Friday 29 June 2012

Postcard of a painting.

Lately, I've completely abandoned straightening my hair. Funnily enough, it's the fault of my new straighteners! They do such a quick, speedy job at curling my hair that faffing around trying to remove every kink just isn't worth the hassle. But last weekend, I felt the urge. I haven't had a haircut since February, and my hair has been creeping longer and longer, and I was struck with the urge to see just how long it was. Turns out - long. But not any longer than it's been before, to my slight disappointment. Oh well. It still looks super shiny and healthy, though - obviously giving it a break from the straighteners is helping it (but I'm still curling it, so... oh, let's not fuss with logic).

Dress - New Look
Shoes - H&M
Necklace - Topshop
Cherry Blossom Nails - Tutorial Coming Soon!

It wasn't that warm at the weekend, but I was feeling stubborn. I've had this sundress languishing in my wardrobe for a while now, and even though the weather was unpredictable on Saturday, I put my foot down. "NO!" I said. "I don't care if it would be more sensible to wear opaque tights today! NO! I AM WEARING MY DRESS WITH THE POSTCARDS ON IT BECAUSE IT IS JUNE AND IT IS SUMMER.' I didn't actually say that TO anyone, but I felt that the weather admired my spirit. Because it then went and turned really flipping warm! You. Are. Welcome.

Life moves apace, this week. Obviously, moving - I am finally striking out on my own! With two other people, so, okay, not technically on my own. Turns out, moving house is FLIPPING EXPENSIVE. But I am consoling myself with the fact that I will not have to produce a giant rental deposit again, hopefully. I am also tempted to just never move again because giant financial impact aside, there's all that packing to do. Which I will start. Later. Probably.

Anyway! What's new with YOU?


Wednesday 27 June 2012

Laughin' straight to the bank.

So, this week I have to basically put down every penny I own on a rental deposit for a house. It is exciting stuff, yes! But it is also REALLY expensive and all it is making me want to do is shop, shop, shop. Because I can't. So, instead of packing, I've been spending my evenings scouring the internet for pretty things that I'm not allowed to spend any money on.

Nobody said I was logical, okay?

So here I am on the Bank Fashion website, staring at the dresses. I always come back to the dresses, but gosh darnit, they are such damn pretty dresses. Can I have them all, please?

Written in collaboration with Bank Fashion, but do I need an excuse to ogle dresses?

Tuesday 26 June 2012

All I ever wanted was the world.

Someone said to me recently that they couldn't imagine who ever looks at clothes websites listing from High to Low. My response 'Er, I do!' It's that wish fulfilment aspect. Maybe I can't afford the clothes at the higher end of the price range, but I sure as heck want to look at them. And that's how I stumbled onto Matches Fashion, dreaming of having a limitless budget to afford some of the below. Balenciaga? Oh, go on then. Alexander McQueen? Why not. And this? THIS IS AN ALAIA.

I mean, if I'm really, REALLY fulfilling my wishes then, heck. I'll take the Chanel in every colour.

There are actually plenty of affordable, lovely clothes on the Matches website... but, you know. Where's the fun in that?

Written in collaboration with Matches Fashion

Monday 25 June 2012

Would you do anything for me, buy a big diamond ring for me

As someone whose weight has fluctuated a fair bit over the years, I can confidently say I've been at both ends of the scale. I've been able to skip into Topshop and buy a size 10 without even trying it on, but equally I've been in countless times and not made it past the accessories section - you don't need to be skinny to wear amazing jewellery, you see.

My equally fluctuatey friend and I always say that girls who are conscious about their weight are always very well accessorised, and it's true - during those times when battling with a zip in the changing room seems like hell on earth, all my money has gone on jewellery, bags and shoes. I'm somewhere in between these days, but it's always resonated with me, and if I'm looking at a shop where the clothes may not fit me, I'll go straight to the accessories. Which is where I've spent the last hour or so perusing on the Simply Be website. Oh the shoes! Oh the bags!

Although they sell plus size clothes for all shapes, they also sell clothes in smaller sizes, too. And there's a dress or two I have my eye on, but today it's the accessories, not the clothes that I'm drooling over. SIGH.

Written in collaboration with Simply Be

Sunday 24 June 2012

Take a sad song and make it better.

I keep thinking about this magazine I used to buy as a teenager. It was an American magazine - I think it was called Jump -  and I don't know why our little corner shop sold it, but I adored it. It had a really positive outlook, and as a tiny but body-conscious 16 year old, it was a great message that set it apart from the diet-conscious British magazines.

Jump used to have a little calendar of things you could do for the month to improve yourself, inside and out. Things from reading a great book to dancing like crazy around your bedroom for half an hour to cooking a tasty but healthy meal... it made me want to BE better, and live well (it also really really made me want to go shopping in America, but that's a whole other story). And I've been thinking about it a lot lately, because I'm really trying to make those little changes, to live a healthier lifestyle without being obsessed with calorie counting because it's no way to live, really, is it?

It's a bit depressing, really, how much we girls can talk about diets. I am not exaggerating when I say I can talk about dieting and weight troubles and calories for hours on end. HOURS. A lifetime of doing it isn't going to change overnight, but if I can make those little changes. Eat healthily, everything in moderation, and put more focus on exercise. Because honestly, don't you feel better when you exercise? I am the worst, to be honest. If I don't do anything for a few weeks I lose all desire to do it, and the idea of sweating it out in a zumba class is my idea of hell. But if I start again, I remember that actually, exercising is kind of okay, and the more I do it, the more I really enjoy myself.

So! Living Well. Let's do this thing. Attempting to run, perhaps. Making it to a zumba class once in a while. And replacing my ratty exercise clothes with some halfway decent ones that actually show that I'm doing this thing PROPERLY. It's time to throw away the diet books and actually start being a healthier person, not a food-obsessed bore. Not just for summer, but as a lifestyle choice. So I'll be heading to JD Sports, I think, and investing in some of these lovely bits. Sure, there's no dresses, but I'm loving their cute sportswear. What do you think? Have you got any life resolutions at the moment?

Exercise and good healthy diet plans are key to living well and feeling great. Visit a local private hospital in Kent to speak to our expert physicians and dieticians to find out more.
Written in collaboration with JD Sports.

Saturday 23 June 2012

I put on my marchin' boots.

I was intending on starting this post with a polite way to describe my feet, and the honest way. But the truth is I cannot think of a sexy word that means broad, so I'll just have to skip to the honesty part - my feet are broad. And short. Much like Henry VIII, they are almost as long as they are wide, and shoes do not really fit them properly.

My mum has the same feet and wears incredibly sensible shoes... that I would not be seen dead in. Sure, her feet are supported and happy, but are they PRETTY? Sorry mum, but no. But I've discovered that Viva La Diva actually have a really lovely range of shoes suitable for the plates at the end of my legs, so maybe, just maybe, I can have practicality and prettiness. So maybe I need to change my ways - no more cheap shoes that don't really fit! It's Summer, and time for designer shoes made especially in wide fit ranges.

Look at the pretties!

Or hell, maybe I'll be a little bit reckless and risk Irregular Choice. They're pretty sensible, right? (Yeah, I'll never change.)

Written in collaboration with Viva La Diva but gosh, I love shoes anyway.

Friday 22 June 2012

Dance, dance, and these are the lives you'd love to lead.

Dress c/o Tesco
Belt - Primark
Wedges - Matalan
Rings - Topshop
Necklace - Gift
Nails - Models Own Slate Green

YAY FOR TESCO! They are ruling the dress market at the moment, RULING, I SAY. It gives me crazy happy feelings to wear a bargain £25 dress to a posh event (i.e. a wedding) rather than a pricey, dry clean only job. This dress is kind of perfect. It's a great fit, a lovely length, and I adore the print. I'm sad to say it's already disappeared from the website, but you may still be able to get it in store - and if you can, snap it up. IT IS LOVELY.

One but - the skirt is a little too full, and I flashed people about sixty times. The beehive came out okay, but I always get to this point where I'm mid backcombing where I totally forget what I'm doing and just look like a crazy person with giant frizzy hair. Hence the flowers in the back - hiding a multitude of frizzy sins. I did have a disaster though when I realised my neck was covered in hairdye from the night before - thank god for mums, and baby wipes.

So, yes, another wedding. Even I feel like I'm going to them constantly at the moment, even I've actually only had three this year. It feels like more! But I'm not complaining, as I totally heart weddings. I think I say that in every wedding-related post. But it's an excuse to wear pretty dresses! And sometimes giant false eyelashes! What's not to love?

This time was my old friend Gemma, who I worked with in my temping days. As much as I enjoy having a job that challenges and fulfils me and successfully pays all of my bills, there is a part of me that misses rocking up at work after five or six hours sleep and getting along just fine because I was using so little of my brain capacity. That was a FUN year. I loved her dress, a cute little number from Coast. I loved her theme, too - I'd never have thought of green and yellow together, but it works perfectly. So summery!

 It was a wonderful wedding - so much yummy food and god knows I love a chance to dance the night away. Just give me an excuse, seriously.


Thursday 21 June 2012

You’re a puzzle to me, and you always will be.

I don't get to go to that many press days, or even events any more - life, work, etc - it all gets in the way. But a couple of weeks ago I took an afternoon off, threw caution to the wind and went to not one, but TWO events in one day. I understand this isn't a big deal for many people, but it is for me, because I am slow and lazy and it was very warm.

The first was Debenhams - lovely Debenhams have been very supportive of this little blog over the last couple of years, giving me vouchers to give away and always inviting me to their events, even though I never seem able to go! So I was really excited to see their Autumn/Winter press day. Lots of sequins and sparkle got me excited about party season, even though it's 6 months away!

A dress with dresses printed on it? I MUST HAVE IT.
I am mad for homeware. I need that bed in my life.
Er, hello, dream dress! A sequined skater dress? THANK YOU, HENRY HOLLAND. I am going to snap this up as soon as it comes out.

Next up - after a quick stop at Byron for some epic burger action with my friend Anne - was Clothing At Tesco, who had a 'lock-in' at their F&F pop-up shop in Covent Garden. It was a great chance to have a natter with some other bloggers, look around their latest collection and try on a few things. So much pretty!

Tesco were kind enough to give me a £30 voucher to spend, so I went to the changing room with an armful of clothes and tried on these four lovely dresses:

one | two | three | four

I really liked the polka dot one, but let's face it, I have a lot of polka dots! Although it's sold out now, boo. In the end I bought two other dresses I'd had my eye on, which were perfect for wedding season! I'll show you one of them on Friday, as neither of them are online any more. I am loving Tesco at the moment for dresses, it seems like everything I've bought lately is from there!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Been asleep, pricked my finger, fell too deep.





I don't know how much I've mentioned it here, but I'm moving soon. I moved back home with my parents for a month or two last year to save some money, and that month or two turned into, er, twelve months. I am assured this is common, but with the end of my twenties looming, it's just so hideously uncool living with your mum and dad, right?

The blow of living back at home is softened by having a bedroom that I really love (plus the knowledge that almost everything in the bedroom is mine, so I can bring it with me when I leave) which is very important to me. I'm kind of insular in a lot of ways, and I need my own little safe haven that I can hide away in for blogging, tweeting, drawing, reading, nail-painting and, duh, sleeping. So I love that even though I am only here temporarily, this bedroom feels like MINE. Everyone always says it's very me, and I think it is - sort of messy, but interesting. Sha always says my room must be like a treasure trove to my nieces and nephews - so many nooks and crannies to look into and little things to pick up and shiny things on show and delicate, breakable objects. That's how I like it - a delicate balance of prettyness and scruffiness.

I love other people's bedrooms too - I adore blog posts that give a nose into someone's home, because I am a phenomenally nosy person (I am surely not the only person who gets obsessed with houses in the local neighbourhood and sort of wants to sneak into them and have a look around, right?). So if you want to show off your rooms on your blogs, that is totally fine with me.

It is also totally fine with Lay-ezee, who are doing a competition right now to find the Best of British Bedrooms. You can submit photos of your bedroom via Facebook and Twitter, and win high street and online vouchers. You still have a couple of weeks to enter as it ends on 20th July. Combining a love of your room with vouchers to stock up your wardrobe? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, to be honest.

Written in collaboration with Lay-ezee.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Leave your home, change your name, live alone, eat your cake.

Remember last week when I told you with mega excitement about my awesome birthday party? Next up in my planning is, obviously, what we're going to eat. Apparently you're not supposed to make your own birthday cake, but screw that - I know what I want it to look like, and I'm not entrusting it to anyone else! I'll share my Big Top birthday cake with you all when it's done, but I'm excited (I'm planning on utilising Claire's rainbow cake tutorial!).

Clown Cupcakes

one / two / three

I have put a strict ban on scary clown costumes at my party - come on, guys, that's not what the circus is all about. However, non-scary clowns are allowed, and I'm planning on creating some cute clown cupcakes, inspired by these. I plan to make them CRAZY TASTY though. I really don't see the point in vanilla cupcakes when peanut butter and salted caramel exists. Or both!

Lion Cupcakes

one / two / three

I went to a circus in France with school when I was 15 and seeing lions and tigers being forced to perform upset me and my classmates so much that we left at the interval. It's really not right. BUT these lion cupcakes are so adorable, I really want to try them out. My excuse is that my circus party is modelled on old-fashioned circuses - but even so, I definitely don't condone forcing animals to perform.

Elephant Cupcakes

one / two / three

See above disclaimer - but yes. When I made the ugly-but-tasty penguin cupcakes for Sha's birthday last year, I really struggled to make the icing dark enough - turns out adding cocoa to peanut butter frosting just turns it the colour of concrete. OR ELEPHANTS!

Ringmaster Cupcakes

one / two / three

Oh god, so many cupcakes! I can't QUITE find a photo online of what I want here, but I'm thinking - red velvet, perhaps, with a moustache and a top hat in black icing on the top. Which brings me neatly onto...

Moustache Cookies

one / two / three

I'm planning to buy this cookie cutter set anyway, which will be ideal for my Ringmaster Cupcakes, but I'm going to make 'tache cookies too. However, as there are going to be so many sugary treats, I'm thinking about going savoury. These ham cookies sound incredible.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

No, they're not on theme. But don't they look awesome?

Salted Caramel Bars

Look, okay. I really, really, REALLY like salted caramel. I liked salted caramel before it was a trend, because my favourite part of caramel has always been the slight saltiness (true fact - caramel is normally salted). And it's my birthday, and I am making these and maybe eating the entire batch.

Salted Caramel Macarons
Oh dear, I seem to have got stuck in a salted caramel spiral. But that's a nice, tasty place to be. Learning to successfully make meringue/macarons is on my 30 Before 30, and this seems like as good a time as any.

Even so, it's still very sweet-heavy, but that's okay. I'm planning on having lots of salty popcorn around (oh, okay - and maybe some caramel, too), plus crisps, pizza, blah blah blah. There's no effort involved there. Hoorah!
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