Friday 29 November 2013

Friday Frocks #141 - I wish everybody knew what's so great about you.

I don't know about you, but when I've had an amazing time, I find I never know what to say when someone asks me how it was. 'It was amazing,' doesn't seem to cover it, you know? Even when it WAS amazing. That's how I feel about my trip to the States, because it was absolutely amazing.

The absolute highlight was the whole reason for the trip, Erin and Pete's wedding. Erin is absolutely one of my favourite people in the entire world and so I'm not surprised that her wedding was incredible. There were so many cool little details, and I loved the novelty of going to an outdoor wedding. It was held at the breathtaking Huntsville State Park in Texas, at the Raven Lodge. Check out the view of the lake!

From beautiful flowers to amazing desserts to the best gosh darn canapes I've ever had, it was a perfect day. There was a photobooth (I think I need to buy myself a Viking helmet to wear to every party), dancing (including my attempt at leading the Saturday Night dance) and many, many cocktails.

I finally wore this dress which I blogged about months ago. I'd already decided to wear my red sparkly Dorothy shoes with it, but when I was having a trying on session at home before I went away, I rediscovered this belt which I'd totally forgotten about. Perfect match! Plus, I'm not really sure an outfit can have too much glitter. That's like saying a meal has too much cheese on it, right?

Dress - Jasper Conran
Belt - Topshop
Shoes c/o Shelly's via Spartoo
Hairclips - H&M Kids
Bracelet - Swarovski
(all old)

I must say though, after tearing in to the canapes like deep fried mac'n'cheese and meatballs-on-sticks, I did slightly regret wearing a dress with a boned bodice. But I'd do it all again for more deep fried mac'n'cheese. Wouldn't you?

And now I have no more weddings to look forward to. SOB. I'll be crossing my fingers for some NYE engagements, because goodness knows I LOVE a wedding. I'm not sure if I mentioned that.

Congratulations Erin and Pete!


Wednesday 27 November 2013

Oh, don't tell anyone I'm here, I've got time and no one near.

I'm back from America, and guys, it was amazing. The food, the shopping... and of course the people. I got to hang with three of my best girls for a little bit, and it was joyous. On Friday I'll share some photos of my friend Erin's wedding in Houston, but today I wanted to quickly share the littl bits of shopping I did when I was away.

Guys, I love shopping, I love it like I love disco, but I did not do all that much! I was anticipating coming back with bulging suitcases of clothes, but I only kept two items from my Modcloth order and I only bought one dress when I was out there! It's like I'm losing all my powers or something.

I did still buy a few bits though...


Friday 22 November 2013

It takes an ocean not to break.

I guess it's apt to feature a heart print dress whilst I am away celebrating love. Okay, maybe that's a bit cheesy. But wedding! And, not just wedding - awesome fun with people who are awesome. I HEART THIS WEEK.

This adorable number is from Primark, and is incredibly similar to a Topshop dress that was out earlier this year which I foolishly didn't buy. It's a funny dress though, because even though it fits nicely when it's on, it's incredibly hard to GET on. Unstretchy sleeves and a side zip mean uber awkardness. I just hate side zips. I hate them so much.

That aside, it's a very nice dress. I feel like it's a party dress, but I actually wore it this time for hanging out with my family and cuddling my nephews. But hey, who's to say that's not a party?

Dress - Primark
Tights & Shoes - New Look

PS - I'm in New York now! YAY! But I come home tomorrow. BOO.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

The happy elf.

Honestly, sometimes I think that I am just fighting the urge to be an elf. Or a small child, I'm not sure - certainly a lot of my wardrobe would back that up. But when I went exploring with my friends a couple of weeks ago, I definitely came over all fairytale creature.

My coat already makes me feel like Little Red Riding Hood, and so as soon as I found a wooden mushroom to sit on, I was embracing my inner fairy. And yelling 'I'M A FAIRY TAKE MY PICTURE' at my friends. I'm so cool.

Dress - Primark
Boots c/o StylistPick

Monday 18 November 2013

Why I batch cook (and so should you!)

I am very much, definitely an adult by now. I’ve looked at my birth certificate, and it confirms it. But I really only feel like I’ve been properly taking care of myself for the last couple of years ago, probably because until last year, I’ve always lived with people who were happy to take care of me and I am a lazy, lazy person. The biggest lesson living alone has taught me though, is food preparation. I’ve been tweeting and instagramming a lot lately about my cooking and I’ve been asked to talk a little bit about my methods, so I wanted to focus on batch cooking. Because it’s the best.

I’m sure there are a fair few of you out there who can identify with the habit of grabbing a ready meal from Tesco or M&S on the way home. At £2 or £3 a day it never seems like too much money, but it adds up. And if you live with an M&S petrol station on the way home like I do, you’ll know that it’s closer to £5 a pop. It’s a bad habit, guys. Stop it. Stop it now.

Friday 15 November 2013

When you walked in, the air went out.

I find it super hard to pre-schedule posts without crowing about where I am. So I'm just going to get it out of my system. I'M ON HOLIDAY!!! Right now, I'm in Houston, Texas where the weather is WARM. Hooray! Tomorrow is my awesome friend Erin's wedding (I'm wearing this dress!). I've been so excited about this trip all year so I'm frigging psyched that it's finally here. FRIGGING PSYCHED. Tonight we are going out for real Texas BBQ. YUM.

Anyhoo. Isn't this a pretty dress? Dorothy Perkins always seem to get it right - the perfect combination of ladylike and quirky. So many of my favourite dresses come from there, so I was a happy girl when they asked if I wanted to review something. And isn't this bird print dress a dream? It's just such a lovely print and I adore how it fits. I'm a sucker for red and navy together, so couldn't resist teaming it for work with a red belt and shoes. These shoes are so battered, but I'm refusing to let them go even though I totally should. They cost £3 in the New Look sale about 4 years ago. They mean too much!

I have a few posts scheduled over the next week and a bit whilst I'm away so you'll barely know I'm gone... apart from probably how I'll be mentioning it regularly. And how I have wifi in my hotels so there's probably going to be some instagram spam. I apologise in advance. There are going to be a LOT of photos of food.

Tights & Shoes - New Look
Belt - Tesco

Thursday 14 November 2013

Books Are Amazing... October Edition!

This month's book post is dreadfully late, and it's all my fault. There's not a good excuse, I'm just dreadful. And late. This month's poster is the lovely Georgina from Caramel Latte Kiss! Take it away, George...

Well, hello lovely Essbeevee readers! I’m George, and I blog over at Caramel Latte Kiss. Reading has always been a big love for me; I was always the kid with my head in a book, and I’m still that person now. Asking me to pick a favourite book is like asking a mother to pick her favourite child. I have books I read when on holiday, books for the train, books for when I’m sad, books for when I’m ill... you get the idea.
So without further ado, here are some of all time favourites.

I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith
“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” That might be one of my favourite ever opening lines. I always struggle to explain exactly what it is about this book that I love so much. I’ve reread it so many times, and each reread is like sinking into a warm bath. There is an air of the fairytale to this story; the poor family living in a house built into castle walls, a romance that begins with DeBussy and fountains and the heroine with dyed green hands. Smith’s book tells the story of the merry-go-round of love, and the games we play to find it. You know what, finish this post, then go and read it. You won’t regret it.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt
This book gave me the chills when I first read it. I don’t want to say too much about it, but the book opens with a murder. You start the story knowing who has been killed and who did it. The book then jumps back to before the murder, and the story continues, told from the perspective of one of the murderers, and builds back up to the murder. By the end, you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of understanding why the murder has to take place. Tartt writes beautifully and this book is a must-read.

Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Forget the film (although it is very good), this book is magical. It’s the story of a boy, stranded at sea in a lifeboat with a tiger. The book’s theme is faith; which story do you believe? The boy and the tiger or a far more bleak tale of survival?

How To Be A Woman – Caitlin Moran
This ought to be required reading for women everywhere. I wouldn’t advise reading this in public though, it’s laugh out loud funny and will make people look at you like you’re a bit mental. How To Be A Woman is Caitlin Moran’s feminist manifesto, intercut with stories and memories of her own life, which will have you cackling like a maniac.

The Sleepwalker At Sea – Kelly Grovier
I was lucky enough to be taught by Kelly at University. Kelly is an American poet, who’s taught at several British universities. The Sleepwalker at Sea is his second collection (his first, A Lens In The Palm is worth a read too), and explores aging, love, loss and memory. The poems here are beautiful and haunting, and question what it means to be in the world. Kelly’s work is utterly engrossing. If you’re interested in poetry at all, you need this on your bookshelf.

Friday 8 November 2013

I'm not finished, because you're not by my side.

I think most single bloggers are probably a tiny bit envious of the ladies who get their talented boyfriends to take their blog photos. I know I am – it never quite feels right to doll yourself up and then ask a friend ‘Um… can you take my picture? It’s *mumbles*formyblog.’ I have a handful of friends who will happily do it, and enjoy it, but I have other friends who think it’s weird. And it is a bit weird. Blogging is, intrinsically, kind of a strange thing. But I still like it.

So visiting my friends Nic and Ali this weekend was great, because they both have fancypants cameras and like finding things to take pictures of. A couple of my favourite ever posts have come out of our visits – I LOVE these photos from Scarborough Castle that Nic took and this little Derbyshire explore that Ali and I had last year ended up being my whole Twitter layout. So green! So pretty! Ali lives in Derbyshire, so there is no shortage of beautiful places to photograph – I’ve visited her countless times and we always seem to find new country houses or ruins or pretty places. I bloody love Derbyshire.

This time around, the weather was questionable but we decided to risk a visit to the stone island at Carsington Water, which isn’t really an island at all. It’s really just a hill. With some stones on it. But it has nice views and was relatively deserted, so it suited us perfectly. I think it would be a lush place for a summer picnic, actually – maybe not a November picnic. We ended up visiting the cafĂ© on site and having epic hot chocolates. Seriously. So good. That whipped cream was freshly made.

Dress – Primark
Boots c/o StylistPick
Hat – H&M

The dress is extremely old, but has only been worn a handful of times because it’s always been cripplingly tight around my middle. It’s still kind of extremely tight, but I can do it up now, which is definitely progress. Remember when Primark made nice clothes that didn’t fall apart after two wears? I miss those days. Also, I just re-read the post that I linked to above and had totally forgotten that this dress cost ONE POUND. Amazing.

My boots were kindly sent to me by StylistPick. They jingle when you walk so you feel like you have spurs on, and they are very smart so I look almost respectable. And they’re waterproof, which in the rainstorm that followed as we were heading back to the car, quickly became my favourite thing about them. God bless you, boots.

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