
Necklace- Abilu Creations.
Tights- Evans.

I picked this beautiful and wonderfully quirky necklace up on one of my shopping trips to Camden in London. My sisters and I often have these day trips out to the capital to sight-see, shop, and maybe see a show in the West End. During one of these occasions, perhaps three or four years ago, we stumbled up on a stall in the Lock Market, which I can only describe as a magpie's dream. The friendly lady who owns the range (Abilu Creations) , which was relatively new back then, makes each piece by hand. She finishes most pieces with a signature guitar plectrum, and often uses vintage charms for her designs. I eventually chose this pink and red themed one- which has a monopoly Scottie dog, a guitar, keys, shoes, flowers and many other charms attached to it and remember how she presented it in a little fabric bag tied with ribbon. I love her designs so much I also have two bracelets.

I love that there's now a website here so I don't have to travel to London whenever I want to see her creations. Though, really, there's nothing like the atmosphere of Camden, and I really love milling around the stalls. It's not your average market- certainly not like the little town markets where you can buy your fruit and veg, cheap knock-offs, and meat from a van. The place if full of beautiful crafted jewellery, soft expensive pashminas, wonderful quirky finds, palm readers, and even a vintage stall or two. The scent of incense and fresh orange juice always lingers in the air whenever I go, and you can buy inexpensive food from all corners of the globe for lunch if you continue along. It's a very relaxed place, filled with people happily showing their uniqueness off (it's a great place to people-watch!).

I would encourage you all to check out the stalls in the Lock Market when you're next in the area! I can't wait for my next trip to the Big Smoke.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Drip Drip Drop Little April Showers

On such a dull, dreary, drizzly Wednesday, I had to force myself out of bed to change out of my pyjamas and in to clothes. Yes, I crawled right back in to bed after playing dress up, but at least I'm a slightly better dressed invalid!

As it's been so grey and miserable today, I decided I needed to inject some colour in to my day with this pretty tea dress. The dress is a beautiful royal blue, with little yellow and pink garden birdies sitting on pink and aqua foliage.

I showed you a blurry shot of this dress a few weeks back, when I was really struggling to cope with the static fabric. Thankfully, it seems to be cooperating after throwing it in the wash and keeping my fingers crossed.  The fabric is very light, and although it would be lovely on a breeze less day, I wouldn't risk wearing it outside on a blustery one. I don't think passers by would enjoy the view!

There are ruffles from the sleeves down to the chest. It really widens the waist, so I'm hoping I can sew parts of the ruffles down to make it a little more flattering. And when I say I, I mean sweet talk my mother in to working her magic sewing skills on the dress which I am not at all skilled to do! She's already agreed to alter the Aztec dress I shared with you all a few weeks ago in to a more flattering length. Where would we be without our Mums, eh? 

I teamed my dress with very simple accessories. A turquoise-teal skinny belt, a mint coloured floral ring that I've had for years, red nail polish, and a pair of cherry earrings.

Outfit Details

Dress: Dorothy Perkins (what a surprise!).
Belt: Dorothy Perkins.
Earrings: River Island.
Ring: From a local store.
Nail Polish: Barry M.

I've just realised the last four dresses I've shown you have been bird-print. It wasn't even intentional! Should I be worried that I'm unknowingly becoming very predictable?

I hope you like my little collages. Over and out.


Monday, 23 April 2012

With Black Birds Following Me...

The bird-print dress I ordered from Dorothy Perkins was delivered today, and instantly put a smile on my face. Trust me when I say it was a much needed smile. I've not really been myself lately. But I promise you, dresses can make anything better! Well, they do in my world, anyway!

The dress is gorgeous. The fabric is soft, with a lovely floaty skirt- yet the fabric is heavy enough to stay in place. (Hopefully it won't create any Marilyn moments on a breezy day!) There's a zip to the back and it comes with a skinny black belt with a pale gold buckle. The quirky bird print is also very ''me''.

I really can't fault this dress, except that it's a little baggy around the sleeves, as you can see. I can already tell it's going to get a lot of wear.

I've dressed it with a pair of dark purple tights, bright red nail polish and a pearl flower bracelet. I've kept it simple so you can see the dress clearly, but I think it has endless outfit possibilities. I'd probably start by changing the belt for one of a brighter colour, throw on a coloured cardigan and perhaps add a few bracelets or a funky ring. I really need to go shopping for accessories.

I'm sorry for these awful photos, yet again. It was raining outside, so the camera wasn't responding well to the dim light in my room, and my body wasn't pleased with standing up. I had to give up and make do. I'm hoping the little collages will make up for them in appearance.

Outfit Details

Dress- Dorothy Perkins.
Belt:- Dorothy Perkins (came with the dress).
Nail Polish- Barry M 262 Bright Red and Inglot Techno UV Coat Topcoat
Bracelet- either from Dorothy Perkins or New Look, I think, but I can't quite remember.
Tights- Evans.

The dress also comes in brown. I hope they still have it in my size when I can next afford to shop!


Saturday, 21 April 2012

All That's Missing Is The Sea

So goes Wham's Club Tropicana...

Hey guys!

Hope you're all having a great Saturday. What are you all up to?

Sorry for the lack of blog posts recently. I've been cocooned in my bed all week hibernating in my PJs and feeling a little sorry for myself. I've not had the strength to do much but sleep and read. I devoured The Hunger Games in a couple of days, and am now on to Catching Fire which is the second in the series. I'm pretty sure I'm just about the last person to read them, but would recommend them to anybody that hasn't. They're great books, and really gripping reads. They're also really cheap on the Kindle!

Anyway, I haven't really got anything exciting to share with you in regards to outfits, but I picked up this little Flamingo beach dress online earlier in the week. I doubt I'll be getting within a hundred miles of a beach this year, but I couldn't resist. I'm obsessed with flamingos when it comes to fashion, and I think it would be perfect for those hot summer days when all I want to do is sit in front of a fan and melt.

Flamingo Print Beach Dress- Dorothy Perkins
Toucan Necklace- Accessorize
Leggings- New Look
Cardigan- New Look

I paired the dress with a pair of white leggings. I got them last summer, but have never worn them. I'm still not sure what I think about white leggings. My sister says they look like long-johns on me. What do you guys think? I tried the dress with a pair of black ones, but they were too harsh. I do have a pair of purple leggings I might try it with, and also have cropped white ones which are a bit more flattering on the legs. I'm not sure I'd wear it with tights as it is a snug fit and would probably show a little too much of the lumps and bumps.

I spent ten minutes playing around with the timer settings on my camera, and placed it in different spots around my ''cell'' (bedroom) to see what results I could get. They're not great, but better than the grainy itouch photos I've been giving you! I apologise for the mess. The room's in desperate need of redecorating. I'm probably going to go with duck-egg blue to match my new curtains.

Although this is a really simple outfit, I like how airy the white makes it look. It made me feel really summery, even though it was raining outside when I snapped these pics. I continued the theme of tropical birds with a toucan necklace, which I got last summer and still really love.

I'm not sure about you, but this dress makes me feel like I should be sipping a pina colada, lounging by a pool in the sun, and listening to a bit of reggae... here's hoping summer starts soon!


Sunday, 15 April 2012

What's In My Bag? #1

Since I haven't been able to get up and out of my pyjamas this weekend, I thought I'd mix it up and give you something a little different.

No, I'm not going to share photos of a pasty-looking me feeling sorry for myself in my bed clothes- I don't want to scare you all away- trust me, it's not a pretty sight! Instead, I thought I'd share with you the contents of my bag.

Satchel, River Island

One thing I miss about being up on my feet in the real world, is carrying a beautiful bag full of the things I just can't live without every day. I even miss those conversations that arise after clocking a friend or colleague's beautiful new hand-bag.

I'm the kind of person who only packs light during shopping trips and outings. The rest of the time, my shoulders would take the strain of all the necessities I just couldn't live without. I knew that if the world around me was coming to an end, I would be equipped with my magic bag of essentials, that would bring comfort if nothing else. Sure, all those gadgets in their pretty cases would soon become useless, but at least I'd be able to keep my hair and make-up in line!

I am, of course, kidding. But I'm sure you know what I mean. I like to carry everything but the kitchen sink... just in case.

I'll warn you now, this is a long, photo-heavy post. Enjoy!

I bought this beautiful satchel from River Island in December. (I also have similar ones in green and brown, neither of which I've been able to use yet). My current situation has only allowed me to carry it out of the house once. I love the mixture of colours and textures.

 A couple of sneak peeks in to the organised chaos.

As you can see, I love pretty prints on my cases.

More organised chaos. These are the current contents of the bag emptied in a heap on my bed. Please excuse the bright pink, wrinkled sheets.

I love my gadgets!

Here we have my red and black Blackberry, which has a Cath Kidston floral case on the back. The case was so frivolous and expensive, but I love it.

My 32gb itouch gets used for everything from playing an eclectic mix of music, reading emails, taking photos, social networking, and games. I'm currently obsessed with Draw Something, Temple Run, and Words With Friends.

I bought the Kindle on Boxing Day. As a fan of books, and the smell of old pages, I looked down my nose on them for ages. Then my sister got one for Christmas, and I changed my mind! It's so light and easy to use, and the font makes my mind think I'm pouring over a paperback. If I'm cold, I only need to stick one arm out of the duvet to read, and when I've finished I don't even have to leave my house to go browsing for a new one. I can buy and download a book in under a minute! I've read more since I got it than in the last few years put together. I'm currently aiming to work my way through Stephen King's entire collection. The best one I've read so far is The Stand- one of the best books in existence- read it! I've just put IT aside to read The Hunger Games trilogy. I'm a quarter of the way through the first one and am already loving it!

The Kindle case is from Cath Kidston. I originally wanted the shooting stars pattern, but it sold out everywhere in the couple of days I waited to buy it. The case is great as the zip is covered on the inside so it doesn't scratch the gadget.

This is my lovely Purple Canon Powershot SX210IS camera with, you've guessed it, a Cath Kidston gadget case. It's fantastic for a point and shoot camera. It has many of the features you'd find on a more professional camera, with 14.1 mega pixels and has a 14x optical zoom. I've already used it at a ton of concerts, and it takes amazingly clear photos and HD videos. It served me well in New York, last summer, too. One of my favourite features is a video setting that allows you to shoot in black and white, but allows a particular colour in the shot to remain. You could choose red to focus on a fabulous red dress, or perhaps blue to make somebody's beautiful blue eyes dazzle in a world of grey.

What bag would be complete without sunglasses and glasses? I've really poor eye-sight, so only wear the shades when I've got my contacts in. I always keep a spare pair of glasses on me in case the contacts irritate my eyes, or, God forbid, I lose one. I usually have a lenses canister as well, but that's currently on my dressing-table.

From the top:

Red Guess Sunglasses (my favourites).
Roxy Glasses. They look black, but are in fact tortoiseshell.
Boots Sunglasses. I got them in Boots, but can't remember if they're a brand or not.

I also have another pair of glasses. These are by Red or Dead, which I got in Specsavers. They're black with leopard print arms. I need to get them adjusted as they keep slipping off my face, so I can't wear them. I really love the monochrome design of the case they came in, but I also use the Cath Kidston case in my bag, too.

This is my gorgeous Fossil make-up case, which I bought in their Times Square branch in New York last summer. I'm obsessed with old ornate keys, so snapped this up without a second thought.

I love the cute teal lining, and the mirror comes in handy, too.

Full of a selection of useful make up. The contents change all the time in terms of eye-shadows and liners, but the basics usually remain the same.

A few essentials... not all from the case...

♥ Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Therapy.
♥ Benefit Foundation Some Kind Of Gorgeous Lite.
♥ The Body Shop Pressed Face Powder 01 (Translucent, I think).
♥ Bourjois Paris Khol & Contour Eyeliner in Ultra Black.
♥ Rimmel Exaggerate Eye liner Intense 100% Black 001.
♥ Carmex Lip Balm.
♥ Maybelline Dream Touch Blush (Peach shade).
♥ Maybelline The Colossal Volum' Express Waterproof Black Mascara.
♥ Benefit They're Real! Mascara (Black).
♥ Benefit Foxy Lady Lip gloss.
♥ L'oreal Colour Riche Serum Beamy Plum Lipstick.
♥ Travel-size hair brush- (which works as well as a regular one!)- and a spare hair bobble.
♥ B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful Bon Bon Highlighter.
♥ Inglot Eye shadows.
♥ Plasters, for nasty paper cuts and blistered feet.

And, finally, the contents of my Cath Kidston Purse. No money. Boo hoo.

I keep things simple. I have one bank card. I don't have a credit card. I have a Dorothy Perkins store-card (bad, bad move!), Boots Advantage Card, National Insurance Card, Blockbuster Video Card, a Cash Passport Card left over from my holiday to New York (you load it up with money before you go, and then use it like your regular debit/credit card), a card for my Laptop Insurance, stamps, my staff card for when I shop at work and a Donor Card.

I forgot to take a clear photo of the purse, but you can see it in one of the photos near the beginning.

I also usually have a notebook and pen to hand for scribbling things down, my keys (I scoop them up from the front door when I leave the house), headphones for my ipod (can't remember where I left them), and usually a drink, magazine, and painkillers, too. In winter you may find a pair of gloves and a scarf in my bag, too.

Sorry for the photo-heavy post. Hope you've enjoyed taking a peek!

What things can't you leave home without? What must you carry on you?

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