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Shopping & Bopping

Sunday, 28 April 2013

I love Liverpool.  Mock it at your peril cos I will get ferocious to defend it.  There's one thing about it that can't be denied though: it's a long old way from London.  We Northern bloggers can feel a long way removed from most of the social whirl that surrounds this odd hobby of ours.

Even if I was on those PR lists that mean automatic invitations to all the cool events (I'm not), it would have to be something pretty amazing to make it worth spending 4 hours on a train and taking time off work.   I don't have a chip on my shoulder about it or anything - it makes perfect sense for things to take place in the capital.  It'd just be nice if there was the odd bit of recognition that not everyone lives there.

Events that take place in Liverpool are much rarer but when they do happen, I say "yoicks" and do my very best to get to them.  So last Thursday saw me meeting up with Liverpool lovelies Laura and Frances to have a shop and a bop at TK Maxx.

The Silent Disco featured some ace music but I don't really do dancing, so I limited myself to a little bit of jaunty shuffling around the aisles instead. Mostly in my natural habitat, the shoe department.

This fella had no such inhibitions!

The mojitos were fab and the shiny gift card we got given upon leaving was even better!

There's another TK Maxx store close(ish) to my house so I had a little end-of-the-week shopping trip there with my mum. Well, she had a whale of a time buying herself a handbag and loads of stuff for her summer holiday and even a potential outfit for my brother's wedding (organised! It's not till October!). I resisted the lure of all the impractical Dune and Nine West high heels and spent my giftcard wisely instead:

What do you mean, I only buy green things? That is clearly not true. I also bought something black but it's a Top Secret Birthday Present so you'll have to trust me on that.

It's A Shoe Zoo Out There

Thursday, 25 April 2013

It's on days like this that I realise what a giant moron I am at times. I had utterly forgotten that I even bought these amazing shoes.  Who does that? How is it even possible??* They are actual #wardrobezoo SHOES!

* Answer = Me. Because I am messy and disorganised and can't get anywhere near the shoe wardrobe.

Giraffes and elephants and ostriches. Oh my!  They are so brilliant and super fun - I was clacking around in them all day and thoroughly enjoying myself. If I had any dancing ability whatsoever then I'm sure I would have launched into an impromptu tap routine to fully express my sense of new-shoe-joy.  Ok, so I'm not entirely sure they'll be comfy enough to wear without tights underneath due to the slightly low vamp but I am in mild despair about it ever being warm enough to go bare legged again, so that's fine and dandy.

Only mild despair. After all, I've still got loads of lovely winter coats to wear. When they're this cute, it seems a crying shame to have to stash them at the back of a cupboard for six months. I want to wear them and spin around going "wheeeeeee!" at the loveliness of the Puritan collar.

Like I said, I'm a bit of a moron at times. Perhaps the confectionery nature of my shirt is giving me a sugar rush or something.

Coat - Vero Moda
Dress - New Life
Blouse - ASOS sale
Shoes - Irregular Choice via ebay
Earrings - local shop

Things I Own That Everyone Likes

Monday, 22 April 2013

It's a funny old life being a fashion blogger.  Especially when you work in quite a conservative place where the usual attire consists of jeans, walking boots and fleeces.

If I ever had any sense of shame about trotting into the office in Irregular Choice heels, #wardrobezoo prints or frivolous frocks, it's long since disappeared.  I'm at work 5 days out of 7 and I cannot see the point in dressing like a bore for most of the week.  Don't get me wrong - I'm quite often to be found in jeans and the walking boots and fleece do get donned when necessary, but I can't see the point in leaving all the fun stuff in my wardrobe for the weekends.

My clothing choices do draw comments from my colleagues and they're not always especially nice but I forgive them because they are clearly misguided fools.  Anyone who can call my beloved Irregular Choice Rosepea heels "hooker shoes" is an IDIOT (or the sort of person who frequents classy hookers - who knows?)

Look, not a hint of perspex platform!

Most of them have got much better taste. As you have you lovely lot! I realised the other day when wearing my cat, wine and hand print cardigan that even though it's a bit odd, everyone seems to like it.  And although I wouldn't say I dress to please the masses, I do have a few things like that. Here are some of the things that have drawn nicer comments recently.

The aforementioned cardi.

The amazing cake print blouse.

My red Mary Janes.


The Mary Poppins locket.

My Kookai coat. Probably my best ever purchase. Definitely my best ever car boot sale purchase.

ps - oh ffs. I did NOT mean to press publish instead of save on a half written post last night. Bless you all for not pointing out that it made no sense.

Feeling Blue

Friday, 19 April 2013

Panic not. The title of this post isn't literal. I'm not gloomy or anything. I'm actually fairly hyper due to my usual high intake of coffee and the prospect of a day volunteering at the British Eventing competition at Kelsall Hill tomorrow. Yay, horses!

I just somehow ended up wearing many, many shades of blue. Cardi, coat, shoes, tights, jewellery..even my specs are blue! If you squint hard enough then the bag and skirt could be classed as grey-ish blue and greeny-blue. Right? Oh ok then, not really.  But considering I didn't even think I owned this many blue things, that's quite good! It's not generally a colour that appeals to me but I may be changing my mind on that point.

Did I mention yay, horses!  Cos look, they're on my top.  Yay, horses!  I bought this in Bath (tres appropriate given the Regency/carriage driving heritage) on a complete whim.  You know when you walk past a shop and your pattern radar locks in on something awesome?  It was one of those moments. I had to buy it. It's brilliant.

Top - Oasis
Cardi & skirt - H&M sales
Coat - Tu
Flat shoes - StylistClick
Bag - Accessorize, birthday present
Ring - Next Clearance
Necklace - Sunday Girl

The Secret Weekend

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

I am a lucky so-and-so.  Not only do I have amazing friends but they buy me super amazing presents. I was thoroughly spoiled on my birthday last week but the fun didn't stop there! Char booked me in several months ago for a post-birthday mystery secret trip and Friday morning saw us zooming down the motorway on our way to destination unknown.  I was very, very good and hadn't asked many questions at all (other than the obvious how long are we going for/what sort of clothes do I need to pack/are we running a marathon or doing anything that requires unusual supplies - I'm a stressy packer!) so it was a delicious surprise to find out that we were going to Bath!

And not just going to Bath, but going to Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights for the Reading Spa! I have been lusting after this for a long, long time but Bath is very far away from Liverpool and it's just a bit too indulgent to take myself there.  If someone else wishes to take me there though, that's a totally different matter!

Oh my gosh, I had the best time ever.  It's the most fabulous place:

I was plied with coffee and flapjack whilst I had a good chinwag with Libby about my taste in books, then she came back a short while later with this amazing selection. Books, books, books!  It was an excellent sign that I'd already read several of her picks. I had the hardest time choosing between the rest of them though.  It was such a treat to have books recommended to me by someone who was so passionate and interesting when she was talking about them. I almost felt a bit bad leaving some of them behind.

It took me an absolute age to whittle the selection down to this pile.  I've already devoured The House by the Thames and if it sets the tone for the rest of them, I'm in for a very good time! It was utterly fascinating.  I think I might do a review post when I've read them all...

The Attenbury Emeralds wasn't part of the selection but the spa included a fully stamped loyalty card which gave £5 off your next purchase, so I promptly went back the next day and bought that as well!

We squeezed in a trip on the Friday evening to the Little Theatre Cinema (about a million times better than the soulless Odeon) to see The Place Beyond the Pines.  It wasn't at all what I expected in terms of structure and tone but I definitely liked it.  Even if I am that weird creature who doesn't get the appeal of either Ryan Gosling or Bradley Cooper.

Saturday was a day of walking round in the rain exploring the city and doing cultural things. We went to the Assembly Rooms, where Char got mistaken for a wedding guest as she was so beautifully frocked up.

And then to the adjoining Fashion Museum (well worth a visit) where I discovered that:

It's quite hard to take pictures of gorgeous frocks when they're behind stupid reflective display cases.

I really want to wear a sack back dress. Alas I was born 200 years too late and several social classes too low.

My favourite dress from their evening dress collection was a pink one. I know. I'm as surprised as you are.

And that I definitely want to bring bonnets back into fashion. They're the only hats that I actually suit!

I didn't quite do the true blogger thing of recording everything I ate because sometimes I feel like a weirdo pulling out an SLR to take a photo of my dinner.  A camera phone snap is obviously more subtle but my phone is old and the camera is lame, so it makes life difficult.  I braved the shame to take these though:

A scrumptious brunch of cinnamon soya hot chocolate and a sausage sandwich at Cafe Retro

And a bun at Sally Lunns.  Because you can't go to Bath without eating a Sally Lunn bun.  It's the law. Plus they have sugar lumps. Yayyyyy! I really like sugar lumps.

Despite the rain, I had a glorious time. It's been ages since I was last in Bath and it's such a perfect place for a weekend jaunt.  Plus I still have the warm fuzzy feelings after the Reading Spa.  All the books!  It was a truly excellent birthday present and Char is a super duper pal.

I shall leave you with this:


An Etsy Discovery

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Oh Etsy.  I love it, I really do.  It's a veritable treasure trove of amazing stuff.  Yet it's so very big (and, let's be honest, not the easiest website in the world to navigate) that I tend to go "oof" at the thought of idly browsing through it for pleasure.  I haven't got the patience.  I have to brace myself and do it all in one huge go when I've got my Christmas presents list in front of me instead.

I cope much better with Etsy when someone goes "OI ALEX, LOVELY STUFF ALERT!"  That way I can add it to my favourites, check back every now and then for shiny new things and not have to go through the whole palaver of browsing through 987623 pages of stuff that I don't want to find the one perfect thing that I do want. 

Louise from Naive Melodies got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago to let me know about her Etsy shop which sells v. pretty jewellery.

She very kindly sent me the rectangle charm necklace. Isn't it lovely? I know the trendy fashion blogger thing at the moment is for massive, chunky, neon necklaces but I do not like them. At all. Massive jewellery, whether that be necklaces, earrings or rings, is for other people. It's not for me. It weighs me down and irritates me.  Big or long necklaces are the worst.  I have a terrible habit of getting them caught on things (especially door handles, which hate me) and either breaking them or nearly garroting myself. I like my necklaces pretty and, even if they're not exactly what you'd call little and dainty, on the simple side.  This is perfect.

I did want to do a proper outfit post but, well, I've got the plague and my face isn't fit to make an appearance on the blog right now.  The hedgehog jumper is from ASOS btw.

Louise has very kindly provided me (and you!) with a discount code for 33% off all purchases at Naive Melodies - just enter SOCKS33 in the appropriate box when you're paying. I'm sure you'll find something you like on there! I think I'll treat myself to the arrowhead necklace.  I need a bit more gold coloured jewellery in my life.