Wednesday 29 August 2012

There's nothing wrong with just a taste of what you've paid for

You know when you are planning a holiday, and it is AGES away, and you basically almost forget about it because it's SO far away that it's like it's never going to happen? And then suddenly, one of your travel companions is like 'OMG SARAH WE GO TO ITALY IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS' and then EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! I AM TOTES GOING ON HOLIDAY NEXT MONTH! I MUST BUY ALL THE THINGS!

Sooo... wishliiist! Here is everything I'm going to look impossibly glamorous in while eating all the pasta in Europe.

You know what I love about this dress? It's not the cute collar. It's not the floaty skirt. It's not the perfect length. Oh, no. It's the fact that I could totally messily drink red wine in this and no one would be able to tell because THE DRESS IS THE COLOUR OF RED WINE. Genius.

I basically want a real life version of the dress I used to wear in summers at school, and this is almost it. I'm not sure how I feel about the cut out bits, but it's ever so cute.

I don't really need to explain this dress, do I? Sometimes a dress is just NICE. And this is one of those. Lovely.

I want to wear flowers in my hair and skip around like a ridiculous tourist, obvs.

I super love this Roxy Shopper bag. I have this leather tote bag that I use constantly, and it's pretty much perfect for days out when I want to take everything I own, including my giant camera. The only thing I don't like about it is that it has no zip - and I like a zip, to shoo off pickpockets. So this bag is pretty much perfect.

I feel like I should be linking to a ton of shoes, too, but I have a whole bunch of really nice ones, and tbh, I intend to live in my flipflops. No rain, please, Lucca!

Friday 24 August 2012

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.

There have been some dresses over the years that I’ve loved and lost. Some that I wanted, and never had. Some that I had, but have no longer. And some that I had and loved.

There was that Barbara Hulanicki dress, with the gorgeous print, that I shot envious looks at when I spotted Carrie and Lily wearing it (knowing that a dress of that length was never meant to be mine). There was that H&M halterneck daisy dress that I adored when I was 15 (even if I knew what had happened to it, I no longer have the body of a 15 year old). That New Look dress (modelled here by Helen)I never found in my size which was the closest mimic to that daisy dress I ever found (but flattering, and not tiny). That red Primark number that reproduced everything I loved about the Hulanicki dress (at half the price and double the length), even though now it’s falling apart.

And then there was this dress, which somehow gathers together everything I love about those dresses, but NEW, and beautiful. It’s pretty much unheard of for me to buy a dress for full price from somewhere like Topshop, but I couldn’t not. Just… LOOK at it. It’s perfect.

Dress, jewellery, belt - Topshop
Shoes - M&S

The little red strappy shoes are perfect, too, but desperately uncomfortable. The next chance I get, I’m investing in these Miss Sixty ballerina flats. So cute I could die.


Monday 20 August 2012

A pocketful of sunshine.

My best friend was away this weekend, and I found myself with nothing to do. This isn't because I spend every waking hour with my best friend, but it just kind of worked out that way. And then EVERYONE else was busy, and instead of being like 'Yay! It's my first free weekend since February!' (it IS) I was like 'NO! The sun is going to be out! I NEED PLANS!'

And then, gradually, plans were shaped. Saturday was spent, er, drinking. Drinking on the train, alone (the key is to bring rum from home and add it to your milkshake). Drinking in a bar, with Anne and Harriet (and eating chips!). Drinking in the park, with Harriet. And finally, drinking in a beer garden, with my housemate Natalie. SO MUCH FUN. Oh and I made a bow out of my hair!

1. Bow in hair (so easy!) | 2. Spiked Milkshake | 3. The basics | 4. Crazy Deckchair Action

And then, when I was dozing off after all that booze on Saturday night, Lucy tweeted me asking about local car boots, and a plan was formulated to visit my favourite car boot. Lots was found! Which is great - it's awful when you big something up to someone and then it's disappointing. But this was not the case! And I got some great buys, too.

Instamatic camera, £1 (can't wait to play with it!) and beautiful barometer, £4 (which I debated about, because I had car-boot-tunnel-vision by this point, and anything over 50p seemed steep). And forest photos, £1 (actually from Ikea originally, but I loved the eeriness of these foggy shots).

And my ultimate favourite... you know when you see something and you can't just ignore it even though it is not a logical or rational purchase? Yep.

It's a Madeline doll! With OUTFITS! And it was a POUND. I know, I know, I am THIRTY and buying dolls is a bit insane but she's just so cute and redheaded and I just wanted her.

The rest of the day was spent having a lovely gossip with Lucy, and then sitting quietly nursing my sunburn, enjoying some yummy blueberry YooMoo frozen yogurt and reading Wish Magazine (more on that later). Oh, and finally drawing the winners of my Giveaway Week. It was a good Sunday. :)

Sunday 19 August 2012

Super Awesome OMG Giveaway Week... THE WINNERS!!

I decided to prolong the suspense and delay the announcement of my Super Awesome OMG Giveaway winners. Well, that's a total lie. I just had a busy couple of weeks and collating comments takes FOREVER and now we are nearly a week late. SORRY.

Anyway, I could babble on for longer but you want to know who are the winners, right? RIGHT.

Shipshape Studio
The winner of the journal, postcards and tea is Sarah

And the winners are...
1) Sparkly tote bag & owl necklace - Sarah
2) Swallow top & white glittery top - Georgina
3) Skirt & owl necklace - Alyce
4) Green glittery top & yellow beach bag - Lily
5) Blue beach bag & owl necklace - Emily

GoGo Philip
The winner of the GoGo Philip necklace is Jess!

3) Lisa

The winner is Gem!

The winner is Char!

The winner is Rosie!

Friday 17 August 2012

You're a classic, like a little black dress.

Oooh, but I love an LBD. I have several, and my favourite thing about them is how I can wear them every day in totally different ways. So when Matalan asked me to guest blog for them about how to wear one dress, three ways, I was down my local store snapping up this little number faster than you can say 'don't you have enough dresses by now, Sarah?'


So, I had a spree c/o Matalan and then swung by my parents' house, kindly answering their 'So nice to see you since you moved out! Are you here for dinner?' with 'No, no, just here to borrow your photogenic garden, ignore me!' You've missed the garden, though, right? It's SUCH a nice garden.

Anyway. It's pretty easy to glam up a dress like this - just add heels. But why just add heels when you can add a bag and a belt and a faux collar, too? They are really nice heels though - I can't wait to wear them out for realsies with the matching clutch. Oooh, I love matching.

Dress (£20) | Bag (£8) | Shoes (£16) | Belt (£5)
Collar (£8) not available online

Now, picture the scene. You stay out too late, you miss your train and crash on someone's floor and you get home with about 2 minutes before you have to meet your friend for lunch. In this scenario, your friend would not be understanding (dude, get better friends) and so you don't have time to change properly. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

This! Chuck on a cardi and some trainers and you are good to go, my friend. Totally daytime appropriate, and no one needs to know you're technically in 'walk of shame' mode.

Bag (£14) | Cardigan (£14) | Umbrella  (£5)
Necklace (£2) & Flower (£5) not available online
Shoes  - Converse low top trainers (available on Spartoo)

I know, I know, you're thinking 'Cute scenario, but my friends are lateys too! What if I had to go to WORK?' to which I'd say, 'You stayed out all night on a SCHOOL night? You devil! Also you are kind of my hero!' and THEN I'd tell you to chuck on those emergency black heels you keep under your desk, and dive into Matalan on the way to pick up a blouse and a pair of black tights and voila!

Blazer (£18)
Blouse (£12) & Necklace (£15) not available online

The blouse even works TWO ways (underneath, or tucked into a belt to create a fake skirt effect), so you could even stay out TWO nights in a row if you wanted and no one would know except by then you'd probably be smelling a bit ripe and have bags under your eyes as black as my soul.

PS - I've had the BUSIEST week and all my planned blogs have gone out the window. I'll be announcing the winners of my birthday giveaways over the weekend, I PROMISE! Sorry they're later than promised.

Items provided c/o Matalan.

Friday 10 August 2012

You'll wear those shoes and I will wear that dress.

This might be the perfect dress. It’s beautifully fitted – waist hugging, boob complementing, flattering length – and a stunning colour. It also doesn’t need ironing (SCORE). I’m a little bit in love. Originally, I was like ‘I can wear it to work! I can wear it out! OH THE POSSIBILITIES!’ and then I wore it to lunch and realised that it is a TAD low cut for work (curse you, The Girls) but that’s okay. It’s still super pretty. So I dub it Birthday Dress the Third.

You seee... Birthday Dress the First was my pre-birthday dress, the dress I featured on my blog closest to my actual birthday. Birthday Dress the Second, was worn at my party (and, after midnight, on my actual birthday). And now, Birthday Dress the Third, worn at the last of my birthday celebrations – the fabled family lunch. It stood up pretty well to running around Windsor and cuddling nieces and nephews. The next Friday Frock will be officially post-birthday, though. It’s over now. I have to let it go. Well. I’m SUPPOSED to. I’m leaving my cards up for a bit longer, obvs.

I’ve been really, really trying not to spend money on clothes lately – I am not exaggerating when I say that my party bankrupted me! (Well, I'm exaggerating a BIT, I am not literally bankrupt.) Luckily, though, I am going through one of those rare phases of being a lucky little blogger, and have been sent a few review bits and bobs lately, including a New Look gift card. Is  New Look  my favourite shop? I think it might be. I’m sure if I added up where all my dresses were from, a vast proportion are from  New Look . It’s just one of those shops that seems to GET my style – the clothes fit well, they’re always reasonably priced and they sell a LOT of dresses. It’s a very Sarah shop, basically. So when  New Look  asked if I could find a dress to review, I was like ‘Oooh, I’ll struggle. But I’ll DO MY BEST.’ It actually wasn’t even hard to choose – saw the dress, loved the dress, bought the dress. It’s such a damn nice dress.

The shoes are, incidentally,  New Look  too, although they’re a few months old. They go perfectly, which I love – you know how I feel about being matchy-matchy. And my hair is doing okay things! Everything is coming up Milhouse.

Dress - New Look
Necklace - Accessorize

The final accessory is a birthday present from Sha, because we, like every other NORMAL person, cannot see a rabbit in the wild without squealing ‘BUNNYYYYY!!!’ I mean. That’s just what people DO.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Send in the clowns.

This is the final party post, I SWEAR. But come on. You want to see what everyone else was wearing, right? Seriously, circus fancy dress is the ultimate in fancy dress. I wanted a theme that everyone could think of something for, and I think I achieved that - it wasn't too difficult or expensive, either. I said in my invite 'Slap on some glitter and call yourself an acrobat' which is basically what I did, but everyone else made a touch more effort.

Which brings me to my point. Lately, I've had some interesting blogging emails. Some awesome, some weird - like the free dental consultation I got offered the other day. Huh. Anyhoo, this is about one that was awesomely weird and well timed. Jokers Masquerade asked me if I would review one of their costumes. At first I was like 'OMG AMAZING TIMING' and then it dawned on me that, er, I had that beautiful sequin dress to wear and an outfit change probably wasn't going to happen. So I asked if I could have a guest outfit poster, and was told that yes, yes I could. So I dragged my friend Gem into the seedy world of blogging, hooked her up with a Boo Boo The Clown costume and this was the result:

Gem's hat, dress & tights c/o Jokers Masquerade

I think that might be the cutest clown outfit I've ever seen. My work friends seriously went all out. I love how colourful they all are!

Ah, and these were some of my favourite costumes...

I loved Sha's cute clown ensemble. Plus, polka dots are always a win.
Anne, a seriously foxy big cat.
Liam, Claire and Marika, in monochrome fabulousness.
Lenny's amazing knife thrower's assistant - SHE MADE THAT.
Amy and Hayley. Hayley's lion outfit also came from Jokers, whereas Amy already owned that jacket. Want it!
Dan basically looks like a lion all the time anyway, so I kind of like that his proper costume didn't turn up.
A rare photo of Russ (who took most of these photos). Throwing knives.

Also, check out A Thrifty Mrs' post on her outfit - I didn't get a picture sadly but her makeup is amazing.

Oh, and Mark and James got told off for their scary clown costumes. I SPECIFICALLY SAID NO SCARY CLOWNS.


Tuesday 7 August 2012

When it's time to party, we will party hard.

I wanted to do a post on the details of my party, because I - and others - did so many bits of creativeness that I want to talk about! I created the invite myself in an afternoon - the day I came up with the concept. I googled old circus posters, but in the end I used this wedding invite as inspiration, mostly.

The fonts were downloaded - they made everything look so authentic with very little effort. I mostly used these two (which you can click to go to the download sites).

I was proud of the little details. These food labels were incredibly easy to make - I just stripped the text out of my invites and shrank them down. Then I printed them on card and Hayley took on the job of cutting them up and sellotaping to sticks. I got the sticks in Wilkinsons - they're planters, which gardeners use to label plants and herbs. They were about £1 for 50 and were basically lollipop sticks.

I used the same method for my toilet signs, but for the silhouettes I took a couple of photos from costume websites and just overdid the contrast until they went like this. Then I put them onto my invitation background and voila. Hello, awesome.

I got various bits from the internet which I blogged about before like the straws - I also found a great website called Party Delights where I got these awesome cake stands. I wish I had space to keep them up!

I stole an idea from a wedding blog (I can't remember which) and put out jamjars of glowsticks (Poundland strikes again). I went to get one later in the night and they'd totally disappeared - people love glowsticks! I also got some jamjars from Poundland which were, funnily enough, a pound each. I have no decent photos unfortunately, but they were a nice, quirky shape and good for the glowsticks, candy floss sticks and cutlery.

And finally, my dad was incredible. He MADE these incredible carousel horses from scratch, plus my amazing photo board (based on a quick doodle I did). I wish I had a bigger room so I could mount the photo board somewhere but I have no space at all - I hope I'll be able to use it again!

Basically, it was awesome, and there's this little part of me that wants to do it again, but this big part of me that wants to watch telly instead.
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