Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Giving a little extra...

Isn't it just lovely when you get the opportunity to treat someone who really deserves it?

And no one deserves it more than my daddy, he really is the glue that holds our family together, he does everything for everyone which includes taxiing me around to my jobs (shamefully, I still can't drive), being house handyman and cook, all whilst working 7-6 every day. There's no one more hard working than my Dad and I'm so proud and love him so much.

Earlier this month I received a lovely email from the people at Halifax asking whether I'd like to partake in a Christmassy event in which they gave £50 to bloggers to buy a present for someone who deserves it, I snapped up the opportunity to do so!



So when £50 of Amazon vouchers landed on my doorstep, I quickly got to thinking what would he like. After some guidance from my Mum, I decided on this 3D DVD player. We've had a 3D TV for quite a while now but we've had no way of using the 3D capabilities as we don't own a DVD player or have sky. What a waste, eh? NOT ANY MORE!

As a family we don't really "do" the present side of Christmas - we love the food, the games and general festivities but present buying can really spiral out of control so we just get each other small bits and bobs (I got shower caps and pocket tissues this year - SCORE!) So when I left the big wrapped, nameless box under the Christmas tree everyone was wondering who it was for. My Dad's face when I said it was for him was a picture!

Here he is trying out his new toy:




A big thank you to Halifax for inviting me to take part and making his Christmas - and mine - EXTRA special.

Do you give a lot for Christmas? Don't you just think giving is so much better than receiving?

Monday, 18 November 2013

House of Fraser: Denim Challenge


I've been a-browsing the House of Fraser website a lot recently looking for some nice knitwear for my winter wardrobe and noticed that they were running a blogger challenge to style up some denim so, as I love a styling challenge, I thought I'd give it a go!

Firstly I picked out some simple single-tone denim jeans. I'm not a big fan of acid washed denim or rips in my jeans or anything along those lines so these classics by Salsa stood out to me straight away.
I love this whole look, I've really gone for country/student chic with the whole satchel and tartan blazer combination. Can we just talk about the Ralph Lauren blazer for a second? HOW AMAZING? Tartan is the trend of the moment but the cut and style of this blazer just means it will never age! I love it!
I've completed this outfit with yet another timeless addition, a cream ruffled blouse and a snuggly snood to keep you warm and toasty in the wintery weather.

I've aimed to create a classy yet on-trend denim look with the outfit, do you think I've suceeded?

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Christmas Party Dress Dilemma

Hai!

How have you been this fine week? I've been just fine and dandy, thank you for asking. I have had a serious case of dress dilemma today though as it's my work Christmas 'do' coming up in about 2 weeks.
 
At the time of writing, it is 38 DAYS until the big day itself which means 'HOORAY' if you're a Xmas lover but a big slap around the chops if you can't stand it, like me. The thing is, I probably wouldn't hate it if I didn't work in a shop but Laura Ashley have had their Christmas stock(ing) out since the beginning of October so, for me, Christmas lasts about a 1/4 of a year and it just feels like a whole lot of build up to a day in which I will put on a stone and have my heart broken by Julian Fellowes (WHY COUSIN MATTHEW, JULIAN? WHYYYYYY?) Hashtag still bitter.

ANY WHO, one thing I do look forward to is the Christmas party... mainly for the food as opposed to the whole 'socialising' thing but potato/potato, right? (Yes, I realise that doesn't work quite as well when you're reading it from a computer screen) 
So, I've been looking for the perfect dress for the last week or so and had narrowed it down to these four beauties:



IT WAS SO HARD TO CHOOSE.
 
I had to rule out the red Lydia Bright dress because I think the shape of that dress would make me look like a tent, unfortunately. In the end I went for the first dress by Chi Chi clothing and I have to say my decision was ultimately swayed after seeing Charlotte Clothier donning it. I LOVE the way she's styled it and I think it's just enough gold and glam enough for Crimbo. 

I've got my heels picked out but I'm not sure what jewellery to go with yet or what to wear over it. Any suggestions?

Bye.

P.S. Anyone else LOVING Lily Allen's new single? It's not subtle, in fact it's a big ol' slap in the face of a video but it is AMAZING... and so catchy! It's hard out here for a bitch.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Nothing particularly inspiring.

HI.

Nice to see you. Where have I been for the last 3 months? Oh, just hanging around. Painting my nails, watching youtube videos, stroking cats. That sort of thing. Nothing to blog about. 
In all honesty I've been busy contemplating just about everything for the past three months which, I can only assume, means I am in the midst of a quarter-life crisis - HOORAY!
Anyway, no one wants to hear about the apparent misdirection of my life really do they? So I've been avoiding the whole blogging scene for a while. Well, that and I'm a bit of a lazy sod who can't be bothered to come up with anything particularly inspiring to share with you.

So here's nothing particularly inspiring that I will share with you instead:


1. Awwwww babeh. Ciate were doing a half price sale (From £9 down to £4.50) a couple of months back so I invested in a little treasure trove of goodies to see me through Autumn. I will do a more in depth post on the colours I've got but *spoiler alert* Ciate polishes immediately became my favourite the moment these arrived.

2. Everyone who's anyone has been reading 'The Fault in our Stars' by John Green. I am not everyone but I am anyone, so who am I to argue? From what I've read so far it seems pretty good but if I haven't cried myself into oblivion by the end of it, frankly I shall feel let down and misled.

3. I bought this lovely lovely lovely Topshop dress in the sale from £45 down to £20! I adore it, it's really flattering... considering I usually look like Princess Fiona in ogre-form, I think that this was a good investment.

4. YES, THAT IS WHAT YOU THINK IT IS. Unless you're not a massive nerd like me, in which case, no it is definitely not what you think it is. It is actually a Paul's Boutique bag or something equally as 'trendy' dressed up as Sherlock-themed Cluedo. And yes I bought it.

BYE.

P.S. You can come and follow me on instagram (helenhearts), if you like. I don't post often but, hey, it might be more frequent than every three months - you never know your luck!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Autumn Hues and Winter Blues


Hasn't summer has just whizzed by like a chimpanzee on a segway? I've been at work for most of it so haven't seen much of the beautiful sunshine but I did escape to both Iceland and Turkey this year so I can't complain, lucky ol' me, eh? Though as soon as the weather starts to turn I always head into a bit of a blue mood as I'm a complete Spring/Summer girl. 
On the brightside, I do love a good piece of knitwear and oxblood is my favourite clothing colour so I've really got my eye on a few bits and pieces for next season. I do love to mix pretty florals with edgier leathers and studs so this Topshop playsuit works beautifully for that. Can't wait to break open the opaques, though I'm still secretly hoping for an Indian summer.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Holiday Postcards: An Aus-some moment...

When I saw that Travel Supermarket were looking for bloggers to share their magical holiday moments in their latest competition 'Holiday Postcards', I knew I had to enter. I love reflecting on my past trips and writing this blog post brought such a smile to my face and has made me yearn to go back to Australia, which, incidentally, is the subject of my Holiday Postcard.  

I was bitten by the travel bug at an early age, my first ever holiday without my parents was at the tender age of ten when I went on my first trip with the Southend Girls’ Choir to Devon. From then on, every Summer for 10 years, I went travelling with the choir and during that time I’ve been lucky enough to lounge around in LA, meet Mickey in Florida, stroke a pink dolphin in Singapore, sing at the Statue of Liberty and all over Europe but one trip stands out to me as a truly unforgettable experience; a 2 week tour of Australia in July 2008, when I was 18.

Photo taken by me. Pure skill.
Photo not taken by me. But I am in there. Somewhere.
The sad thing about this is that I have relatively little documentation of my trip now as all my photos were uploaded to Myspace as was ‘the thing’ at the time and I have since broken my old laptop and forgotten my login details for said account so all my photos are gone along with it. Technology can be a cruel, cruel mistress. But, thankfully, memories don’t fade and hopefully words can paint a picture as vivid as any photograph.

The tour started in Sydney where we were lucky enough to be able to do a recital in the Sydney Opera House which was followed by a tour of the building. Having seen the sights of Sydney we moved on up to Brisbane where highlights included holding a koala and feeding a Kangaroo but my truly unforgettable moment happened on the final stage of our tour in Cairns, Queensland AKA the home of the Great Barrier Reef.

Moments after we hopped off the plane at Cairns Airport, my friend Catherine and I were introduced to our host family and their daughter, Alli. We were promptly told, to our horror, that we’d be staying in ‘a shack’ in the rainforest. Our first conversation with our host went a little like this, “Will there be spiders?”, “Yes.” “Will there be snakes?”, “Yes.” at which point we both looked at each other with tears in our eyes. Now when I say shack, I mean shack. It was made from corrugated iron and wood slats, had no running water or electricity and relatively few walls. Luckily I still have a picture of it so you don’t have to try and imagine it:

Walls? Pah! Who needs 'em?
Now I felt physically sick for some time due to the pure terror of letting my imagination run wild. I’ll be the first to admit that I am quite a pathetic person. I’m not one to camp at festivals… I’m not one to camp full stop. When I walk into a room in my house I check it for spiders before I commit to entering said room. True story. I’m also easily scared by horror films and, to me, a shack in the middle the outback was the perfect scenario for a front page-worthy murder:“Brit teens slaughtered in Australian Outback”.

The reality couldn’t have been more different, from the moment we arrived at the shack our host family went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and I had one of the most magical evenings of my life. It was the first time I’d seen the stars. And I mean REALLY seen the stars. It’s a massive cliché to say they were like diamonds but it’s true, millions and millions of dazzling lights in a sky so clear that you could see satellites orbiting the earth. I’m not easily awestruck but I’ll never forget that view, it’s not something I’ve seen since but it’s something I’ll yearn to see again every day of my life.

You don't see that every day.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt about travelling over the years is that it’s as much about who you’re with as it is what you do. The things that truly stand out to me the most about Australia isn’t swimming with rainbow fish in the Great Barrier Reef, holding a Koala or even singing in the Sydney Opera House. It’s being tucked up in bed, in a shack with one of my best friends, just talking and laughing all night about how we were such townies and were both terrified to use the toilet in case a poisonous spider bit our behinds.

If I were to win the travel supermarket competition I have to say I’d put it towards going back to Australia with one of my besties, Emily AKA The Cosy Traveller. I’d also take a detour to New Zealand purely to experience the unparalleled beauty of the country (and visit hobbiton…) but this time I might invest in a hotel over a shack!

To end this post here's a selection of the very few photos I do have from this trip:

At Sydney Harbour
KANGAROO!
On the way back from snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef
Some of the greatest people I've ever met.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Worldwide Wardrobe with Travel Supermarket

Travel Supermarket are hosting a great competition at the moment called 'Worldwide Wardrobe' that challenges bloggers to create 5 different outfits for 5 different holiday destinations and - get this - the winner of each category will win a HOLIDAY to that destination! As a travel addict I just HAD to take part in the competition! It was pretty hard sticking to the £200 budget to create the outfits but here's what I came up with:


Total = £197.98
First up is an outfit for clubbing in Ibiza. Party capital of the universe and a reputation to match, I wanted to keep this outfit stylish and quite classy (I'm a classay ESSEX girl, I'll have you know) but still glamourous and club-worthy (IE a bit of flesh on show). I think I've struck a good balance on this outfit with the long-sleeved cropped top and the wonderfully detailed embellished shorts, there's also plenty of gold and glitter to add some sparkle to the night out.


Nobody does fashion quite like the French but I've tried to emulate their laid back, nonchalantly chic style with this outfit. I've used monochrome colour blocking and completed the look with a pop of colour from the emerald lace skirt. I LOVE this outfit, I think it's my favourite out of all the ones I've created and can't you just picture Audrey Tautou wandering down the Champs Elysee in this number, oui?


 Total = £193.99
Erm, it'd be fair to say I'm a bit obsessed with the style in the Great Gatsby at the moment... hence this outfit.   Daisy Buchanan, eat your heart out. I've gone back to 1920s New York with this outfit, with a gorgeous  flapper dress, embellished headband and some art deco earrings to complete it. This outfit wouldn't be suitable for a cocktail party without some sparkles so I've thrown in plenty of those for good measure!
Total = £193.98

This outfit is about being casually chic. In the oh-so-changeable London weather, jeans are always the go-to item when you're out shopping for the day. I've added some killer Carvela heels and a lovely embellished top to up the style factor, so to speak. It's the perfect outfit for taking a stroll down Carnaby Street followed by lunch and a glass of wine in a hip bistro!
Total = £194.99

This is an outfit for a full-moon party in Thailand. I've gone for a laid back, boho vibe for this outfit. You've got to be prepared to jump in the ocean at any time so I've included a pretty bikini for underneath the outfit. I'm absolutely in love with the eastern-style mini dress, the fabric is so floaty and relaxed but it also has lovely detailing. The headband is the piece that completes this outfit for me, it adds some sparkle and glamour to the outfit and turns it from a daytime outfit to a night time one.

So what do you think of my outfits? Creating this has really gotten me in the mood for a holiday! I'm off to Iceland in  a couple of weeks, not exactly the Caribbean but it should but fun!

5 bloggers I've tagged to do this post are: Blondie's Style Fix, Something About Sofia, All my own stunts, Sunshine Days and gvadlln.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

What's in your handbag?





Bag - Zatchels - £56 | Missoni Presciption Glasses - £179 | Sunglasses - Miss Selfridge - £12
Chewing Gum - 35p | Lipbalm - H&M - £2 | iPhone - £350 | Purse & contents - £35 | iPad - £400
Powder - £7 | Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat - £25 | Diary - £2 | Hairband & clips - £50p
Total: £1068.85
Who doesn't love peeking at what other people keep in their handbags? What's in your handbag posts are always my favourite blog posts to read - you can really get a good idea about someone from seeing what they keep on them from day to day. I've never really thought about the value of what I keep in my handbag... to me it's just stuff! It's quite astounding to think this lot is worth over £1000! If I were carrying that about as a wad of cash I'd probably keep a baseball bat on me as well for my own protection ha ha.

 MoneySupermarket.com are hosting yet ANOTHER great competition for bloggers and the prize this time is quite amazing: over £1000 worth of Mulberry products, including a Mulberry Bayswater, purse and phone case! All you have to do to enter is create a blog post showing what you keep in your handbag, add up the value of the contents and tag five of your favourite bloggers, inviting them to take part.

The 5 bloggers I'd love to see do this post are: Julia as Tres Queentastic, Fern at Fern Elizabeth, Imogen at Miss Imogen Smith, Lauren at Lauren Sibs and Sam at Griff Blog.

If you enter the competition be sure to leave me a link to your blog, as I said I love to have a snoop and see what other bloggers keep in their bags!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Estée Lauder Haul






Many of you lovely bloggers seem to be partaking in the 'Blog everyday in May' challenge but I, on the other hand, have seemingly taken a vow of silence on the blogging front this month. Ah well. Back now. And I am back with a vengeance. Despite the fact I haven't been blogging, I haven't stopped buying and have a host of lovely things to share with you. 

I've recently been dying to find a new liquid foundation and have heard great things about Estee Lauder's Double Wear and was determined to try it out. When I got to the Estee Lauder counter in Boots the lady suggested instead that I try 'Double Wear Light' because I have quite good skin (that's news to me) and shouldn't need as much coverage. I loved the texture and finish of this foundation and the colour matched perfectly, which is a bit of a miracle for my skin tone so I had to buy it!

I also found out that Estee Lauder were doing a deal at the moment: If you buy two products then you get a free make up bag full of minis! So I decided it'd be worth investing in a pretty, shimmery pink nail polish (the shade is 'Pink Thrill') so that I could get the free gift. I'm so glad I bought this nail polish, my pictures don't do the colour justice at all.

The free make up bag of goodies is brilliant as well. It included a full size lipstick in a lovely rosy gold shade, a kohl eyeliner, mini mascara, a little eyeshadow palette, face cream and eye and face repairing serum - blimey!

I can't wait to start using this foundation as I've heard great things and will let you know how I get on with it.

Anyone used Estee Lauder's Double Wear or Double Wear Light before? What are your thoughts on it?

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Paris Brown Affair...

This isn’t my usual sort of post by I’m feeling so annoyed by the Daily Mail and its so-called “journalism” right now that I just needed to vent.

Do something for me now: try to imagine being 16/17 years old again - you’d have just finished Year 11. I don’t know about you but in Year 11 I wouldn’t say that I was the best version of myself. I think I was a pretty ‘good’ (read: boring) teenager but, probably like most of you, I’d discovered alcohol and the hilarious, embarrassing and sometimes frightening consequences of it. It’s fair to say that I was also a bit self-obsessed, unthinking, vain, hormonal and generally a massive pain in the arse. We all were. I think any school teacher could vouch for that.

However, the Daily Mail have seen fit to vilify 17-year-old Paris Brown for some silly yet oh-so-teenage tweets she posted years ago. For those of you who don’t know, Paris Brown was recently made Britain's first youth police and crimes commissioner, meaning that she’s now the voice of young people on policing. Click here to read the article:


Clearly the Mail doesn’t think Miss Brown is right for the post… so if Paris Brown isn’t fit to be youth PC, who is? I can only assume the Mail would prefer someone like me who doesn’t write such ‘offensive’ posts on social media sites (I was clearly an extraordinarily PC 17-year-old because, after searching extensively through my Facebook, the most offensive thing I could find from me at 17 was a status in which I called Andy Murray an “arrogant twat” and a picture of me holding a WKD blue…) So yes, a teenager like me might be less offensive, but a teenager like me certainly wouldn’t have strong views, energy or charisma needed to be taken seriously as Youth Police and Crime Commissioner. 
Personally, I think that the majority of Britain’s youths would prefer someone like Paris Brown representing them. To me, Paris Brown’s tweets show some silly, off-the-cuff comments but they also show a girl who is feisty, passionate, who gets angry and who is, above all, a normal teenager from a normal background experiencing normal teenage issues like discovering alcohol, sex and drugs. And I bet that’s what the Chief Inspector of Kent Police saw in her when he gave her the job. The only difference between her and any other teenager is that she has had the drive and ambition to try and make a difference for teenagers and then had then media highlight her teenage indiscretions to the whole nation.

I think this situation either has the power to make or break Paris Brown. The only way that she can PROVE that she is mature and ready for the post is by tackling the Daily Mail head on, ignoring the people who seem to have forgotten what it’s like to be 16 years old or have wiped their own past from memory.
The Daily Mail are the biggest hypocrites of all in this - they're attacking a 17-year-old for using the word ‘pikeys’ and ‘illegals’ when every other article in the DM is about immigrants "coming over here” and “taking our jobs” and our benefits and what not. The words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ spring to mind.
Also, for the record, Miss Brown as apologised unreservedly for her tweets and clearly understands that it is unacceptable to post such views when you’re in a position such as hers (though, of course, at the time she wasn’t even in the role) Click here to view her apology video.

I wish Paris all the best as PCC. This attention, despite how negative it may seem at the moment, has brought her to the forefront of nation's consciousness. I just hope we see her turn this around and use it to hit back on the horrible culture of the British media vilifying people who don't deserve it (I’m looking at you, Daily Mail) and highlight the issues affecting young people.

On a side note, this blog post was written partly due to my rapidly growing despair regarding the Daily Mail. I recently signed a petition for Richard Littlejohn to be fired from the Mail because of his GROTESQUE column on how transgender teacher, Lucy Meadows, shouldn't be allowed to teach because of the "devastating effect" she could have on school children who "are not equipped to compute this kind of information" (IE that she is a woman who used to be a man). Miss Meadows tragically died (believed to be suicide but not confirmed) thought to be due to the constant harassment she received after her situation was brought to light by the media. This, to me, is far worse than any silly teenage tweets and yet the Mail stood behind Littlejohn, who remains in his position. Click here to sign the petition to have Richard Littlejohn removed from his position at the Daily Mail.

I'd love to know your opinion on the Paris Brown situation and the way the media has handled it, so feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Dressing Room Dilemmas...



I am a person incapable of spending large amounts of money on a single shopping trip. I just end up with buyer's remorse and think about how awful a person I am and should have been saving that money. In fact, I don't really need to tell myself that because, more often than not, my Mum will do it for me. But that didn't stop me going on a little spending spree today. 

I started off in H&M where I absolutely fell in love with this gorgeous maxi dress. The fabric was so floaty and beautiful and it had knee-high slits in the leg which just completed it for me. At £29.99 it wasn't overly expensive either which sealed the deal. Obviously it's completely weather-inappropriate at the moment but I can see myself living in it over summer.
The next outfit was also in H&M, I bought a lovely black slouchy jumper for £14.99 and these boho trousers which were £12.99. You might remember the trousers from my entry into the Passion for Fashion 2 competition - I was delighted to find they looked equally as dreamy on as they do on the website.

And there we go £57.99 spent. Job done. No more spending for me for another month at least.
Except that's not exactly how in panned out...

I then made the bad choice of popping into River Island to see what they had in their sale but the first item that caught my eye was not in the sale. Damn. This pretty red smock dress was £25 and as soon as I put it on, that was pretty much it for my bank balance. The same can be said for the aztec biker jacket I found which was reduced from £65 to £30. It was the last one in the store as well and there was a woman next to me eyeing it up who looked so annoyed when I took it up to the till. Yeah, I felt a bit smug.

That, however, took my total spendage to £112.99, which sent me into full-on panic mode. I ended up taking back ALL the items I'd bought in H&M and just sticking with the River Island lot. There's a horrible empty hole in my life now where that maxi dress should have been...

Here's a closer look at the product shots (not the maxi dress though as H&M haven't got it online yet, sob)


Which do you like best? I'm thinking about going back and swapping again actually! Oh gosh... WHAT DO I DO? 

Does anyone else feel buyer's remorse on the same scale as me or am I just a weirdo freak?

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

(an excuse of a) Film Review: The Host



Are you sitting down? I hope you are because I'm going to do something radical right now. I've decided to dip my toe into murky waters of entertainment and blow your minds with a film review. YES, AN ACTUAL FILM REVIEW. Mind blown? Thought so. 
Except when I say 'review', I don't mean an actual 'review'. The word 'review' denotes something I consider to be vaguely trustworthy and comes from someone who might know what they're talking about. I do not. Just so we're clear on that. So this is more movie-themed thought-vomit (to almost quote Mean Girls) than a review.

Now we've got what the word 'review' means out of the way let us begin: The Host. I am a person who is guilty of enjoying Stephenie Meyer's books... Although at university I was made to feel like the scum of the earth because of this fact. I actually did a module called 'Creatures of the Night: Vampires in Film and Literature' which I was massively excited about because one of the books we studied was Twilight. Unfortunately for me, the other people in my seminar weren't so enthusiastic about glittery, vegetarian vampires and when I sheepishly admitted to "sort of liking it" I received a massive bollocking (if you'll excuse the turn of phrase) from the hardcore literature students who actually read things like 'The Odyssey' for fun. FOR FUN. Eurgh.

As such, I read 'The Host' as soon as it came out and I LURRVED it. If you aren't a Meyer enthusiast such as myself let me give you a very brief plot summary:
Earth is invaded by aliens who take over bodies of humans. One human fights the alien that is occupying her body by communicating to the alien through her thoughts.
Okay, that was a crap plot summary. Essentially what you need to know is that there are two people in one body. This works very well in written form. It does not, however, translate very well on to the big screen.

Saorise Ronan is basically playing two characters who look and sound exactly the same. It's an odd experience. What makes this all-the-more confusing is the weird love triangle... square... thing that is going on. Melanie (Saorise Ronan, the human) is in love with Jared (Max Irons) who she met before an alien was occupying her body. Whereas Wanderer (Saorise Ronan, the alien) falls in love with Ian (Jake Abel) whilst she is Melanie's body which upsets Melanie because Melanie doesn't want to kiss Ian, she wants to kiss Jared. Except she doesn't want to kiss Jared because that'd be Wanderer kissing Jared, not her. All in all, a lot of kissing goes on and I'm not too sure who's happy about what. OH GOD I'M SO CONFUSED.

Basically, don't go and see this film if you haven't read the book. You'll just be confused and disturbed. If you have read the book, don't go and see this film as you'll probably be just as confused and disturbed. However, if you enjoy watching car-crash entertainment as a hobby GO AND SEE THIS FILM. 

Anyone seen 'The Host'? Thoughts?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spring wishes...

Bag - Radley | Sunglasses - Topshop | Dress - French Connection | Shoes - Miss Selfridge | Necklace - New Look
Last week I bought a coat. A proper woolly winter coat. This is unheard of. Usually, by early March, I am on the high street browsing lovely spring collections and buying the prettiest, most sickeningly-floral, weather-inappropriate dress I can find and wearing it out at the first sign of blue sky and daffodils.
But, in case you hadn't noticed, the weather's been slightly... er... 'off' (for want of a better word). So, for now, I'm having to satisfy my need for pretty floral dresses and bright accessories with some serious Spring window shopping. 

First off, what a dress. I LOVE the elegant 60s style (which may or may not be something to do with my slight obsession with Mad Men and, more specifically, Betty Draper) and the subtle, fresh lily print makes a lovely change from the usual ditsy prints you see in Spring.

How amazing is the gorgeous green Radley city bag? There's a lot of neon accessories around at the moment but, personally, neon just doesn't do it for me. I love this slightly softer shade of meadow green, it's still fresh and bright but doesn't overpower the dress - it's a colour that'll see me through all of spring and summer easily! I'm also eyeing up Radley's purses at the moment - I want the dog in a teacup purse... it's a freakin' dog in a freakin' teacup. 

Okay, weather. You've made your point now. I know, we humans are idiots who are polluting your beautiful world with greenhouse gases and killing polar bears with our factories and all... but this is getting beyond ridiculous. Please let this cold-shoulder thing you have going on blow over. I wants to get my floral on. KTHXBAI.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

PANIC!GFC!PANIC!CONFUSION!PANIC!BLOGLOVIN!PANIC!

As you may or may not be aware, Google recently announced that Google Reader would no longer be 'a thing' as of July 2013. Consequently, it will be rapidly moved to the graveyard of the Internet and laid to rest alongside Myspace and Ask Jeeves and never spoken of again, whilst Google put more time and money into trying to make Google+ happen (...it's not going to happen). 

Now this may mean very little to you, as it does to me (I have never in my life used Google reader... as far as I'm aware) but it has sent panic through the entire blogosphere as some bloggers are worried that the end of Google Reader also spells the end of Google Friend Connect (Also known as GFC, which many people use to 'follow' their favourite blogs) although there has been no announcement of this from Google as of yet.

Now, despite the fact that no one really knows what on earth is going on, I have decided to jump aboard the bandwagon and have thus migrated to bloglovin', as this seems to be a wise precaution unless I want to risk no longer receiving updates from my favourite bloggers.

I'd urge you to do the same if you haven't yet joined bloglovin' as, aside from the uncertainty of GFC's future, Bloglovin is really easy to use AND you can directly import the blogs you follow straight from Google to Bloglovin at the click of one button! 

To follow me on bloglovin simply click here:

Follow on Bloglovin

I have imported all the blogs I follow from GFC but, if for any reason it's missed you off, PLEASE leave your blog link in the comments.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

#PassionForFashion2

If you're a regular visitor to my blog then you probably know that I'm a SUCKER for a good styling competition. It just gives me an excuse to browse beautiful clothes and dream of outfits I won't be able to afford and when I saw that Money Supermarket had launched their 'Passion for Fashion 2' competition, I just HAD to enter. The competition challenges bloggers to create three outfits (one party, one holiday and one casual) for under £200 each. So last night I spent a couple of hours scouring various websites to create my three looks and here are the results!

Party:
Topshop Dress - £60 | Miss Selfridge Headband - £16.50 | Topshop Jacket - £40 | H&M Heels - £29.99 | Accessorize Clutch - £35 | Topshop Socks - £3.50
So I might have been in full-on GIRL mode when I created this outfit. It's pretty much an outfit that pukes up bows, flowers, glitter, frills, lace, candy colours and all things feminine... but oh my god I love it and besides, what's wrong with wanting to feel girly and feminine on a night out? The clutch was the first item I found and I immediately began to base my outfit around the pretty mint and pink tones. This outfit is just so perfect for springtime parties; light-hearted, fresh and flowery!

Casual:
At the other end of the scale, I created this altogether more 'boyish' casual outfit and it's inspired by a mixture of country and boho styles. I loved the ombre effect on the lightweight trousers and imagine this outfit worn with dip dyed, tousled hair.  How incredible are those Carvela wedges? When I see shoes like that it makes me wish I could walk in heels without looking like a six-foot giant with a limp.

Holiday:
River Island Dress - £40 | Topshop Jacket - £62 | H&M Rucksack - £14.99 | New Look Sandals - £34.99 | River Island Sunglasses £13
For my holiday outfit I wanted to keep it looking chic but also make it practical and comfortable for hot weather so I chose a lightweight maxi dress with an equally flow-y cover up for the cooler summer evenings. For me, fringing always reminds me of sunshine, festivals and summer so I had to feature the fringe in this outfit. Teamed with some stylish yet practical sandals from New Look and oversized sunnies I think this is my dream summer outfit!

So those are my looks, what do you think? There's been some great entries from other bloggers for the Passion for Fashion 2 competition so if you want to check those out just follow the hashtag #passionforfashion2 on Twitter.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

An Ebay Bargain...



So I'm not the best person at taking OOTD photos but I just wanted to show to this amazing blouse that I bought from Ebay for £5 the other day. It's originally from Monki, which is a sister store of H&M I believe. When I saw it on their website it had sold out to my great despair because I fell in love with it there and then. 
So for a couple of months now I've been trawling Ebay, hoping it would pop up and I found it last week. It's a size small which I thought wouldn't fit me but it's well oversized so fits me perfectly, luckily!

I'm going to try and take some better OOTD photos but I'm just useless, has anyone got any tips for getting good photos? I think I should probably invest in a tripod but I'm not sure whether I could find a quality one at a good price that will hold the weight of my DSLR. Any ideas?

Friday, 1 March 2013

My "Michael Kors" *cough*




I can guess your reaction when you saw these pictures. Probably something along the lines of "Oooh a Michael Kors! Shiny." or "That's quite a nice watch." or "That looks expensive." or simply, "Meh." But it probably wasn't "That's quite clearly a fake and she should rot in prison". Well I got news for ya, sistaz: this is a fake and I should almost definitely rot in prison. I've had this watch for a few weeks now and when I first bought it I sort of made a pact with myself to just pretend it was the real deal by not correcting people should they mention it. There's only one problem with this: I am an awful liar. The first time someone commented on it the conversation pretty much went like this:

"Wow I love your watch, is it a Michael Kors?"
"Awww thanks! Yeah... technically it's a Michael Kors... *awkward long pause* ...but it's a fake."

And just like that, my cover was blown. I am now the girl who buys fake goods and then tells everybody they're fake. Yesterday, at work, a similar conversation arose with two of my colleagues and I was surprised by their differing reactions. The conversation again went a little like this:

Girl 1: "Ohhh nice watch is it a Marc Jacobs or a Michael Kors?"
Me: "Thanks but it's a fake... I bought it off Ebay."
Girl 2: "Oh wow! It looks like the real deal, I'd never have guessed."
Girl 1 (with a disgusted look): "Did you know it was a fake?"

Well, yes. Yes I did. I bought the watch off Ebay and whilst it wasn't listed as "fake" but instead said "branded as Michael Kors", what other conclusion can you come to when a hugely popular watch that retails at £250 is on sale for £20?

Personally, I have conflicting views on fake products. I mean, I'd never sport a fake Chanel bag... or any fake handbag for that matter. In my opinion fake handbags are easy to spot and rather than creating an 'expensive' look they cheapen an outfit. But when it comes to 'good' fakes, I sort of don't see a problem. Yesterday Casio digital watches were in... today, Michael Kors is in fashion... tomorrow it could be any number of expensive designers. What's the point in paying £200+ a pop to wear a watch that's going to be out of fashion in a matter or months when you could pay 10% of that and still be "in fashion" with a replica with no one any the wiser?

What's your opinion on 'replica' products? Would you wear a good quality replica, like me, to save money or would you never buy a fake, no matter the cost? I'd genuinely love to know your opinion.