Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Emerald and Teal

I haven't shopped with H&M for a few years. There was never a store in the places I regularly shopped, and I've always been too unsure of their sizing to risk shopping online. The last time I shopped with them I had to size up as their clothes were a size smaller than stated; is that still the case?

Anyway, I wasn't too excited about their S/S range, but I got a catalogue of their A/W collection through the door last week and loved what I saw. There are so many beautiful pieces in gorgeous green and wine shades, and I'm lusting after so much of it.

These are just a few of the pieces that caught my eye:

The item right at the top of my wish list, not just from H&M but from everywhere, is the emerald green shirt. It's such a stunning colour, and I could see myself wearing it with so many things. I think it would work with several of my skirts and over jeans and jeggings. I've never been so excited over  a shirt before! I'd consider trading my Granny for it.

I also love the lace detailing to the t-shirt in the same shade, and the jeans (which come in several colours). I adore the colour of the fabric. If you ask me, this colour isn't used enough. I can never get enough of green or teal.

I think the pale blue asymmetric dress is another lovely piece, and would be perfect for catching some later summer sun in.

There seem to be quite a lot of captioned tees and vests popping up at the moment. As a music fan and concert go-er, these two immediately made me laugh and think of my friends. I know a few people who the black tee would be perfect for!

Can anybody help me with H&M sizing? Do you have to size up with their clothing? What about the dual-sized lines? Any opinions and help would be appreciated!


10 Day You Challenge: Five Foods

Hey guys,

We're past halfway of the 10 Day Challenge already!

And today's theme is Five Foods.

I don't sit around all day long eating food, as some might assume. At the moment, my medication actually keeps putting me off my food, and making the smell of certain foods (like eggs and roast dinners) make me feel sick. I don't snack much between meals, and believe in allowing myself the things I like in moderation. I'm also lactose-intolerant, so too much of certain dairy products will make me ill.

These are a few of my favourites...

1. Peanut butter flavoured chocolate and deserts.

I love peanut butter flavoured things, which isn't something you can really get in England. Whenever I come across a packet of peanut butter m&ms or Reese's peanut butter cups in a specialist sweet shop my day is made. I was in sweet tooth heaven in New York where they use peanut butter in almost everything. Try Serendipity 3's Frrrozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate next time you visit!

2. Fresh pineapple

I could eat pineapple all day every day. It's delicious!

3. Peaches/Nectarines

Especially those bought in Selfridges in the Summer. They're about a £1 a fruit, but they're the juiciest, tastiest peaches and nectarines I've ever tried.

4. Salted Popcorn

I don't tend to eat popcorn in the cinema, as I always seem to end up choking, but at home I love treating myself to a handful of good salted popcorn. Tyrrell's is my favourite. I probably love it more than chocolate.

5. Strawberries

Just on their own- no cream, no sugar, just perfect unaltered fresh strawberries. I'd eat them every day if I could.

What food do you love?


Monday, 30 July 2012

Dorothy Perkins Wishlist

On Saturday I was curled up with my laptop, as I often am these days, thinking of what I could blog about.

"I know", I thought, "I'll put together a post on some of the lovely things I currently have my eye on". Eleven thorough website browses, many hours, and twenty nine collages later, I began to think that perhaps I had gone a little over board, and regretted starting what I had started. I couldn't write a post with so many images; nobody would ever stick around for all that! So, what I've decided to do is turn the intended one favourites post in to many!

So, today, I shall focus on Dorothy Perkins...

Dorothy Perkins always have some lovely dresses, and the S/S season has been one of the strongest ever, in my personal opinion. The first Autumn lines are already popping up, and I'm liking what I see. There's a lot of peter pan collars, birds and bird cage prints, skater dresses, and gorgeous raspberry and navy shades. I'm in love with the two bird cage print dresses above, and still have my eye on the hummingbird print dress (top left) which is now in the sale. I hope to buy them at some stage.

After my initial browse, I went back to check on the hummingbird dress again (to make sure it was still in my size), and came across a couple of dresses which had just been added. I really love the shape and designs of these two peter pan collared dresses. The white one has a perfume bottle print!

I already have the triple-keeper belts in several colours, and they're the perfect skinny belt for me. They work nicely with my collection of dresses, and I could do with a couple of neutrals like these. I also adore the turtle belt! Isn't it cute?!

There are some beautiful skirts available, too. The knee length hummingbird skirt on the left is so cute. I think it would be lovely to wear in Autumn over tights and boots. The other two skirts are divine, but the items don't give a choice of size, so I think they're 'one size fits most' which I'm quite gutted about because I doubt a one size would ever fit me. I still like admiring them, though, because they're stunning! I'd love to own skirts just like these.

The selection of tops is also fantastic at the moment. There are so many pretty blouses and tops in so many styles. Again, birds seem to feature heavily in the collection from birds, to cages, to feathers. The above are just a few of the pretty tops I've been admiring.

I also really love these over sized knit jumpers. They look like they'd be so comfortable over jeans on a cold Autumn or Winter day. Yes, I do wear jeans sometimes! I know they're not the most stylish of garments, but I do love a cosy knit.

There are also lots of gorgeous dresses in the sale right now. I think they're offering a further 10% off the sale items which are up to 70% off at the moment, and there's also "15% off full price items plus a £1 delivery" when you enter DPSHOP15 added at the checkout.

What are you waiting for?!

EDIT: After publishing this post, I received some belated birthday money from my Sister so was able to order the Hummingbird dress and skirt which were both on sale! Yay! I can't wait for them to get here!

10 Day You Challenge: Six Places

Day Five: Six Places

Today I'm going to share a handful of my favourite places in the world. I'm not well travelled outside of the UK and Ireland. I've only once left Europe, and the only other European country I've been to besides the five countries that make up the UK and Ireland is France.

1. Cornwall

North Cornwall is absolutely stunning, renowned for it's sandy beaches and surfing lifestyle, and my favourite part of the country. The beaches are absolute paradise for me. If I could live anywhere in England, I would live there and learn to surf.

 Most of my childhood summer holidays were spent with my family in a luxury caravan for a week or two in a seaside village near Newquay. We'd spend most of our time on the beach; and I'd spend most of the time in the sea with a body board blissfully happy in the waves. I've always had such a love and connection to the sea. Those holidays continued in to my teens, and bring back so many good memories for me. My sisters and I actually spent three of the last five summers returning to the same place we stayed as kids for a week at a time as we love the area so much.

My favourite beaches are Perranporth Beach and Perran Sands Beach which are two beaches joined together and at low tide you can walk between the two.

I took these two photos on Perran Sands beach in 2010. Heaven.

2. New York

When I finally visited NYC last summer, it was more perfect then I ever could have imagined. It was my first visit to America and my first trip out of Europe. Everything was vibrant and exciting. The height of the buildings took my breath away; and it was amazing to see every iconic New York landmark I'd only ever admired from afar through films and TV. I enjoyed every moment of the week, and made some of the best memories of my life.

I felt more like myself in New York then I'd ever felt in my life. It was the first time I'd felt completely comfortable with my figure in a long time. I felt so carefree wandering about with my legs uncovered, something I feel so self-conscious about in England and rarely do. I've felt much more comfortable with who I am ever since ever since that holiday.

New York is also one of the last happy memories I have from before my injury put my life on hiatus.

Up in the clouds. The view from The Empire State Building at 11pm one night.

3. London

I love getting on a bus or train and going to London. It's only about two hours (three at most, depending on transport and traffic) from home, so I've headed there for the day several times a year during most of my twenties. I love the diversity of the city and how much there is to do and explore there.

When I visit London, I usually go with one or both of my Sisters. We're quite close and do a lot of things together as friends would. Past trips usually involved a shopping trip to Camden, Covent Garden, and/or Oxford Street, and often a trip to Selfridges or Harrods. We've visited for concerts; gone to several musicals in the West End; gone out for dinner; acted like tourists by taking tour buses around the sights; gotten heat stroke on said tour bus due to a traffic jam caused by a Gay Pride parade (which looked like so much fun!) in 33 degree heat (not so fun); taken boat rides along the Thames; gone for Tattoos twice; gone to the zoo, and even visited a museum or two. I have so many good memories of London, yet I can never get enough and still have so much to explore. It really is as great as it's made out to be.

Instagram London July 2011

4. Sandbanks Beach

There's a gorgeous beach in Poole (South England) called Sandbanks that my parents would take us to for the day at least once each summer growing up.  The beach is soft and sandy, and the sea is calm (unlike those in Cornwall). I've got so many memories of lying through an inflatable rubber ring and letting the small waves glide me along to shore. I've never been one to sunbathe. Though I did almost drown there once when I was eleven or twelve when my Sister and I went too far out of our depth, but when I got my Sister on to the rocks and made it back to shore, I went back in the water almost straight away. Even after that it's still a place I love to reminisce about.

I haven't got an image of Sandbanks beach on my laptop, but this is one I took in nearby Bournemouth last summer. The beaches are very similar.

5. Dublin

Dublin is such a beautiful city and the people are so friendly. I could listen to the Irish talk all day. I've had some brilliant times with friends there, after going over for a few shows. Whenever I think of Dublin, I just remember how much fun I had with my friend Ros, and how much laughing was involved. I'd love to turn back the clock and relive those trips. I've also visited with my Sister and done the whole touristy thing with her.

This is a photo I took of an iconic statue down O'Connell Street in January 2011.

6. La Palmyre, France

I love France, but in particular a region in the mid-west called Royan. I had several holidays in La Palmyre with my family when I was younger. We'd stay for a week or two at a time. My younger Sister and I would spend most of the holiday, lounging by the pool in the scorching heat (often 40 degrees or more), swimming, reading, and perving over the French lifeguards from behind our sunglasses. Evenings usually involved vodka and pina coladas. At this time of year, there would be fields and fields of giant sunflowers, which are my favourite flower, and the scenery was just stunning. I think those holidays were some of my most relaxing I've had, and I hope to return someday.

I haven't got any photos from France on my laptop, but this is a photo I found online of the pool complex we spent most of our time at. I'd usually be found in or near this pool.

I know this post isn't anything to do with fashion or style, but I've hoped you've enjoyed reading it. If you ever get the chance to visit any of these places, go! I can promise you they're all worth visiting, and doubt you'd come home with regrets.

What are the places that mean the most to you?


Liebster Award Part Three

Hey guys,

Becky of Does My Blog Make Me Look Fat recently awarded me the Liebster Blog Award. Thank you so much, Becky; I'm very flattered and honoured. This is the third time I've been nominated for the award. You can read about the other two posts here and here.

As I've only recently awarded this blog to some of my favourite bloggers, I won't do the nomination part because I simply couldn't pick my favourites from the vast amount of blogs I follow. I will of course answer the questions Becky set for me.

The rules for receiving for award:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer
3. Choose 11 people and link them in the post
4. Go to their page and tell them
5. No tag backs
Eleven Things About Me.
1. I love listening to song lyrics and finding songs that I can relate to.
2. I use Schwarzkopf Live XXL Real Red hair dye on my hair. It's usually a lot brighter than at the moment.
3. My hair was once long enough to touch my thighs when I sat down.
4. I've often had dreams later happen word for word, action for action the same in real life. I always get that de ja vu feeling, and remember dreaming it.
5. I'm sentimental. I keep letters and ticket stubs. I still have all the letters my best friend wrote to me over the last sixteen years.
6. I love buying presents for the people I care about.
7. I love musicals. Especially Phantom of the Opera.
8. I love The Big Bang Theory and watch it almost everyday.
9. I love the rain.
10. I've never read Fifty Shades, and don't intend to. I hate hypes!
11. I love accents. I could listen to the Irish all day.
Becky's Questions to Me
1. What made you start blogging?
 I was inspired by reading blogs on personal style and body positivity at the start of my sick leave back in September last year. I was amazed to find so many blogs by curvier ladies like myself looking comfortable and confident with their bodies (quite rightly), and my self-confidence rose as I continued to read such blogs as the months went by. I decided I would give blogging a shot to not only help me on the road to self-acceptance, but also for something to focus on during an injury that confines me to home. I was also using pretty dresses to keep my spirits up, and thought it would be fun to document them.
2. Your favourite style of clothing?
My favourite style of clothing is dresses which have big flared fifties skirts; which are fitted on top to the waist, rest about knee length on me, and have a cute or quirky print on the fabric.
3. Your favourite colour to wear?
I'm not colour shy and do wear a lot of colour, but I'd say I particularly love wearing navy and other dark blue shades most.
4. Heels or flats?
Flats. I adore the way heels look and get all dewy eyed over beautiful pairs like everybody else, but I've never really learnt to walk in them, mostly due to leg pain in my early-mid teens. I have better balance on the ground, anyway, and like to be barefoot as much as possible.
5. What is your favourite part of your body?
Hmm, I think I'll go with my skin. I love my freckles, and my pale skin tone. I must be the only person who actually likes being pale. I've never once felt the need to slather on fake tan or sunbathe religiously in hope of getting tanned. I've never understood why people would rather look orange than their own natural skin colour. I did actually hate my freckles until I was about seventeen, though, because they made me look different to most people, and being shy I wasn't comfortable with standing out.
6. Favourite season to dress for?
Probably Spring or cooler Summer days (low 20'Cs) when I don't have to worry about finding a coat to match my outfit, and can just go out wearing a dress with a cardigan over leggings or tights and a pair of sandals. Although, I do love layering and getting all cosy in woollen gloves and scarves in Autumn and Winter and wearing Winter coats.
7. Go to outfit for a last minute night out?
I haven't been out in such a long time... but I'd probably wear a dress over black tights or leggings, straighten my hair, use a quilted cross-body bag and a pair of ballet flats, and apply lots of mascara and pretty green eyeshadow to my lids and I'm good to go!
8. Do you follow a beauty regime?
My regime is fairly simple. I just wash my face, then cleanse, tone, and moisturise. I use a daily face scrub in the shower, and a face mask to refresh my skin perhaps once a week.
9. Something you want to achieve in life?
Happiness. No matter where my life takes me, I just want to be happy and healthy. It's what really matters at the end of the day.
10. Favourite kind of cake?
I love chocolate, red velvet, Magnolia Bakery coconut (nom nom!), and New York/ Chocolatey cheesecakes.
11. If you could only buy clothes from one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?
Probably Dorothy Perkins. They always have some amazing pieces, and plenty of beautiful dresses. I know that their clothes will always fit me. I think it's such an underrated shop. Although, I would also consider ASOS as a contender.
I hope you all enjoyed reading a little more about me.
Thanks again, Becky!


Sunday, 29 July 2012

10 Day You Challenge: Seven Wants

Day 4: Seven Wants...

Day four of the challenge is 'Seven Wants'. My list is a mixture of goals, aspirations, wishes, and a couple of more selfish, material things.
1. What I want most of all is to recover from my back injury; to not be in constant pain anymore, and to gain my freedom and independence back so I can live a normal life again.

2. I mostly want to just be happy. I wasted far too many years feeling so unhappy, and I don't want to be. Life is too short to be miserable. I want to be really, really happy in life.

3. Self acceptance. I want to be comfortable with every part of me without worrying what others think of me.

4. I want society to stop judging people by their size and belittling us if we don't conform to their definitions of beauty. I want everybody to accept others for exactly who they are without passing judgement on looks, colour, race, religion, weight, sexual orientation, disability, and so on.

5. I want a very long holiday in New York.

6. I want to be on a beach in the sunshine, and swimming in the sea with the sun on my skin. Preferably in Cornwall.

7. To own the entire Lush make up range 'Emotional Brilliance'.

What do you want right now?


Saturday, 28 July 2012

Happiness is...

Happy Saturday guys,

It's cooled down dramatically over night and I have to say I've never been so relieved for the temperature to drop. The breeze coming through my window as I write this is heavenly!

I changed the blog design yet again last night, but I'm happy to announce I've finally found the perfect background! The only changes you should see from now on are to the colour of the fonts (I'm still unsure of the red) and perhaps a new header. What do you think? I know I said I wanted something fresh and crisp, but I realised that just wasn't for me.

Anyway, the real reason for this post is to show you the new additions to my dressing table this week.

At the beginning of the week I picked up a few treats from the supermarket. As well as getting Look magazine, I was looking to replenish a few necessities, but couldn't find them all. I got:

Neutrogena's Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub- I'm not prone to spots or blemishes, but I love this face scrub. It's very soft and gentle on the skin, and leaves me feeling fresh-faced. It's sweet smelling, too.

Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo- I think a dry shampoo is an essential product in every girl's arsenal. Let's face it: there are days where we don't have time or energy to wash our hair- say the morning after a big night out, or when we've over slept our alarms before work. This dry shampoo smells like coconut, and works effectively to lift grease, and refresh hair between washes. My hair always feels much cleaner after using it.

Bourjois Paris So Laque! Bleu Fabuleux Nail Enamel- A lovely fast-drying cornflower blue nail polish.

I then took to Boots online and ordered my normal cleanser, toner, and cleansing wipes.

 Garnier Fresh Essentials Refreshing Cleansing Lotion and Toner in Grape Extract- They're both fresh-smelling products which leave my skin feeling soft and clean after each use. I think they were 2 for £4 on the Boots website.

Boots Essentials Cucumber Cleansing Wipes- They are the only cleansing wipes I've found which don't make my eyes run. They remove make up really easily, make my skin feel clean, and again, have a fresh-scent to them. They're usually about £2.50 a pack, but they were on offer for 3 for £3.

And best of all: my Lush delivery came this week!

The Lush package was very nicely put together, and the packaging materials are biodegradable.

A little paper bag with an eyeshadow and eyeliner brush was included in the box.

Once I'd removed some of the packaging materials, I found my order carefully buried in the middle.

I ordered the Happiness Eyeshadow, Jackie Oates Colour Supplement, and a slab of Sexy Peel soap.

Sexy Peel is a lovely citrus smelling soap. I use Lush soaps for washing hands, and shaving legs.

Happiness is a gorgeous bronze-gold cream eyeshadow from Lush's new Emotional Brilliance make up range. I want it all!

Lush always tell you who made the product and when.

It was much larger than I was expecting! It should last for years!

It has a soft eyeshadow brush applicator.

The colour looks exactly like it does in the bottle on my skin. It glides on easily and looks striking with little effort, though it can be blended to different consistencies depending on the preferred look. It also feels very soft and nourishing.

It removed with no fuss in one quick wipe with a cleansing wipe!

It does what it says on the tin. I went for the palest shade, as I'm very fair, but there are several other shades in the range.

The colour hasn't been picked up correctly in these photos. The product is a very pale nude colour, which is suitable for the very white skin that natural red heads often have. To give you an idea, it works on skin as pale as my legs.

It looks a little too dark for my skin on the back of my hand, but it isn't. I found a little goes a long way.

It's quite a heavy base, so I mixed it with moisturiser before applying to my face. Please excuse the nails!

I mixed the two together and applied with a foundation brush.

And the finished result... I have the colour supplement, under eye concealer, face powder and blusher on my skin, and the eye shadow on my eyes without mascara (as it keeps making my eyes run).

I absolutely love the base. It was easy to apply, and gave such an even consistent appearance to my skin. The shade is perfect for very pale girls like me. I do look a bit flushed in these photos, but my skin is a lot paler than the camera shows.

The eye shadow kept sliding off the middle of my eyelids, even with a base underneath, but I suspect that could have been due to the scorching heat. I was seriously over-heated when I applied it. It's soft and vibrant, and a gorgeous shade. I'm planning on collecting the entire Emotional Brilliance collection. They could be worn as eyeshadows or eyeliners, and even mixed with powder eyeshadow to set and intensify the colour. I'm in eye make up heaven!

I love the shade of the eye shadow with my colouring and hair colour. I think it'll be a good shade to wear this Autumn. Apart from the middle part of the lid, the eyeshadow remained on my skin for a good nine hours before I removed it and the vibrancy remained the same!

Well, that's my haul of the week. I hope you've enjoyed this long, photo heavy post!

Have you tried Lush's make up yet? I recommend it if you haven't!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to read the Lush Times to see which colours I'll be buying on payday.

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