Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Christmas Countdown: Preen, preen, preen. . !

Image from We Heart It
So it is the first of December tomorrow and my Christmas Countdown officially started about a week ago. Four weeks to get Christmas Perfect!!!

This year I want to embrace Christmas (Yes indeed, I will be downloading the Michael Buble Christmas Album) and all it brings. I do not want to miss anything just because I'm having a bad hair day and I am certainly not missing out on the Chocolate Log (who needs Christmas Pudding?!) just because I'm having a fat day.

Image from We Heart It

Preen, preen, preen. . , is the call of the day for me at the moment. In between scrambling around trying to find any Crest Whitening Strips, I'm preening a lot!

- I am trying to apply the OPI Nail Matte Envy every day in an attempt to keep my mid-length nails strong. Then I might file them down slightly to give them the matched, groomed manicure look. I would love Gelish but I work in a health care environment and that type of thing ain't allowed :(

- The RapidLash is back on the edge of my sink again and I'm trying to apply it every night. Over the last couple of weeks (interestingly since my Phyto supplements ran out), I have noticed that my lashes don't look quite so bold and unfortunately, appear a little wispy on the ends. For me, natural lashes is where is at (how I struggle with the falsies) so I'm hoping that Rapid Lash will work its magic and make them slightly more lashtastic again (In my experience, lash enhancers may not be growth miracles but they always add something ) until then the L'Oreal Volume Million has been repurchased (a much easier way to fake it although the constant drizzle seems to have prompted the 'got a black eye?!' question. I think, I mentioned before what a diva this amazing mascara can be. Such fab results but how easily it smudges which can be a bit awkward. See this review.)

- There will certainly be some mega brow grooming going on in the next couple of weeks. I'm considering HD Brows. You can see some familiar faces with HD brows here, what do you think of the HD look?

- I'm also trying a couple of treats for my hair. Firstly, the Charles Worthington Salon At Home Strength and Repair Kit. This little kit consists of a haircare system which includes four products, an oil to use pre-washing under the plastic cap, a shampoo and an intensive conditioner. I have been using this for about a month now and I've got mixed feelings. It seems to bulk out the ends of my hair and theoretically, it is easy to use. However, I find the oil difficult to wash out and consequently ran out of the shampoo very quickly. I've found that this system tended to make my hair very frizzy as I had to use so much shampoo to get the oil out or on the other hand, I wash only so much and then my hair looks very weighed down. I expect that this system really does boost the health of our barnet but I need to work on my application method to get the dream result.

I also have a new hair oil. I went to the hairdressers to invest yet again in Moroccan Oil (Love! See this post and this post) but they didn't have any. As it was raining and I'm lazy, the lady found a sucker for her sales pitch about a miracle Redken alternative, All Soft Argan 6. This is meant to 'intensely nourish and protect dry, brittle hair'. It can be used before shampooing or blow drying to add moisture, after blow drying to smooth; on damp or dry hair to boost shine; or added to treatments to intensify replenishment and it can also be used overnight for deep nourishment.

I have been swapping it up a bit and using it in a mix of ways. So far, so good! It really does make the hair very soft and actually does not seem to weigh my hair down as much as the Moroccan Oil although I wonder if that will change with constant use.

- Of course, I'm also trying to eat very healthily (although this running/walking regime is making me so soo hungry) and am having lots of Green Monsters to keep my eyes bright and energy levels up.

- And finally, I'm also trying to save a little money for Christmas hence the lack of "haul" posts recently but I think, there is a couple of treats I haven't shared with you yet and I'll try and get those posts up ASAP but I'm still having a bit of a love affair with the New Look kimono that I posted here.

Sidenote: In case you're wondering, I'm hoping that Christmas will bring a DSLR, a Michael Kors Rose Gold Watch, the One Molecule scent (see Ruths secret), the ability to run thirty minutes plus nonstop (Er, that would be without a heart attack), a trip to Paris, my invitation to Pinterest (it is taking so soo long) 50 Blog GFC followers (hint hint, any ideas?) and some of those chocolate gold coins. Phew,much, you think?! Ok maybe between Christmas and my late January birthday.

Are you making any special efforts for Christmas? Have you tried the Redken Oil? Do you have HD Brows?


Friday, 25 November 2011

Sigh, the Monsoon Dress!

Sometimes, it is the little things which put a dampener on your week. Silly, I know but I can't get this dress out of my head.

Sorry, this is the only pic I can find online. Links here to the page and eBay seller (and presumed photographer)

Yes, I know, pretty magical!

When I saw it on the hanger in a local Monsoon Outlet, did I swoon! Probably, quite audibly!! It looked so beautiful as its tens/hundreds of sequins twinkled away at me. As I pulled it off the rail, it was hard to believe this was hanging in a local outlet store. The sequins, the flapper shape, the weight and with a cut which preserves your innocence, made it hard to believe that this lovely little garment really wasn't from another time.

As I looked closely at that dress, all I could do mentally was swoon a little more and tick, tick, tick!

- Glamorous and sophisticated . . , a twist on the little black dress . . , tick!

- On trend. . . sequins, sparkle, metallic, reminiscent of the Metallic Twenties inspired pieces Gucci have being pounding out . . , tick!

- Wearable . . . christmas, new year, special occasion galore . . , tick!

- Good value . . . reduced to forty pounds something and er, just so very divine . . , tick!

Of course, I had to try it on.

And alas, it wasn't to be!!

It seems on my short, stumpy legs, skirt lengths need to be of the extreme, either very short or very long.
Sidenote: Oh yes, I'm not sure if I mentioned this but now we are right on the tail end of the maxi trend, I've only gone and discovered despite my stubborn skepticism, I can work maxi lengths (or the midi which looks like a maxi on me)!
Unfortunately on me, this one fell on that very unflattering point just above the knee and made me look like a murder mystery actress who hasn't quite found her role yet. The beautiful cut on the hanger seemed lost as the dress hung awkwardly on me.

Drat, this dress was (is) so beautiful (and reduced!) but there was no way it was gonna work for me so reluctantly back to the rail, it went, where it awaits one very lucky lady to work it. I've got to say, I've felt a bit wistful thinking about this dress this week. Have you ever found a dream piece that just wasn't for you?

On the plus side, I am now aware just how good some of the Monsoon dresses look. This one was in Vogue.

Continuing with the shopping (or lack of) theme . . .

I'm still trying to incorporate some metallic in my wardrobe but full on sequined numbers just don't seem to work on me and so the best compromise I have found so far is the little silver metallic scalloped number above from Quiz . This is very me but of course, I couldn't find a size to fit properly in my local store. So the search for a little sparkle continues, I guess, this week, wardrobe building just wasn't to be!

And finally . . .
I'm definitely astride the scented candle fad and brought a few too many Yankee candles from a local Hallmark earlier this week, Evening Air, Fresh Roast, Pumpkin Spice, Sparkling Sugar and a miniature of Mistletoe and Fig.

To be honest, the only one I have used so far is the Sparkling Sugar. It is just so delicious, very sweet and I just love how a toned down version of the scent lingers in the air, on my furniture and in my hair. It smells of sugar so reminiscent of birthday parties, cake and all things that make me happy. Really recommend especially since it was on offer in Hallmark for just £4.72. All Yankee Candles in Hallmark seemed to be at least half price.

The Apothecary No 008 one that I blogged earlier in the week smelt pretty much as I described here. However, it seems a bit watered down compared to Sparkling Sugar.

Have you tried Yankee candles? What are your faves? Do you ever go shopping and it just doesn't happen?!

Oh and I'm still on the reading thing, currently still on The Help. I'm really enjoying it (as I progress further, it is almost like the scenes are unfolding in front of me. I actually gasped when I realised Miss Skeeter had left her bag at Hilly's meeting. The characters are so true to their identity and the story that seems to be unfolding) but it is a bit more of a tome then some of my previous reads and therefore is taking me a little longer to get through.

As for the running, I've just finished week 4 of the Get Running app. Yay! I'm finding it easier to motivate myself and then to breathe when I get going but oh, my joints aren't half starting to ache! *Adds proper running shoes to ever-growing 'To Buy' list*

Happy weekend!


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My first scented candle!

I have spent the last few days on a search for my first proper scented candle. I have had candles before but have never really brought them purely for the scent which is quite surprising, given my love for perfumes.

Now, since I'm on the self-imposed perfume purchase ban, it seemed the perfect time to investigate scented candles further. I love scents and potentially scented candles could be the perfect aid to winding down in the evening if they smell right! Hmm, I have a feeling that scented candles are either gonna be something I hate (I'm not a fan of incense, I'm hoping that candles are a lot more subtle) or love (which could quickly result in a vast collection).

Now I chose my first scented delight very carefully. I have spent hours trawling stores and sniffing every candle to catch my eye over the last week or so.

Ideally I was hoping to find a candle remniscent of Christmas, we all know by now how I like everything to compliment the season we are in. However, it seems the scents of Christmas really do not do anything for me. I found some of them too fruity and I actually recoiled at the whiff of cranberry. Others were just slightly too heavy and incense-like. I guess, they just smelt a little bit musty and old. Now I noticed, despite the large number of candles out there to try, that each candle seemed to fall in to one of three boxes. You guessed it, the fruity (eliminated), the musty (eliminated) and finally, the box which held the ones that seemed to draw me in, the gorgeous vanilla based scents.

Yes in Homesense, I found several vanilla candles I liked and I'm sure the security cameras were whizzing around as I ran back and forth between the contenders. The only distingishing factor (aside from price!) really was just how vanilla, each candle was and this was the decider for me. I decided that the heavier vanilla candles, although not as nauseating as the fruity scents, were again just a touch too much and I decided to opt for one of the more perfumed vanilla candles in Homesense.

This is my chosen one, Vanilla Amber from No. 008 the apothecary. I can not find anything on the internet about this one or the brand. I will let you know how I find the scent as it burns down but for the moment, I would say there is a hint of vanilla but this seems to be enveloped in more fragrant notes (do candles have notes?!) that remind me a little of talc and quite a masculine talc, at that. Vanilla Amber smells really clean, cosy, comforting and most importantly, it is not in the slightest, fruity or musty.

Oh and with reference to the perfume ban . . .
Truly, this stupid "bright idea" of mine is a bloody nightmare. I'm still pathetically lusting after VIP 212, Shalimer and thanks to all of the raves infiltrating Blogland, I am also very curious about the Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude but alas, they will still be on the shelf when I've shopped the collection that I already have. Oh, they'd better be, I hope so!

Do you like scented candles? What type of scents do you like? Hmm, if this is going to be my new fad, I am going to need some recommendations! What are your favourites? Have you heard of/ rate the apothecary No. 008?


Monday, 21 November 2011

Amelia's beautiful bag giveaway+Gallery No. Eight!

So do you remember a couple of months ago, I rediscovered my love for handbags. I splurged (or saved. Depends how you see it!!) on a couple of gorgeous inspired numbers, the Focco and the Miu Miu bow. I was so pleased with them and still feel a bit smug when I catch sight of them now. There really is something about a beautiful bag which brings me to the first point of this post . . .

Amelia's Giveaway

Click here for more pics and entry info!
Amelia is having a giveaway and is putting this brand new bag up as the prize. How generous!! Such a divine colour and such a beautiful looking bag. You can find out how to enter by clicking the link above and once there, make time to read some of Amelia's posts (love them) and swoon over her awesome style.
Good luck!

Gallery No. Eight

Talking of amazing blogs, I just found this one and what an awe-inspiring collection of posts and images. If you're inspired by photos and art (the images from above are both featured on the blog, just how cool are those shoes?!), you need to check this one out. I spent a half an hour or so lost in it last night and just wish I had a fire to curl up in front of, as I peruse and dream!

I hope you all have had a fabulous weekend. Do you have a blog of your own or some favourite bloggers to share. Let me know in the comments.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

The bargain boots!

Just a post to show you some New Look boots, that I purchased a couple of weeks ago. I can't believe that I haven't posted these yet.

Now these have quite a heel, about four and a half inches but they are so comfortable and easy to walk in.

The front of the boot sits on a platform about half an inch high and I think, this helps a lot.

I brought these boots for casual, everyday wear (These are definitely going to be paired with my black lace dress at some point!) and as they are so high, I like the fact that the boot design is so simple. A high, high heel and too much design detail would have put these boots in danger of becoming something else, something not very me.

I love the suedette texture, it is warming and hints at the season we are in and the buckle detail seems in perfect proportion to the boot. While the stitching detail in addition to breaking the black up a little, reminds me of the body con dresses so in fashion at the moment. Yes, a strange association, I know!

These boots are brilliant and just to make them that little bit more amazing, I got them for £13.99 (half price). And er, it seems there are still some available online . . !

And yep, I still can't get enough sparkle, so these little glittery ballet pumps were also obviously destined for the till point! They twinkle so much, they're almost alive.

Please tell me, I'm not the only one obsessed with a little sparkle! Are you a fan of boots? Do you have a boot style? Maybe I should seek some new knee highs next! I hope you're having a good weekend.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Halo: First Impressions!

It is common knowledge by now that I am a self-confessed hair geek. Yesterday, I was in my element as I got to play with my new Halo.

The Halo is a basically a one piece, quadrupled weft to hair heaven. Yes, indeed, there are going to be a whole lot of positives in this first review. There are no clips, glue or tape. It simply attaches to your head with one very small wire.

This wire is not really a wire in a conventional, industrial sense. It is actually very thin and transparent which potentially means less damage to the hair (none of that sticking or pulling nonsense). Of course, damage isn't an issue if the weft is going to fall out anyway.

This, folks, was my main concern with the Halo especially when I first saw the little wire attached to the weft. My joy at opening the parcel (delivered the next day, free of charge! Oh and I had a 10% Twiiter promo code!) was tainted with the doom of the 'this is never going to work, more money down the drain. . .'  thoughts. Argh . . !

Thankfully, I was wrong. I've now worn the halo and I can declare, yes, it really does stay in. Even when you shake your head really vigorously, the ultimate test of any extension! Mel did it a lot better then me!


What is more, the final look really is amazing given the simplicity of the concept. The hair is Indian remy and it feels very silky and soft. The ends are already beautifully tapered and give the extensions a styled look.

I was worried that one piece would be difficult to blend and unbalanced. I suspected that the weft would either be too thin, too heavy or too blunt to blend in to my hair but once in, it blends really well and I still look, like me. I've always being a bit cynical about how generic one pieces could look. I guess, I'm a bit of a control freak and like tape or clips because you have the potential to customise your style a little more but actually with the Halo in, I don't really want to alter the style or change how the hair falls at all.

Sidenote: I took a gamble with the colour match and ordered Darkest Brown. *Happy Dance.* It is a perfect match for my natural hair colour. Personally I think that my Darkest Brown Halo is a little lighter (and possibly has some hints of chocolate in it) then some of the other Dark Brown hair extensions, I have or have dyed. This works for me as my hair has lightened a little lately but I would suggest to others, taking a little time and emailing a pic to the Halo team to get colour matched for free.

Now I've raved about the staying power and the beauty of the Halo, time to consider the application. Hmmm . . .

Given, it is quite easy to get the Halo on to your head, you more or less just place it there. However, covering the wire and getting the natural look took a few goes without a tail comb but with a tail comb, I did it first time and very quickly.

Really, get a tail comb for this one. It is so much easier and the combs are so cheap. Mine cost me nothing, I just used my Boots points! I think I manage to conceal the wire ok, I'm just a little nervous about it showing in the gap for my parting. However, somehow with a tail comb and just pulling the hair over, it appears to have disappeared and I've just backcombed a little at the crown to be sure. The only thing I may need to work on a little is how much hair to pull over the weft on the back of my head as this is where the difference between the length of the extension and natural hair is most apparent.

All in all. I'm very happy with my Halo so far and can not wait to play with it a little more. I want to investigate the styling options further, I know you can leave the wire forgotten in the weft and wear the hair in a bun and ponytail etc which I will try but to be honest, I like to wear my extension as an extension and then pull it up in to a ponytail or bun from there, it feels a little less contrived but we'll see. I might have to compromise with this when it comes to a halo as to take the halo out, you would normally pull it in a ponytail and tug a couple of times so I'm not sure if styling will make the wire slip. Saying that, I have managed a ponytail of some sort ( The Slovenly Saturday style, to be precise) for a couple of hours this morning. No grips and it remains in place, yayyy!

- For those interested, here are some links to some helpful You Tube videos on the Halo:
From Amy, Dazzledust25
From Louise, MakeupLoveer
From Mel, 30somethingmel

Have you tried the Halo? What hairstyle are you choosing this Christmas? Happy Saturday!


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

*Waves* hello!

Just a very quick post today to let you know that I'm still here and have lots of posts planned and hope to get a few up over the next week or so. I just need to sit down and add some finishing touches.
I'm quite busy at the moment and riding many a fad (I'm so whimsical) including:

- The Sleep Cycle App
I am addicted to this app. There are two parts to it. Firstly, it monitors your sleep patterns and secondly, you can activate the alarm function which will wake you within your chosen window when you are in the lightest state of sleep. Apparently you feel much more rested and relaxed if you start your day having awoken from this state. I don't know how this app works but it really does. I've woken up in the night and not even touched the phone and it charts my wake up at precisely the right time. If the phone can pinpoint such times so precisely then I'm pretty sure that what it also charts about the sleep states I move in and out of is also pretty accurate. I haven't used the alarm function yet but now the monitoring function has proven itself then I think, I will activate it very soon to wake me at the 'ideal' time. After all, who doesn't need a good kickstart to the day?!
Sidenote: I have always being fascinated with the workings of the human body and mind, especially sleep. My dreams are always so vivid and real, I just can't believe they come from my little ole brain. Amazing! If like me, you are a bit of a Sleep nerd then this old Zoella post sticks in my mind. Check it out.

- The Get Running App
I'm not going to post too much about this one as Laura has already covered it but despite numerous incidents (including that disastrous first attempt, remember this post), I've stuck at it and miracle of miracles, I haven't broken/twisted anything yet. I'm about to start week three and I really am finding it easier to run that little bit longer and to keep going. Still, it is a given that every session, I will run the first two or three runs quite smugly thinking how easy I'm finding it and that maybe I'll just skip a couple of weeks to the longer runs (those that will really work me!) but then almost immediately, I'm on my fourth run of the day and I'm huffing, puffing and sweating buckets. It happens every time. Nice!
As well as running, it is invigorating and inspiring to get out in the fresh air and go places, the beach, country parks, that I haven't been visiting enough lately! 
- The Halo
After watching Amy's video and seeing a promo code on Twitter today, I have finally given in and ordered a Halo. Given my obsession with hair, it is actually quite surprising that I haven't tried flip in hair yet. I'm hoping it is going to save me some time. Taped extensions take a while to put in and, it doesn't matter that I've used clip ins on and off for years, sometimes they still feel a bit of a daily chore. I do have some concerns about the halo. I'm a little bit worried though about how long the wire will last and if the hair shreds easily but time will tell. I'll keep you informed!

- The Help
This is my latest read. I'm really enjoying it. It hasn't made me cry yet but I've laughed aloud several times. Minny is such a character and I've officially adopted the line 'best thing since hairspray in the can'!

- The Miss Selfridge Dress (and Top Shop lust)

I've still got to finish the post it deserves but I love this dress and am still sneaking a peek at it in the wardrobe every five minutes and I have been known to put it on just to twirrllll. Must get the post up asap.

I really can not justify it but I really like this dress that Top Shop tweeted today. I like the stars, the black and gold colour mix, the sheer sleeves, the floatiness, the shape and the list could continue. . ! Basically, I think that this beauty could be exactly what certain Christmas occasions calls for!

I hope you are all ok. Have you tried flip in hair? What are you currently reading? Any more apps that I need in my life or got a dress that I can swoon over? Tell me about it!


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Credit to No 7 and a skincare update!

For the first time in a while (fingers crossed), I think I can declare that, my skin is in pretty good condition at the moment.
These are my current skincare products:

No 7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser; Lush Tea Tree Water; No 7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum; Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream

I actually think that I will stick with this routine for the time being. It just seems to work for me. Here is a little more about what I think of each product.

No 7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser
I have been in to hot cloth cleansers ever since I first used the Liz Earle one. They really seem to do the job and there is something about the whole regime that really leaves your skin feeling refreshed and yes, polished. I've also used the Soap and Glory one and the Botanics Balm. I have heard that the No 7 one is inferior to Liz Earle. I'm not so sure. I have nothing to complain about as far as the No7 version is concerned and it is so accessible, if you can find a Boots.

Tea Tree Water
This toner is billed to tone and detoxify oily skin with Tea Tree, grapefuit and juniper. Now, I'd say my skin is prone to dryness but I still use this product on cotton wool twice a day in a bid to keep any blemishes away. I also use it if my skin feels a little tingly just in case there is a nasty spot on the way. I just spray it straight on to the tingle and it seems to work. Still (fingers crossed again please) blemish free.

No 7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum
I have been wanting to incorporate a serum in to my skincare routine for a while. Serums no longer seem to be deemed as a luxury extra. They have actually secured a step all of their own in the ideal skincare routine. This one has always being on my radar. Who doesn't remember the headlines when it was first released in 2007 and proven to deliver its claims?!
This product claims to reduce 'the appearance of pores and smoothing lines and wrinkles in just 4 weeks' so I'm hoping it is doing some work on my forehead lines (the work the Frownies shirked) but I haven't really noticed that yet or giving the issue too much attention as the main reason, I brought this product was for the resurfacing. Although I've got rid of those horrible blemishes that blighted me a year or so ago, sometimes my skin still looks a little harassed but this serum promises to 'Reveal younger looking, beautifully refined skin with this powerful blend of protecting and renewing ingredients' and yes, I think my pores look smaller and my skin looks smoother and more refined. Yay!

Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream
This cream seems to be keeping my skin soft without annoying it. I use it twice a day and very occasionally, I feel a little dry around my forehead but that is soon solved with a fix of the Avene Soothing Moisture Mask. There are three big reasons why I like this moisturiser:
1/ It seems to do what a moisturiser is meant to in that it moisturises and keeps the skin soft
2/ It does its work without irritating my skin.
3/ This cream is so easy to use. It sinks in to the skin quickly meaning the face is ready to be made up quickly in the morning and there is no sticky residue on the pillow at night.
Hardly ground-breaking results but I can tell you it is fricking hard to find a moisturiser that delivers in such a manner.

I honestly think that the key to this whole routine is that it seems quite gentle. These products focus more on soothing and gently smoothing rather then attacking and scrubbing. My new routine and its products may seem a bit too simple, compared to some regimes and higher end products but all I can say is look back through my blog, I overlooked gentility and simplicity for a long time. I've used a lot of different skincare products and regimes and I do wonder if some sent my skin in to overdrive.

And also . . .
I really want to give the Boots No7 brand some credit. I have never really took much notice of No 7 before and have mostly only purchased make up brushes or nail polish from them when I've had one of the £5 till vouchers but recently, I've added more of their products to my daily routine and they have really stepped up to the mark.

I have already talked about the cleanser and the serum in this post but I should also give a shoutout to the Lash Adapt Mascara (see earlier post), I'm still loving it! Sometimes, I slap mascara on in the mornings without thinking about it and it is only when I'm taking pictures for this blog that I realise how fantastic this mascara is. It really opens the eye up and adds length. The only but is that as it has aged, I have noticed that this mascara does not behave quite as well as I believed (unlike Max Factor Lash Extension). In the rain, this mascara will smudge and layered up, it does sometimes clump a little on my lashes(contrary to its no clumps marketing claims). However, I'm not one to worry about a clump or two. The final look is more often then not what I mainly rate a mascara on and the wide eyed look produced by this mascara is up there with the best of them.

So at the moment, No 7 definitely falls on the right side of me and next time I need a new beauty product, of whatever nature, I will consider the offerings from No7.

What skincare products are you enjoying? What mascara should I try next? Ha, you know it is going to happen. I never stay loyal to a mascara for long.
Before I go, expect a post soon about my new dress. (This one! Click here!!) I have fallen for this one big time. I keep opening the wardrobe just to look at it!


Monday, 7 November 2011

The sheer New Look top!

Introducing the New Look Sheer Bow Hem Top. This top is typical of some of the fantastic garments hanging in New Look at the moment.

This top is completely sheer and has the potential to be quite alluring. I find sheer fabrics quite complimentary, they remind me of that flattering glow you get in candlelight. Teasing but safe.The fabric draws attention to your body but you haven't got to get any flesh out.

I also like the extra design detail, it makes all the difference and seems to give the delicate top a little more substance. The cuffs adds some interest to the sleeve and the block of  sheer black fabric forming the front. While on the back, the button detail continues with a short column of buttons.

I love how this top looks thrown over a basic longline vest. Instant glamour with a (sheer) twist.
When it comes to this top, the real graft only comes in deciding what to pair it with because I think it could be paired with anything. Jeans, smart black trousers, leather, harem pants, miniskirts, maxi skirts, shorts . . . tick, tick, tick, tick. . !

The little but . . .
I think I've already made it quite clear that I like the design of this top but just be careful,  to check yours if you buy one as there should be a little bow at the side on the waist but mine fell off, the first time I put it on after getting home. To be honest, I'm not too fussed and probably won't go back for an exchange but maybe just check the seams (as we all should, always) before getting to the till.

Of course, I got this in black but it is available in several other colours. I think the mid-pink could add that something to my wardrobe that I haven't yet got.

- Ooh and here are two blogs to check out if you have a train ride to endure or need something to devour before bed. I just love both of these blogs. Their posts are so well written, often very true and always very entertaining: Laura Laments and The Tuesday Girl !

What do you think of the sheer blouse? Do you shop in New Look?


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Skirts and sparklers!

Times are changing for I wore a skirt last night and it wasn't the pencil one! I was just browsing in Next (I thought, I would be safe, I haven't brought any clothes there for a longgg time . . .) when I came across two beautiful skirts.

 I'm so pleased with them and swapped my jeans last night for the navy one (pictured above) and some thick black tights. It worked a treat with my sparkly cardi and the Topshop blue vest (see last post).

This black skirt is a midi one but looks like a maxi on me and I felt very glam, swishing around in it, when I got back to my flat. I'm quite proud as I always thought long skirts would swamp me but it is actually quite flattering. The block of black might actually make my legs look slightly longer!


Yay, firework night was no washout. I had a lovely evening with my family. My parents had a little shindig. Sparklers, rockets and jacket potatoes. . , in my opinion, the best way to spend bonfire night. My little nephew is four now and seems at the perfect age to embrace it all. He was so excited at first, shouting that one was 'cool' and 'another one please'. Though by the end, he was a little blase and fireworks were so last year. In fact, after the last firework went off, he decided Christmas was almost here and that was to be the important business of the night. I think, the Argos book even came out!


I've also had a go at the Get Running App that Laura  (she is doing a giveaway for ten winners to get a free one. It ends today so be quick if you want a shot!) blogged about earlier in the week. The app is great but the run was a bit of a disaster! As I'm usually more comfortable on a treadmill, I decided to go out of town to do my run so that nobody could see me. The problem being that every time the lady said, 'Start running again now', it was just as the footpath met some steep bank or scrambled trees. So I'm not sure how much running I actually did but I decided as long as I was moving, I was doing something. However, the terrain was not the only factor that I hadn't planned for. I also lost my car keys somewhere along the line and then I lost the footpath and could see it would be dark soon.

Luckily (reclaimed keys in hand), I found my car (the last one left) in the car park just as the sun was setting. Looking on the bright side, it meant I got to catch some gorgeous views on my phone.

All in all, what with the shopping, scenery and sparklers, yesterday was almost the perfect Saturday. Did you have a good bonfire night? What do you do to keep fit? Oh and any skirt recommendations as they might just be my new obsession?!!


Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Cute Cardi!

Today, I'm sitting in waiting for a delivery. Hurry up! So I thought I would make the best of it and show you what I have been pairing with my new navy TopShop vest (that I posted yesterday) in a look that falls very much within my comfort zone.

This is the sequin yarn cropped cardi from New Look and it is so darn cute. The New Look website really does not do it justice. It is basically a slightly cropped black cardi with little sequins randomly thrown in the mix to give the look a little twinkle.

I can imagine wearing this cardi with almost all of my tops (after all, the black cardi is my staple! I find them so much more fitting and flattering then jumpers.) but I particularly like wearing it with this navy one and some jeans. Black and navy has the potential (like a lot in my wardrobe) to provide an express ticket to Boreville but here, the vest and jeans provide the outfit with a nice neat base and then the black sparkly cardi just looks that much more pretty and seems to twinkle more over such a simple ensemble and colour scheme.

Cute, cosy and best of all effortless, you ain't going to hear me complaining about that!

And just in case, you're wondering this is the River Island coat that I really wish I had to throw on over my twinkly  ensemble when I eventually get out today. I've been swooning over this coat online at least once a day for the last three or four days but do I really need another coat, especially one as frivolous as this?!

Do you work the sequins and wear a little bit of sparkle sometimes?


Friday, 4 November 2011

A scentastic confession or two!

Now I have mentioned, my intentions to shop the perfume collection (see The Perfume Post!) that I already have before buying any more scents.

Er, yeah, right, you know what they say about good intentions and all that . . !

To be honest, the perfume whore that I am, was always deemed to break this little pledge and yes, indeed, I have failed and what's more, I did so, in a pretty pathetic manner succombing to temptation not once but twice.

So lets meet my achilles heels, scent-style!

Firstly, we have the original Jimmy Choo fragrance which I brought just month or so ago. Now this one was on my wishlist for a while. When it was released, there was a lot of hype and many positive posts and reviews floating around. In my mind, it became a perfume that I would definitly possess soon and the time has come.

This perfume is meant to be a fruity chypre. It includes some quite unusual notes such as Tiger Orchard, Toffee and Pear Nectar. I find it comparable to Gucci, Flora in that it feels quite a sophisticated scent to wear. I know that Fleur De Force felt it was perhaps too sweet and it certainly does have sweet notes but I don't find them too overdone or cheap smelling. I find the sweetness flutters happily among the deeper Indian Patchouli base note. It is certainly a scent I would feel comfortable wearing to dinner and is one that I have worn shopping Gucci, Flora (see a review of Flora here) style a couple of times. This perfume is a joy to wear and just makes me feel a bit more ladylike. Also of note, is the long amount of time that a spray or two of this scent lingers on your skin. This perfume is more or less the embodiment of how I imagine a fragrance should be which might be why I, already, have so little left.

Secondly, I have purchased Lady Million again. To be honest, it is now November and consequently, stocking up on this fabulous fragrance was inevitable. Yes, after raving about this perfume last October (here), I continued to wear it day after day until it ran out. Consequently, Lady Million has become my designated Autumn scent. I really do love this one and I think, it has got to be in my top three perfumes of all time. The heart notes consist of neroli, arabian jasmine and orange flower with top notes of bitter orange and fleshy raspberry and base notes of vibrant patcholi and honey.

It has being hyped as a perfume for excess and wealth. According to The Perfume Shop, the best is never enough for the woman that adorns this.

Hmmm, she sounds a bit scary.

However, I don't feel like a power freak or a superstar bitch wearing it. Indeed, its scent is unique and unmistakable but I feel warm, happy and glowy wearing this number. It is heavy and deep but still very pretty and again, long lasting. Although Lady Million is particulary suited to darker nights and this time of year, it is a perfume I would happily wear anytime doing anything. Normally, I put scents in to certain situation or mood categories. For example, I would wear Ghost to a job interview or dinner but I would never wear it to a music festival. However, with Lady Million, I really do think it is a scent that you can get away with anywhere. I really can not recommend sniffing this one out if you get the chance, it is so gorgeous and I have never smelt a scent like it which is why if I had to pick between the two, Lady Million beats Jimmy Choo. Still thank goodness, I haven't had to make that choice and they have both become welcome additions to a collection that never seems to shrink!

Although, lets take a moment, to give me a little credit. Yes, I blatantly broke my oath but with all the pre-christmas perfume promo out there, I have probably resisted temptation ten times over to shop a scent or two. A little pat on the back then, maybe?!

- In other news, my perfume collection is not the only collection blooming. I've also added to my TopShop vest collection (you can see my earlier rave here) with a navy blue.

They are not the cheapest vests but honestly, they are so verstatile and easy to wear. More often then not, I have being wearing the pink or dirty green one so it just made common sense to pick another one up when fate threw it in to my line of sight.

You can view the top on the TopShop site here.

- As for the reading fest, I'm still on it. . . just about! However, I'm not finishing the books as quickly as I'd hoped. I never realised how much I must have read commuting from A to B in the past. Now, that I get myself there and back, I realise I don't have as much time to read. However, I'm doing my best and I'm just about to finish Matched by Allie Condie.

This has been an easy book to pick up (when I do find the time). I'm a sucker for a love story and I'm also a bit guilty of doing the 'what if' so I like the questions that Matched throws up about society as a whole. The detail that Condie has put in to her alternative world is immense, the prose flows very well and there are also some ocassional paragraphs or lines which really resonate with meaning. It won't take much effort for me to read the last 70 pages or so tonight and then I get to pick my next book to read from all of these.

Lately I have become a bit of a magpie when it comes to books. Most of these are unread relics purchased years ago or purchases from charity shops (Matched was £1.49!). I can not recommend picking up your books in charity shops enough. Books seem to have made a bit of a comeback recently and are getting a lot of hype in the media. You can walk in to any charity shop and find, almost immediatly, several current bestsellers and book club/blogger favourites for about a quarter of the cover price. I got The Help and Room from an Amazon, Love Film offer but I've seen them in nearly every charity shop I've been in recently. In one charity shop, I spotted a book I read earlier in the year which I'm not sure I've mentioned here, No and Me by Delphine de Vigan. It was such a sweet book, short but paced beautifully. Recommend!
- I do admit to buying 'The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten' Julian Baggini from Waterstones this week after seeing Gemma's fantastic book haul. This book will get my brain in to gear and sounds right up my my street. It presents you with all these different thought scenarios like, 'Is it ok to eat meat?' then puts some 'ifs' in to the equation such as 'Is it ok to eat meat if the pig wants to be eaten?' I can be a bit of a geek sometimes and get a bit of 'rush' from debates such as these so hopefully I'll love this book as much as I love the Sunday Herald quote on the back,
'. . .It's one to which I'll keep returning- whenever I feel like an argument and have nobody to argue with.'

Any plans for the weekend? As usual, any book or scent recommendations welcome. Inbetween fireworks and Chocolate Brek (another Autumn fad, I'm virtually living on the stuff at the moment), I'm hoping to get a few posts written. I've got some purchases from TopShop and New Look to share with you all as well as a few beauty and hair treats.

Oh and I nearly forgot, this is another 'To Do' this weekend, I will find some suitable products and master this make up look from Pixiwoo. Absolutely stunning!



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