Friday 27 January 2012

The rain is here and you, my dear, are still my friend.

Lately, I find myself longing for a place with a clear, blank wall. I do love my slopey-ceilinged bedroom, but it makes outfit posts rather difficult. Obviously this is a bit of a rubbish reason to move, but when I start looking in a few months, I know it'll be in the back of my mind. In truth, some weeks it's hard to get an outfit post done in time for Friday evening - and this was one of those weeks. I was poorly last week and it seems to have set everything else back. I hate that.

So, after all that moaning, I have to say these photos do not do this dress justice. In reality, it fits like a dream and I adore the colour - in real life, a slightly more greeny blue than pictured. Coupled with newly dyed shiny hair, I positively strutted around the office in this ensemble yesterday.

Dress - Closet at Dorothy Perkins
Best Necklace Ever - Topshop

If I could, I'd happily have a wardrobe of ponte dresses. They're so easy to wear - no creasing, no clinginess and they're crazy comfortable. I discovered a few Closet ones reduced to £15 each on the Dorothy Perkins website and, well, couldn't resist picking up a couple. I think this one is my favourite because I adore the colour - I got it in black, too, which is very similar to this dress. VERY similar, but I've worn that dress to death, so purchasing a twin is probably sensible.

Aaaaanyway. What are you doing tomorrow? I'm getting drunk. I've finished my antibiotics and out there somewhere is a full-to-the-brim glass of rose with my name on it. So it's decided. Hurrah!

Wednesday 25 January 2012

If you're gonna try and walk on water, make sure you wear your comfortable shoes.

My mother would warn me off these shoes. Let's face it, the 6 inch heel is a height best described as "ankle-breaking" and pewter glitter isn't exactly practical. But that's why they’re perfect. As far as I’m concerned, the more impractical the shoe, the better - they’re forbidden fruit in footwear form.

You see, when I was a little girl, shoes were... difficult. "You've inherited my feet," my mother would tell me, slipping her broad feet into a pair of sensible but ugly sandals. A woman who has never been able to wear heels, she tried to prepare me for a life of plate-shaped feet.

I got older, but not much taller - stopping just shy of 5 foot 2. My feet were wide, sure, but I wasn’t ready to give up on heels. I vowed to train my feet to accept them, and started traipsing around in cheap, uncomfortable 3 inch platforms in an attempt to appear just a little bit taller. Oh, there were blisters. There was pain. There were far too many tripping incidents from overly spacious pairs. But I persevered… and it started to work.

The shoes got nicer (and pricier). And my feet adjusted - high heels were no longer out of bounds. I scoffed at the sensible 3-inchers of my past and started living life a good 5 inches taller, made all the more satisfying knowing that I was challenging my flat-footed destiny.

These shoes - these fabulous, sparkly shoes - are the embodiment of all of that. I shouldn't be able to wear them. I should just give up and choose a sensible pair instead. But the best pairs of heels AREN'T sensible. They're a luxurious, naughty treat, and what could be more glorious than wearing such a guilty pleasure on your feet?

P.S. Not that rhapsodising about beautiful shoes is unusual for me, but in case you were wondering, this was my competition entry to become a Sarenza ambassador. DREAM COME TRUE.

Friday 20 January 2012

I love you like a love song.

There are lots of reasons to get married in January.

1) Everyone needs a pick-me-up after Christmas
2) Venues are markedly cheaper
3) The weather's rubbish so you don't place all your hopes on one day of sunshine

Yep, I'm totally for winter weddings. But there is one issue with weddings in JANUARY that I certainly didn't think of and that's... Christmas. Because in December it's totally acceptable to throw the diet out of the window and to go to Greggs for breakfast every single day. To have three tins of Quality Street on the go at any one time. And to drink wine pretty much every night. It's DECEMBER! It's what people DO! It's FINE!!!

Yes. It's totally fine until you go to put on the new dress you've had put aside for the aforementioned January wedding and... yeah, you guessed it. It won't do up. And all my other generously cut, appropriate-for-wedding outfits have already had an outing at weddings. So. Panic. My Paypal account got emptied. Packages of dresses found themselves winging their way to me. I set my lunchtimes aside to run, panicked, around every shop in turn, just trying to find SOMETHING.

We've all been there, right?

Luckily, I did the sensible thing when I hit the shops and started with Debenhams. I was actually looking for a green Oasis dress I'd seen just before Christmas, that somehow I was convinced would still be there in my size. It was still there. But in a size 6. Denied. But then I remembered a pink dress I'd seen in December (and featured in my bumper best of the party dresses post), that I'd sent a photo of to my friend Gemma who loves all things pink and 50s-style, ordering her to march herself down there to buy it (she did, and looked awesome in it). I had a hunt, and I found the dress... reduced to £18. Great fit, great quality, great colour. Aaaaand... sold.

The wedding was fantastic too, but unusually for me, I didn't take that many photos. Far too busy enjoying myself! Big congratulations to my newlywed buddies Mark and Jennie. That's the first of four weddings this year...

Jewellery - Topshop
Shoes - Matalan
Belt - Ribbon nabbed from another dress

Friday 13 January 2012

I'm a fire and I'll burn burn burn tonight.

I've missed this spot. I haven't had time lately to take photographs outside, and we have so little sunlight these days. I am dreaming about the return of longer days, and saying goodbye to shivery afternoons.

Thanks to New Look, I've got quite the collection of knee-high boots now. It's such a novelty finding them that fit me so well! These are my latest pair, which I'm tempted to buy in black too. They are basically lush.

Speaking of the boots, when my sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I gave her a choice. Be creative - if she wanted, and could find the time in between bringing up an adorable baby - or get me the black boots. And she got creative, which is secretly what I wanted. When it comes to special occasions I rarely have a gift list prepared - and getting surprises is so much nicer. And this rust coloured dress was a fabulous present - I've already worn it loads and Christmas was less than a month ago. Definitely a new favourite.

This is going to be a dress themed weekend, I think - tomorrow I am off to a wedding (thanks to Twitter for some serious wedding outfit help this week) and then our annual family Christmas do on Sunday. I'm looking forward to having a good old gossip with my sister - oh, and lots of baby-cuddles.

Cardigan - TK Maxx
Boots - New Look
Belt & Hairband - H&M
Necklace - Topshop

Wednesday 11 January 2012

They said I'd forget her face.

Lately, people keep saying to me: 'Sarah. Where DO you find the time?' My stock answer tends to be 'Well, I don't have a boyfriend, so.' But genuinely. I don't know? For the longest time my parents used to say that my sister and I were really different because she can't sit still and I, well, sit still kind of a lot. Except then I realised that, even if I'm sitting down, I'm pretty much incapable of doing less than two things at once. If I'm watching TV I'm normally writing a blog entry or making jewellery or drawing or tidying or editing photographs... oh. And tweeting, but that's a given. It doesn't really count. But yeah, I don't really like wasted time. Hence this blog, that blog (oh and that blog) and the Etsy shop - all on top of a pretty demanding day job. I'm just saying, I wouldn't MIND winning the lottery.

Anyway, I've talked about the jewellery shop before - which is going pretty well, thank you, and there's a 20% off Christmas Sale on right now if you use the code XMASSALE so get on that business as it's going to expire at the end of the month.

The other thing that I've been doing quite a lot of lately is illustrations. When I changed my blog layout a few months back, I got a lot of positive comments on my little drawings and so I had to set up a bit of a mini-shop, because as much as I'd love to do free blogger portraits for everyone on the internets, I don't really have all that much spare time, as I mentioned. But if people pay me money I will make time! Here are some of the ones I've done recently...

Maria from Frills 'n' Spills

Sarah from A Million Dresses (and her new husband!) - this picture was featured as part of her (AMAZING) wedding post on Rock 'n' Roll Bride.

Sorting out is on my list this year too so I can finally have somewhere proper to put them all. But for now, if you're interested, click here for more info or just send me an email!

Friday 6 January 2012

This scene is dead, but I'm still restless.

If there is one thing I would cheerfully say about myself, it's that I'm cheap. I totally am. It's fine, you can say it. Cheap as chips. I'm that person who, when I receive a compliment about something I'm wearing will declare proudly, 'Thanks! THREE POUNDS!' And very few things fill me with such joy as knowing I've had a really cheap night out.

So those people who spend a fortune on New Year's - I don't get it. Is anywhere really THAT good that it's worth paying to get in and buying drinks at an inflated price all night? Not to mention being jostled by strangers and having to fend off lecherous randoms as the clock strikes midnight. There is a time and a place for stranger jostling and lecherous randoms and IT IS NOT NEW YEAR'S EVE. You know what New Year's Eve IS the time and the place for?

A wine and cheese evening. OBVIOUSLY.

You see, when I was a kid, my parents used to go to all sorts of events that sounded really dull. Like Caravan Club AGMs and dinner parties... and wine and cheese nights. They sounded like the worst things ever. Honestly. Except, as I get older, I've realised that, okay, a Caravan Club AGM probably isn't my thing, but the other two - well, what could be wrong about parties that centre around good food and nice booze? To a kid, wine and cheese might sound dull, but to an adult - well. Wine? Good. Cheese? GOOOOD. It meant an excuse to buy all the cheeses we've ever wanted. Plus, to chuck a Camembert in the oven and make up a giant batch of cheese fondue. HELLO, AWESOME.

It wasn't a crazy night. There were only a few of us, and in hindsight, consuming that amount of food may have been better suited to tracksuit bottoms and a loose tshirt but, come on. If you can't make an effort on New Year's, when can you? SO. A sparkly dress, giant beehive and enormous false eyelashes seemed pretty much compulsory.

And it was FUN. Despite seriously overdosing on cheese and actually feeling rather ill for half the night, I still managed to stay out until 4am. And we gossiped, and chatted, and even had a little dance. Some may say that having strikingly similar parties with the same people every New Year's Eve for the last ten years isn't very adventurous, but you know what? There's no place I'd rather be.

Dress - Oasis (sale bargain, down from £120 to £45 AND SO SPARKLY. Plus, I've ticked #19 off my 30 Before 30!)
Jewellery - Topshop
Shoes - Primark
Belt - No idea!

Wednesday 4 January 2012

The lonely goatherd.

One of my favourite second-day hairstyles is the Heidi or Milkmaid braid. It's super simple, yet doesn't look it - I'm always asked how I do it. Which, I think is slightly different to most people, but my hair is very thick and mere grips alone will not hold it!

I've been meaning to do it for ages, but it has taken this long for my hair to finally be in a position for me to do some tutorial business! Yeah man.

Have fun, skipping around with a bunch of goats. Like I do, constantly.

Monday 2 January 2012

Everything's in shape but me.

Sometimes there is so much to say and so few ways to say it. 2011 was wonderful in so many ways and I've had a lovely Christmas break, too. I don't know where it's gone - I had grand plans to do all sorts during the break and instead it's suddenly January and I haven't done much at all. But I have spent lots of time with family and friends and helped to invent something called a RumJug so it's hardly a waste.

Usually at this time of year I feel excited and optimistic about the year ahead. I'll be making lists and resolutions, filling in my new diary and planning my outfits and meals for the week ahead, determined to make a habit of it from now on. This year, I feel different. I think 2012 is going to bring a lot of changes and new experiences and although I am excited, I'm also feeling pit-of-my-stomach nervous about it, too. If things go as I hope, I will be in a very different place this time next year which is brilliant and terrifying all at once. I quite enjoy living my life in reckless disregard for what's expected of me, but with my thirties half a year away, I know that it's time to push some boundaries and escape the safety and sanctuary of home comforts. It all sounds rather ominous, doesn't it? But it's a good thing... I think.

In looking at last year's resolutions, I'm proud to say that I achieved one of them - I have learnt to like red wine. Thank you. I'm proud, too.

Resolutions for 2012

1 - Live healthily.
I long to learn how to eat well and exercise regularly without obsessing over it. So that'll be my endeavour - to conquer those issues.

2 - Complete my 30 Before 30 (so this is kind of like 30 resolutions in one).
Check out my progress here - I'm getting there...

3 - Manage my finances better - or, um, at all.
This means I may have to stop buying new dresses every month. Sorry.

4 - Push my boundaries.
See above...

5 - Organise my life.
Use that Filofax, get rid of all my tat and get somewhere close to where I want to be.
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