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A Week of Weather

Friday, 30 July 2010

The weather this week has been a trial. I like to imagine that the following conversation has been going on:

Rain - Muahahahaha! I caused flooding last week but I'm not done yet. *rain rain rain* *TORRENTIAL RAIN* *bit more rain for good measure*

Sun - Yes, it may be July but frankly I can't be bothered doing my work properly this week. And the rain is doing such a good job.

Rain - Bored now.

Sun - *DAZZLE!!*

Rain - Hah, I will beat that dastardly sun *RAIN RAIN RAIN*

Sun - I tell you what would be more fun. Look, she's going to the supermarket/swimming baths/Post Office/work. I'll shine while she goes in and then you drench her when she comes out. Comedy much? *DAZZLE*

Rain - Muahahahaha. *TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR*

Alex - Oh for f***s sake.

So that's quite a long-winded way of saying that it's been a tad tricky trying to work out what to wear this week, especially when it comes to shoes as the vast majority of mine don't seem to be waterproof. I've mostly been accessorising with an enormous Regatta waterproof and a large brolly.

And I shouldn't have to wear tights in July. It's just not right.

Monday - feeling a bit like a principal boy

Sleeveless jumper - Primark
Longsleeved top - DP
Leggings - M&S
Boots - Evans

Tuesday - car boot bargain

Shirt dress - Peacocks via car boot sale - 50p!
Cardi - Matalan
Brogues - New Look

Wednesday - a mishmash of monochrome

Vest - Primark
Shirt - River Island
Skirt - Tesco
Brogues - New Look

Thursday - finally, some jeans that fit!

Jeans & jumper - Dorothy Perkins
Vest - Primark
Shoes - George

Friday - a wedding at work

Dress - New Look
Cardi - Primark
Shoes - George

ps - we're currently in *TORRENTIAL RAIN* mode. I got wet.

8 Things

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Sorry for the lack of proper posts this week. I'm going to do a weekly outfit round-up tomorrow night as real life has got in the way of regular posting over the past few days. In the meantime, I thought I'd take on the following list of questions posed to me by the lovely Vicky. I have to answer the 8 questions that Vicky set and then set 8 of my own for some other bloggers to answer...

1. What is your dream job?
I'm lucky enough in that I love my job and I love the organisation I work for and truly believe in the work it's trying to do. I don't want to be doing my current role forever though - I've always wanted to conserve and care for old houses and their contents. Plus a flat is usually part of the job and the prospect of living in a castle or stately home is quite thrilling to me! Perhaps I'll be brave enough to go for it in the next couple of years - I can stay within the organisation but it means upping sticks and moving by myself to wherever in the UK the job happens to be and it's a scary prospect. Also I have to train for it in and around doing my normal job because I'm not lucky enough to have mummy and daddy fund me while I do an MA and then volunteer for a year, so it's not the quickest process!

2. What is your favourite item of clothing?
I'm currently completely in love with this. Cool eh?

Is it acceptable to wear it outside the house though? Probably not.

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I honestly don't know. Probably still single - I have no luck with men but it doesn't really bother me. Hopefully just enjoying my life and doing interesting things.

4. Who is your celebrity crush?
I have so many! Oh dear, that's what happens when you're a sad singleton. Henry Cavill, Michael Sheen, Jake Gyllenhaal, Damien Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd and Danny Agger are just a few of them. I have a complete girl crush on Drew Barrymore as well.

5. If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world where would you go?
I would dearly love to spend a few weeks on the East Coast of America. I've always wanted to visit Boston, New York, Vermont and Washington.

6. What made you start blogging?
The lovely girls on the fashion thread on the MSE forums. I don't remember who had a blog first but Laura, Jen, Char and Vix were all such an inspiration, and then I joined the blogging gang along with lots of others. And also because I was starting to wear new things and try out new styles and blogging seemed like a good way to get ideas and comments about what worked and what didn't.

7. If you had unlimited funds and could splurge on one item what would it be?
An item of clothing? I have hankered after one of these coats for years. Ball-breakingly expensive but it would last forever.

Non-clothing? I'd buy myself a pony. I've wanted one of those for years too!

8. What never fails to make you smile?
My cat - endlessly entertaining, loveable and oh so handsome. Emails and texts from my pal Lee. Quoting The Smoking Room to the few people that know what the heck I'm on about. A new pair of shoes. Flowers in my bedroom. Catching sight of myself in the mirror and realising I'm not a heifer anymore. Getting parcels and letters.

And my 8 questions are:

1) Which blog have you most recently started following?
2) Have you inherited any characteristics from your parents?
3) What's your biggest ever bargain?
4) Who do you most admire?
5) What's your favourite thing to cook?
6) What's the nicest thing someone said to you today?
7) Do you have any party tricks or secret skills?
8) What was the last thing you won?

And I'd like to tag


It's Giveaway Time!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

I said a giveaway would be happening when I hit 75 followers and that time has come! It's just a small thank you to all my lovely readers as you've given me so much support and encouragement over the past few months.

There are 3 prizes up for grabs:

1) Jewellery

I didn't plan on such a birdy theme - it just happened that way! Swan earrings, a super cute owl brooch (which I dearly wish I'd bought for myself) and a funky ring.

2) Legs

A fab pair of House of Holland house pattern tights, some pretty floral tights and some lovely socks. My preference would be to wear them as odd socks (obviously) but it's not compulsory!

3) Nails

Some rather psychedelic nail files and a limited edition Barry M nail paint.

I'll sprinkle in a few extra goodies as well.

And the official part:

  • Open to UK and international followers.
  • You must be a follower.
  • For one entry, pop a comment below.
  • For an extra entry, let people know about it using your choice of social media and then leave another comment telling me. I have very little idea how Twitter etc works so I'll leave the details up to you (blog about it if that's easier and you want to?), but spread the word.
  • I'll pick 3 winners out of a hat on Wednesday 4th August.

Good luck everyone!

A new layout and an award!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

So then, thoughts on the new design? I admit I haven't had time to play around with it properly yet but as the old one disappeared on Friday and I didn't want to leave the poor blog looking forlorn and blank, I've chucked this one together for now. It should hopefully allow for bigger photos which I've been trying to sort out for a while now. I'm sure tweaks will be made shortly but any comments on it are very welcome.

The lovely Eilidh gave me this award last week and I have to list 10 things I like. So, in no particular order, here goes:

1) Old houses, especially Georgian ones.

2) Pratting about with friends

3) Dales ponies

4) Children's books

5) Taking photos of my feet

6) The occasional afternoon of alcofrolics

7) Flowers, especially sweet williams and freesias.

8) Cats

9) Wandering around towns and discovering unexpected things

10) Henry Cavill

And I tag anyone else that wants to do it.

The smell of greasepaint, the roar of the crowds..

Thursday, 22 July 2010

I love going to the theatre. I'm lucky enough to live in a city which has a strong performing tradition and lots of theatres, ranging from big to very small indeed. My particular favourite is the Unity - it's a lovely small scale venue that shows a cracking mixture of plays, dance and comedy. Pretty much anything they put on is worth seeing, even if it's a first time piece that no-one's ever heard of.

But I'm not averse to dashing around the country in order to catch a particular show. My friend Lee and I had a wonderful couple of days in London between Christmas and New Year and saw War Horse (utterly amazing) and The Misanthrope (not quite so good but still fun and who's going to pass up second row tickets to see Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis? Not me!). I'm currently keeping my eyes peeled to see when tickets for Michael Sheen as Hamlet go on sale. Did I mention I love Michael Sheen? Let's have a gratuitous photo of him.

And Damien Lewis too. J'adore the ginge.

Where was I? Oh yes, theatre. Summer tends to mean that there's less on at the theatres but instead the joyful prospect of outdoor theatre is here instead. Oh I love it so. There's no faffing about with complicated sets or hoards of actors, just a minimal cast and lots of props. Plus I take any excuse to whiz together a delicious picnic and indulge in a little glass of wine or two in the evenings.

I'm jammy enough to get free tickets to the shows that we put on at work so last week it was time for Alice Through The Looking Glass. Doesn't the Hall make a beautiful backdrop? Fab play, very hectic and very funny.

Tonight was the turn of The Tempest and I journeyed into deepest darkest Cheshire to watch it. I absolutely love the theatre company (Lord Chamberlain's Men) but was away in London when they were on at work, so was quite happy to pay to go and see them elsewhere. They perform Shakespeare in traditional style - all male cast, period costume and songs and dance. I can't say it made as much difference to tonight's play but I've seen a couple of their other performances and the comedies work on a whole other level when they're done this way.

I wish I'd taken more clothes with me - it was flipping freezing!

Have you seen anything good recently? I'm always on the hunt for new things to see so would love to hear your recommendations.

ps - I'll be faffing around with the layout and design over the weekend so things may look weird on here for a few days.

Today I have been...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

mostly moping around. I am the sort of person that gets into a bad mood and then positively revels in being mardy and sorry for herself for a little while. Not the most praiseworthy of qualities, I know, but it doesn't generally last long and I mostly annoy myself, not other people.

Stupid food allergies. Their latest trick seems to be sapping all my energy and making me excessively tired and headachey. Fun eh? People at work are annoying me quite a lot today which hasn't helped either. Plus I'm feeling too ill to go swimming tonight so now I will spend the evening beating myself up for being lazy. See, told you I was feeling sorry for myself!

Look, it happens often! Self being mardy on Friday night when stuck at work till 9.45pm.


I'm enjoying the torrential rain we're having today. I forced myself to do a moderate amount of work this afternoon. I have new followers *waves* - just a couple more of you and I have a lovely giveaway lined up. I cooked a delicious dinner. And now I'm going to have an extremely long Lush bath with a large glass of wine and a good book and my rubbish day can sod off. If the insomnia that's bothering me at the moment will also sod off, that would make life just about perfect.

And although I feel somewhat trampish today, I liked yesterday's outfit very much. Look, pretty frock!

Sunday Shopping

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Gosh, what a long day. I was up at the crack of dawn (well, by my standards anyway) to get on the road, meet up with the wonderful Char and head halfway down the country to pay a visit to Laura. Slightly odd circumstances in which to meet her for the first time but it was lovely - lots of nattering, a mini tour of the unit (it's really nice, like a swanky halls of residence!) and then out for a walk. She's doing well and says a big hello to everyone.

I don't want to go on about it in too much detail - if Laura wants to talk about her experiences then I'm sure she will - so I shall show you the fruits of a little shopping trip instead.

Our destination was the Newlife retail store. It's like a cross between TK Maxx and a charity shop - rails and rails of brand new stuff donated from High St stores and all the profits go to charity. My idea of a good shop! We ignored their petty rule about only taking 5 items into the changing room and loaded ourselves with pretty frocks. I think we were fairly restrained though when it came to actually purchasing things though.

This is definitely from New Look originally as I've been eyeing it up for quite some time, but I've got no idea about where the other two might have come from as they chop the labels out. Quite fun not knowing really.

This is the back - you might just be able to see the heart shaped cut out detail. I am mildly smitten with this and may well have to wear it tomorrow.

Comedy changing room antics with this one as it's a bit too snug around the chest and I couldn't get the flipping thing off! It'll be lovely in a couple of months and I'm jolly pleased as I've wanted a pinafore style dress for ages.

Also picked up a stripy scarf and this rather fab hat:

And the best bit, we found Irregular Choice shoes! Char has truly eagle eyes for them - she swooped upon these beauties and as luck would have it, they were in my size. They're totally OTT but that's just how I like them. The stripy pair are a size 3 but at £2.99 I couldn't leave them on the shelf. Do I have any readers with tiny feet? If not, onto ebay they go.

Woefully unflattering photo of me here but hey ho, I never look my best in profile. Check out the lovely new brogues though! We'd been in the car for hours at this point and I, for one, needed to go home to bed so no time for more posed photos.

Dress & brogues - River Island
Cardi - Primark

Note to self - buy some new jeans

Thursday, 15 July 2010

I didn't realise that this pair fitted so badly! Ho hum. They are currently the only pair I own that even vaguely fit so I think new jeans and trousers need to be purchased asap. But I try not to censor photos just because I don't think they're flattering so I'll show you anway. Good job really, because I'd never post anything otherwise.

Blouse - ASOS via charity shop
Vest & jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - New Look
Earrings - charity shop (think they're handmade)
Butterfly necklace - found
Wooden beaded necklace - Dorothy Perkins
Beaded necklace worn as bracelet - car boot sale
Opal ring - antiques market

I'm definitely getting more bargain savvy in my old age. Apart from the jeans (which were cheap to begin with), everything was either bought on sale or from charity shops/car boot sales. I don't seem to be able to bring myself to pay full price for anything anymore!

Another rule broken

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

I'm still on my quest to break those fashion rules one by one. The chubby girls/vertical stripes one has been well and truly smashed as I'm now in love with stripy tshirts and here's another that I've kicked into touch. You know that they (who are the mystical "they"??) say you should never buy clothes that don't fit because you'll always fail to slim into them and end up with a wardrobe full of depressingly lovely stuff that's too small for you? I say HA to them!

I bought this dress in the Dorothy Perkins sale just after Christmas last year. I am very partial to the Uttam London brand but it can sometimes be priced a little higher than I'd like. This was reduced to £10 in the sale and although I was still way too big to fit into it at that point, I loved it and so I bought it.

And now it fits. Again, I say HA! Perfect for a meal out with the gang from work and to prove that I can scrub up well when I try.

Dress - Uttam London at Dorothy Perkins
Cardi - Primark
Shoes - Irregular Choice via ebay
Bangle - Shared Earth

No-one could ever accuse me of being hasty

Sunday, 11 July 2010

I bought my sewing machine well over a month ago and until yesterday I hadn't attempted making anything with it. I'd practised sewing straight lines (not very successfully) on an old pillowcase but that was it.

Yesterday, spurred on by an epic Project Runway marathon, I decided to get brave and have a go at something. I saw this fab tutorial on What Would A Nerd Wear a while ago and have been wanting to try it ever since but lack of time and nerve meant that it just hadn't happened so far.

The end result is not entirely as I would have liked but let's look at the positives before the negatives:

  • I made a skirt! And it's the first thing I've ever tried to make on a sewing machine. Good work, yes?
  • I can sew straight lines when I try.
  • I can do pockets, woop!
  • There aren't any holes in it so my seaming and hemming is clearly not too awful either.
  • It's v. pretty.

  • And on the flipside:

  • I put the pockets too high up
  • It's a bit too short
  • And most annoyingly, it's really not that flattering (hence the lack of pics of me modelling it). I think there's too much fabric in it as it sort of poofs out around the hips and makes me look even wider - not helpful on a pearshaped girl! I'm going to see what I can do to make it less so but it might have to be a case of just making another one and tweaking the measurements so that I don't use so much fabric and consequently it's not so poofy.

  • Overall though, I am impressed with myself. I don't mind the bad points too much as the first two aren't a big deal and I never really expected that the first thing I made would be perfect. Would you think that I used to be scared of sewing machines?

    Which brings me neatly to an award I've received from the lovely Nici at Giddy Little Miss . Thank you Nici! I have to tell you 5 facts about myself. Hmmm. I always find this sort of thing strangely difficult to do.

    1) I am weirdly freaked out by lorry cabs. I don't mind them when they have trailers attached but the cab part driving along by itself is just not right.

    2) I always save the nicest part of whatever I'm eating until last. It deeply irritates me when I'm with someone who goes "oh don't you like that?" and then helps themself to it before I get a chance to stab them in the hand with a fork.

    3) I have a GCSE in Latin. Unfortunately I don't remember anything of it except "Caecilius est in horto" - Caecilius is in the garden. Useful eh?

    4) I love watching sport and will watch almost anything except golf. Oh and basketball.

    5) My uni degree is in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I work in the heritage/third sector so it couldn't be less relevant!

    60/40 Vision

    Wednesday, 7 July 2010

    I went to watch Breakfast at Tiffanys at the cinema yesterday. Dare I fess up to a)never having seen it before and b)not really getting the whole Audrey Hepburn thing? My mind is slightly changed on the latter point as I thoroughly enjoyed the film and her performance but I still don't get the fairly wholesale worship of her that seems to be de rigeur in some circles. In the battle of the Hepburns, my vote is for Katharine.

    However as my wardrobe now contains no trousers that fit me, I couldn't channel any of Katharine's deliciously masculine style yesterday. I went for the girlier version instead. There's something about this dress that just makes me feel very 60's and swishy. I even managed not to get the crochet bits stuck on anything this time - impressive by my standards!

    Everything is from New Look. See, when they try, they can make dresses that are a decent length and don't flash too much cleavage!

    And today I went back a couple more decades. I've wanted to do proper Victory Rolls in my hair for ages but every attempt has ended in utter failure. I'm just not very good with hair related things, plus I have incredibly uncooperative hair that never ever does what it's told. But last night I beat it into submission with the aid of hairspray and lots of long pins and it looked ok. A little scruffy as you clearly need about 7 pairs of hands to do it neatly and properly, but ok. I slept on it and it still looked fine. But a whole day at work was clearly too much and it had descended from wartime chic to night-in-a-bomb-shelter mess by the time I got home to take pictures. Bah. Plus it has photographed horribly, absolutely nothing like how it actually looked, and despite being quite happy with how I looked all day, I am now veering towards thinking I looked a right state (if the photos are anything to go by). Stupid hair. Stupid chubtastic face. I think I'll try and find a better frock and try it again when I'm in a better mood. Really quite dispirited at the moment.

    I know it's a dire quality photo but look, proof that it wasn't falling down and hideously messy all day!

    What a grump I am.

    Dress - Primark
    Cardi - Matalan
    Leggings - DP
    Heeled brogues - New Look