Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I'm in love with a royal fox!

You may remember that a few days ago I was faced with a shopping dilemma. I was struggling to decide whether to concentrate on others and start Christmas shopping, or if I could postpone the gift shopping for a fortnight and allow myself one last little splurge before Christmas.

 I eventually allowed myself to indulge, but couldn't decide between a fox jumper, a raccoon print tee, and a snood in two colours. I could afford two, but which two? You were all such a bad influence (I'm blaming you guys for my purchases!), and the fox jumper was your firm favourite. After many hours of debating, I bought both tops on my store card, realising if I paid for them both straight away, that would more than cover the minimum balance, so I was free to order the teal snood, too! I don't know why that hadn't occurred to me earlier!

Well, my Dorothy Perkins package arrived this morning, and I immediately fell in love with the fox jumper. I had to wear it straight away layered over my leopard print maxi dress...

The jumper has the cutest motif ever. A beautiful red fox with a crown upon his noble brow. It's gorgeous, and the fabric is super soft. It's a thin knit, which makes it perfect for layering, and wearing on those in-between days, which is actually perfect for me as I hate over-heating. I purchased the jumper while a promotion was running, so I saved about £10 off the original price- which is fantastic- but I would have happily paid full price. It's the best sweater I've owned in years.

 I chose to layer it over the leopard print maxi dress that I got for my birthday back in July. I've only worn it a couple of times because I'm convinced it draws attention to my stomach, which makes me feel self-conscious; I don't like flaunting it. It's far from tight or clingy on me, but I can't move past that feeling, even after my family have ensured me that it flatters my shape. With the jumper layered over the dress, all those doubts have dissipated. I quite like the two together. I don't often wear maxi skirts, especially in the cold seasons, but this look works for me. Sure, it might be a little slouchy and shapeless, but today I was struggling, and needed comfort, and this outfit delivered. I think teamed with a pair of ankle boots and a leather jacket, this could work as a Winter outfit. What do you think?

I kept the accessories to a minimum because I didn't have the strength to put any effort in. I wore the two black and silver bracelets my best friend bought me last Christmas. I don't know where she bought them, but I love them. As my clothes had quite an Autumnal colour scheme, I contrasted the browns with a splash of red in the form of my red flower ring. The ring is made up of hearts layered to create a flower!

I added another dash of red with my little cherry studs. Aren't they cute?!

Outfit Details:
Jumper: Dorothy Perkins
Dress (worn as a skirt): New Look
Earrings: River Island
Ring: Evans
Bracelets: Both gifts from my best friend

I'm so pleased that I went with my heart and bought the jumper. I know I would have been upset if I hadn't adopted such a handsome fox knit.

I've loved foxes passionately since I was a small child. I remember having an obsession with The Animals of Farthing Wood books and cartoons for a couple of years. I had a stuffed toy fox called Charmer after one of the characters when I was eight or nine, and a black t-shirt with a fox on it, too.

I guess some loves never die.

It's been eighteen years since I last wore a fox motif top. I'm a little bit, *cough*, a lot older, a little bit wiser, but still very much bewitched by wildlife. One thing's for sure: I don't think I'll ever grow out of my love affair with animal prints and motifs. I passed the point of no return a very long time ago.

I see myself holding on to this jumper for a very long time. I'm sure I'll be wearing it year after year. And I can't wait to work it in to my wardrobe and wear it to death

Do you have a soft spot for animal motifs?

Have you embraced the trend of woodland animal motifs yet this season?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Nails | Grey and Teal Floral Nail Art

Yesterday evening I tried my hand at floral nails. I've never attempted them before, and the result was far from perfect, but they were fun to create and I'm sure with a bit of practise I'll be able to perfect the look.

I chose to alternate the nails with teal and grey nail polishes, and used white and blue nail art pens to create the flowers.

I used Barry M nail paints in Teal/334 and Grey/293, and Models Own WAH nail art pens in white and blue.

The teal Barry M is one of my latest buys. I was attracted to it because it looked like the sea. It's a little bluer than it appears in these photos, and it's absolutely stunning. It was a great investment for just £2.99, and I think this has earned a place in my favourites.

I painted three coats of this polish on alternating nails, leaving them to dry completely before beginning the flowers.

I've had the grey nail paint for over a year, and had barely used it. I had a brain wave on Sunday night about wearing it alongside the teal, so I excavated it from the nail drawer and the look was born.

Again, I painted three coats (but two would have been sufficient) on alternating nails, and left them to dry thoroughly.

To create the flowers, I used the white nail art pen to dot about six dots in a circle to create petals, and finished each flower with a blue dot to the centre. I painted them in different areas on each nail so they wouldn't look too matchy. 

I had a little difficulty overlapping the dots without causing them to bleed in to each other; a few of them turned in to smudged blobs due to my shaky hands. But, that's all part of the experience, and I'm happy with the result. They don't look too bad from a distance!

I made such a mess of my thumb nail! Oops. Oh well...

And voila! Grey and teal floral nails!

Have you tried or perfected floral nails yet? 

If you've got any tips I'd love to hear them!

Black and blue and a little bit dotty

I've been a Dorothy Perkins shopper since my mid-teens, and it's no secret that I have a soft spot for their dresses. Over the last year or so in particular, they've stocked some truly beautiful numbers in fabulous prints, with peter pan collars, fitted waists, and lovely billowing skirts. As a fan of fashion from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, such dresses always appeal to me, particularly if it has a quirky print and a circle skirt.

 There have been plenty of knee length and midi length dresses in their collections, too, which I love as I'm not comfortable exposing much thigh to the world. It used to be so difficult to find great dresses that fell past the upper thigh, but over the last couple of seasons that seems to have changed, and I've snapped up so many gorgeous frocks from Dotty P's this year I could open my own dress shop.

I bought the polka dot number I'm wearing in these photos right back at the beginning of the year, but prior to Sunday, I'd only worn it once.

I had seen this dress advertised in Company High Street Edit in other colours a month or so before they went on sale, and I was excited because I thought it would live up to my favourite black polka dot shirt dress. Although the dress is pretty and a lovely shape, it's made from thin slippery polyester which gets so static, and the fitted waist is a little uncomfortable as it's far lower down the torso than it should be. I still love it, but it wasn't quite what I hoped.

So, on Sunday afternoon, I picked it out of the depths of my wardrobe and decided to pretend I was a civilised human being and got dressed up. I wanted to see how the bow collar looked with the dress. I still need to buy some black ribbon to extend it to fit properly, but I really like how it looks with this dress, and how it completely transforms it. I feel it gives an elegant touch to an otherwise simple outfit, and would be perfect for an event. I felt so lady-like in this outfit. Since the collar is so formal, I accessorised it with a lace and pearl corsage bracelet; it contrasts with the masculinity of the collar. Once again I popped the studded tartan flatforms on my feet. I've barely taken them off my feet since I bought them.

Dress: Dorothy Perkins
Cardigan: New Look
Shoes: River Island (via ASOS)
Bracelet: Dorothy Perkins
Collar: ASOS

I'd just dyed my hair with the new Schwarzkopf pillar box red semi-permanent hair dye before taking these photos, and since it was pitch black I was trying to see via the camera if it had made my hair colour any brighter. The findings were inconclusive and I had to wait until morning. I can't actually see much of a difference in the colour; it's only ever so slightly redder.  I'll be sticking to my usual colour, I think.

 I'm also in desperate need of a fringe trim.

I did, however, discover that my camera's timer works on the 'indoor' setting, and it seems to create half decent images, so I may be able to do some outfit posts on those days I wake too late but have enough strength to get dressed. Just don't hold your breath!

Do you love Dorothy Perkins dresses as much as I do?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Barratts' Competition

When I was recently contacted about a giveaway shoe brand Barratts is hosting through Hello, Terri Lowe's blog, I was very excited and immediately started putting my entry together.

 There are two competitions running through Terri's blog, with a chance to win up to £100 of Barratts vouchers. One is a rafflecopter giveaway with a chance of winning £30 to spend at Barratts, whilst the other involves putting together a post about which shoes you might buy if you won the £70 voucher.

For my entry, I chose six of my favourite pairs of shoes from the website. I chose mostly plain coloured shoes, as I wear printed clothes so often, and tried to pick out a variety of styles to keep things interesting. I then attempted to make a wardrobe collage, to show case my picks where they belong! The image is of my wardrobe, with stacks of shoe boxes either side and shoes on display.

So, here goes, this is my entry...

And a closer look at my choices:

was £35.00, now £25.00

Let's start with this amazing pair of killer court heels. When I came across them, I was pretty much salivating at the laptop screen. The burgundy suede-like material is so gothic and wintery, and the spikes really make a statement. I'd wear them with feminine tea dresses to bring an edge to the outfit, or with a great pair of jeans, plenty of black, velvet and lace. At 27, I still haven't learnt how to walk in high heels, but it's a skill I aim to master someday. And this beautiful pair of platform courts would be worth a sprained ankle or two- I'd no doubt look like a new born giraffe while trying to master the art. I'm amazed by the very reasonable price of these beautiful heels- just £25.00. For that price I'd buy them in every colour!

was £25.00, now £20.00

After getting a taste for this style of flatform with my recent River Island purchase, I'm keen to invest in many more pairs in various designs. And at just £20.00, they're a steal! I've fallen in love with this shoe in several colours, but of course, the red is my favourite. I can't get enough of dark reds this Autumn. There's something so decadent about them. This colour works with so much of my wardrobe, and I've chosen a simple design as I wear so many patterned clothes. This shoe also appeals to me because it gives me a little extra height, whilst still being accommodating and safe to walk around in with a back injury without fear of slipping or strain.

was £75.00, now £67.50

At first glance, these shoe boots look like a pair of simple, ordinary boots, but on closer expection, they're trimmed with glitter! Glitter! The five year old in me desperately wants to play dress up with glittery shoes. There are also horses all over the outer soles and heel. Glitter, horses, and pretty shoes? Show me an inner child who doesn't love those things! The glitter would add a bit of fun to a simple outfit for day (such as with blue skinny jeans, and a jumper), and would look equally stylish with a little black dress for night. On offer for £67.50, they're still a little expensive but I'd find a million outfits to wear them with... after I've learnt how to glide about in them first, of course!

was £35.00, now £30.00

Another pair of shoes I'd love to own is this wonderful pair of purple wedges. They're a little higher than I'm used to but I'm trying to break out of my comfort zone with shoes and learn how to wear lots of different styles and heel heights. I love this deep shade of purple, and they'd fit in nicely with my wardrobe. I can particularly envision myself wearing these with my black polka dot dress, and the black bird print dress I did an OOTD post about a couple of days ago. I think £30.00 is a very reasonable price for this pair of beautiful shoes, I would happily treat myself to these if I won.

was £28.00, now £15.00

When it comes to shoes, my most worn style is a ballet shoe, and I have a slight infatuation with studs, so this pretty red pair naturally called out to me. The studs and colour are so on trend for Autumn/Winter, and they're perfect for brightening up a grey day, adding a pop of colour to any outfit, and for colour blocking. With my back injuries, it's essential for me to have comfortable shoes that I can slip on and off (as I'm not very bendy right now), so these tick all the boxes. I'd wear them with everything from dresses to jeans. They're such a bargain at £15.00... maybe I'd be able to buy them in black as well?

was £25.00, now £22.00

I've been wanting to try creepers for myself for quite some time now, after seeing friends and other bloggers rocking them. They appeal to my edgier side, and look like they'd be so comfortable, whilst adding a precious inch or two. And Barratts have some pretty fantastic dupes in a range of wintery hues for a fraction of the price. This pair is just £22.00, yet many other brands such as Underground start from £70 and keep going after £100. Bargain! Predictably, the bright colour of this green pair lured me in like a moth to a flame. I'd wear them with black skinny jeans and jeggings, perhaps with my red and black chequered shirt, a band tee, or some form of lace or velvet top. I'd find myself wearing these to lots of gigs and concerts when I'm back on my feet.

These are just six of the pairs I would consider treating myself to, but there were dozens if not hundreds of beautiful shoes I would happily buy. I haven't shopped with Barratts since I was a little girl, and am so surprised how great their selection is now.

Have you entered this competition yet? No? Check out the giveaway here.

If you have or do enter, link back your post so I can have a look!


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Favourites #9

I've been inspired by rather a lot of images this week, particularly via Tumblr, so this week's favourites post has become quite a long one. So I'll keep the introduction short, and dive straight in.

I hope you enjoy!

Perhaps a little too summery for late October, but I can't help loving the colour palette.

I love these amazing galaxy nails. I wonder how hard those were to do!

Daisy nails. I think this may be the next nail art look I'll attempt.

I think these little stars tattoos are so cute. I'd imagine they hurt quite a bit, though!

Lovely fox tattoo.

Her dress and hair are both perfect. What a great outfit!

This is a great outfit, too. I love how she's discreetly added mint touches. They add a feminine touch to a the harsher monochrome, and just works perfectly.

I need this floral number in my wardrobe!

How amazing is the skirt... and the shoes... and the tattoos?

Dita looking so elegant in green. This shade of emerald is one of my favourite colours, and isn't seen on people enough! Go Dita.

Carrie's wardrobe... I've always wished that it could be mine instead. It's heavenly.

From Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. I'm sure we've all said this on numerous occasions. I know I have.

This is adorable! Beluga whales are one of my favourite animals; they always look so happy! And this is precious.

An alternative to carving your pumpkins in to a Jack o' lantern. These look so stylish.

Now that the clocks have gone back an hour, and it's now dark at 5pm, it can only mean two things: Christmas is coming and I can start watching Christmas films. I always have to watch Home Alone leading up to the festive season, and have since I was little. It's a classic, and I've always loved their house.

Mr Grey who?

That's what a good novel does to me, too.

What's the point in being a millionaire if you don't have a secret room that can only be entered through a bookshelf door?

All I need is time.

Self acceptance is a wonderful thing.

Don't try to be the person you think they want you to be. Just be yourself. Be who you want to be. Find yourself. Be proud of your individuality. Never change yourself for someone else.

Yeah... because alienating 50% of women and a potential market makes a lot of sense... NOT.

Oh my God, I'm Ned Flanders...
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