Friday 16 December 2011

That's what makes you beautiful.

Ever been to a penguin party? Me neither. Well… UNTIL NOW. (Now = last Saturday) Earlier this year, I was talking to Sha, my bestie, about what the perfect party theme would be. I’m still struggling – I’ve got a Big Birthday next year and I can’t think of anything that’s awesome, obtainable and intrinsically ME. Sha, though, got hers in a nutshell. See, Sha loves penguins – understandable, of course, because PENGUINS ARE AMAZING. So what better theme for her 30th than… A PENGUIN PARTY.

(Stop trying - there is no better theme.)

The dress code was black, white or penguin so penguin costumes were not mandatory. I decided to go penguin inspired, in an LBD (I seem to have so many more LBDs than I thought I did!) with bowtie (a brooch that was actually part of the dress already), accessorised with penguin print tights. YES YOU HEARD ME RIGHT.

Dress - New Look (belt & brooch part of dress)
Tights - Pamela Mann (Ebay)
Shoes - Matalan
Bracelet - Topshop

Top hat - Stolen from Russell

It’s a cute dress – I actually blogged about it back when I bought it – and an outfit in itself with the built in belt, although I found myself secretly wishing I was wearing something a little more… penguinny. If anyone ever sees a penguin print dress, let me know, okay? (Although I did feel a bit more dressed up once I purloined the hat. If there is a hat at a party, I will end up wearing it. FACT.) Plus, I had major dress envy as Sha looked amazing in her polka dot dress of dreams, from Vivien of Holloway. Isn’t it stunning?

Sha’s birthday is almost as big a deal to me as mine is. And, if you’ve followed this blog for any time at all, you may have noticed that I’m obsessed with my birthday. So I was hard at work all week, creating some weird and wonderful baking experiments to fit in with the penguin theme.

Winter wonderland cake! (Coconut cake with coconut cream cheese icing. Holy WOW... I did not make the little penguin sugarcraft toppers. Thanks, Ebay!)

Aaaand mutant penguin cupcakes! (Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter icing, topped with chocolate peanut butter cake truffles and more chocolate.)

I am going to open a bakery called Ugly But Tasty.

It was the best night. Just the ultimate BEST. I loved being in a group of people who danced just as enthusiastically to My Chemical Romance as to One Direction (both MAJOR guilty pleasures, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised). As Sha put it, LIFE HIGHLIGHT.

And all night, I had this funny, warm feeling in my belly. I just felt completely overwhelmed by love. Love for all of my amazing friends who’d gone to so much effort with their costumes and who all stayed late to clear up. But most of all, love for one of the most incredible ladies I know, who would drop everything to help you out and move heaven and earth if you needed her to. Someone who shares my obsessions for seasonal food and drink and bad movies, who thinks it’s totally acceptable to take a hip flask out with you, who is always the last one on the dancefloor. It’s rare, but incredible when you have those moments of total clarity and realise the people who are truly important to you, but there you go. So I’m dedicating this post to Sha, who has been there as a constant nugget of awesome for the last 14 years. Everyone should have a Sha in their life. I really do love her a lot.



  1. How cool is all this!
    I love your tights... and that game where all the penguins run round the track, that takes me back!!

    Tor @ That's Peachy Fashion Blog xx

  2. Awwww, what a lovely post!
    Glad your friend had such an amazing 30th!
    Those tights are bloody well awesome :p xx

  3. Such a great theme! Amazing tights, and I loveeee Sha's dress- I was eyeing up the Vivien of Holloway dresses earlier- so so so beautiful! xxx

  4. Those tights are incredible!! Those cupcakes look divine too! x

  5. might have to steal those tights!

  6. This is the BEST theme I've ever heard! Must remember this for some time in the future..
    Love your tights and those cakes look amaaaazing!


  7. Haha what a cute idea for a party, penguins are all sorts of adorable. I'm pretty sure she has beat all the other cool Birthday themes out of the icy Penguin filled water with this one.

    I love the pictures, it looks like you had an absolutely fabulous time. I love both of your dresses and those tights are too cute!

    Ugly but Tasty bakery? I'd totally buy baked goods from such an establishment.


  8. I LOOOOVE Penguins. I know what I'm doing for my 25th or 30th too! ;D!! Amazing photography!

  9. I LOOOOVE Penguins. I know what I'm doing for my 25th or 30th too! ;D!! Amazing photography!

  10. Best party theme ever. I really want a Harry Potter party, but that's far too obvious ;) Your dress is beautiful, as is Sha's, and your tights absolutely steal the show. Hope you had a lovely evening! xx

  11. THIS IS AWESOME! How is it even possible to own penguin print tights?! Amazing.

    x Michelle |

  12. such an amazing theme! I am too similarly obsessed with my next birthday and by proxy birthdays in general, so I enjoyed this post enormously!

    Love the attention to detail, like the tights and nails, and just all the pictures that convey how much effort went into the theme and how much of an amazing time seemed to be had.

  13. Your tights have restored my faith in humanity for the day! I love them!

  14. That's such a nice post! I love your penguin tights! And Sha's penguin nails!
    Your comment about opening a bakery made me laugh so much! I'm exactly the same! All my friends can make beautiful looking cakes like they're out of a magazine and mine always look a mess but taste delicious! But yours look amazing! You can see how much effort and love have gone in to them :)
    And your cakes sound like they taste AMAZING! Anything with chocolate and peanut butter is a winner! And a coconut cake! YUM!
    Looks like you had a great time :)

  15. Aww I just love The party looks epic, happy birthday to Sha!

  16. This just looks like it was ridiculous amounts of fun! I love your cakes too - I'd definitely buy them! Way better than pretty-but-revolting which so many cupcakes are...

    I would've worn my penguin cardi! It's the best cardigan ever and makes me smile so much. And after my brother constantly facebooked about wanting a penguin while watching Frozen Planet, his Christmas present from me and my sis is: penguin adoption from London Zoo, penguin mug, penguin chocolates from Hotel Chocolate, and toy penguin. Toy penguin. He's 23 but will always be our little bro...


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