Sunday, 17 November 2013

A Little Bit of Skirt

When I'm not in a black dress and oversized cardi, I love wearing little patterned skirts. They add a touch of colour and interest to my otherwise witchy black wardrobe. I thought I'd photograph a few from my collection to make me remember what I do have and encourage me to switch it up a little more often.

Zara sale £10

I  absolutely love this little wraparound skirt. In fact, I really like the wraparound style in general. If you know of any interesting skirts in this style, please let me know! I love the aztecy patterns and the particular shades of blue on this skirt. Always feel a little bit more confident in it.

Primark. Probably £10
Sorry, I'm so rubbish with remembering prices! Maybe I should leave them out, but I've started now. Anyway, this inexpensive skirt is another fave. I like the way that it sits above my hips and of course is in the usual flowy style. Tartan print= thumbs up from me (and on trend etc etc).

Urban Outfitters, £38.
  Even though this is slightly expensive for what it is (UO in a nutshell) I was still drawn to this pretty floral skirt. This one is good for layering. I've got a story to tell about Urban Outfitters...I've gone off of the shop recently because of this, and I will share it with you because I trust you, yes. So, I was in the changing room trying on a skirt very similar to this, but with a tartan print. I had a size S and found that it didn't fit right. I asked the sales assistant for an XS and she radioed someone asking for that size. I waited for a bit and then poked my head out of the changing room to see what was going on. Sales lady came up to me and said 'sorry you've been waiting. What size was it you wanted again, a large?' Instead of correcting her, I had to hold back tears and ended up squeaking 'don't worry' and ran out of the shop. Ha. Upset me though. 

Zara sale. 
Really can't remember the price of this one. I love the swishiness of this skirt. It's quite a thick material but not too stiff and feels really good quality. Love wearing this with a bright red lip. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

(Oversized) Cardigan Queen

Cardigan Queen...that's me. I consider an outfit incomplete without a good cardi. Now, this may have something to do with my dislike of my arms and the cold weather in England, but let's ignore that for a moment. Cardigans are super. They are warm and cosy, there are so many different styles and patterns and they definitely jazz up a little black dress.

My favourite cardigans of all are those that are oversized and pretty much double as a blanket. Perfect, portable hideaway space. Here's just a few of mine (the b/f got tired of taking photos):

The first is this chunky ivory cable knit from Topshop. I purchased this from the Petite section of Topshop a fair few years ago and it's still going strong. Sometimes I find the chunkiness a bit overbearing when I'm moving around, like I just want to whip it off, but it's perfect for the chilly weather. And, I have to say, I quite like the way it looks.

Next is this Grey/White cardi from River Island, I think. I'm not usually keen on the stuff from River tends to be a bit bling for my (granny-like) taste, but sometimes it comes up with a few gems. This is substantial without being too chunky. Still nice and cosy. Being monochrome, it goes with my mostly black wardrobe but still, shockhorror, adds a bit of brightness.

These photos aren't too clear (didn't want to pester S too much!) but this one is a fairly thin green cable knit from Primark. I bought it last year, I think, so not sure if they have something similar this year. I love the dark Autumnal colouring of this one, and should wear it more often than I should.

Last but not least, what I call my grandad jumper, because it looks like something my gdad would have worn in the 90s. Purple, with black diamonds zigzagging all over it, It's a whopper of a cardi and verges on looking like I raided my dad's wardrobe, rather than simply oversized, but I do love it. I got it from Urban Outfitters a few years ago. The material is actually quite scratchy, but I still loves it.

Are you a cardigan fan? Any to recommend?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Winter Coat

Almost every winter I have a debate with myself over the (very serious) matter of winter coats. Do I continue wearing my beloved but worn number, or do I begin the long task of finding the 'perfect' winter coat? (or at least one that doesn't make me resemble the michelin man...)

This is last year's winter coat:

I got it from the petite section in Topshop for the reasonable sum of £70. It definitely served me well and I still wear it when I want to feel snug and cosy. 

This year, I wanted to go for something slightly more sophisticated. Actually, it was inspired by a woman I saw in Starbucks. She was wearing a sheer shirt, so sheer that you could see her bra! I mean, seriously! Aside from that, she was wearing a sophisticated black coat which looked rather lovely. Don't know what taking fashion inspiration from a lady that feels the need to flash says about me, but whatever. It was a nice coat!

Probably because I had a coat style in mind, I found my perfect winter coat in a flash (ha!) I went into Zara and found this straight away. 

This was £109. Slightly more expensive than my last, but there we go. It's not the thickest of coats, which personally I like. However, you can crank up the warmth factor with a big old snuggly scarf, like so: 

 Have you managed to find your 'perfect' winter coat yet?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Our Little House

We've recently (as in, a year ago) moved into our own little place. It was a blank canvas, so how to decorate it was entirely up to us. Now, I'm pretty awful when it comes to buying furniture...I flip between wanting something modern and antique and become fairly attached to objects pretty quickly. So when we went settee shopping, I wanted the first one I sat on and enjoyed because I got used to it and felt...that it belonged with us. Like I didn't want to leave it behind. Haha, you can see how easy it would be for a salesperson to get me to buy something.

Anyway, we ended up buying an apple green settee and cuddler (big, squishy chair that spins around, very cool) which is very comfortable, but I'm not sure I like the colour now. It somehow feels a bit too...happy for winter. As you walk in it seems to scream 'helllllllo, I know you've just had a wonderful day, why don't you share your joyous news with me as you rest in my HAPPY green arms!' Not really, but it's clear I let my furniture affect my mood far too much!

We didn't have a bed for about 3 weeks, so we slept on the floor until we finally decided on one. I very nearly purchased a big old (expensive) bed from Dreams because I felt sorry for the salesperson (duh) but luckily S made the final decision there and we bought a much cheaper and still comfortable one from Ikea. Oh, we've had many a trip to Ikea...

So yes. I'm not sure whether I like everything (will I ever?) but it's our little space and I do love it. I'll stop waffling now and show you some pictures.

We try to collect paintings/posters (usually the latter, for we are not rich) from our travels to make the house a little more comforting. I think my favourite room is actually the spare room, which is where the rail and desk photographed above are kept. I retreat there to work, test out outfits and run on my treadmill (not often enough). 

So there it is. Our little space.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A Walk in the Woods

I do love going for a walk on a Saturday, especially when it's Autumn and the wind is slightly blowing (not too much though, those scarves are a bugger to keep in place) and the streets are a carpet of yellowy brown leaves. Today we went to one of our usual spots, Hampstead Heath. I was clearly dressed for the occasion:

 Autumnul hues are my favourite. And oh, here I am wearing one of the scarves from yesterday's post. That's our plant, Esther, in the photo. First plant that we have kept alive for more than, oh say, 3 days. Pretty good for us.

Can't go to a forest without posing by a great old tree. 

As well as enjoying a therapeutic pound in the woods, I love looking at the twee houses on the way. I am pretty happy with my little lot, but it would be wonderful to be able  to afford one of those frankly stunning  houses. I always have a nose through the windows and see the ornate frontings, floor to ceiling bookshelves, huge paintings and quirky ornaments and imagine that I live there.Sigh. Here is a photo showing me looking and probably sighing, ha.

However, I didn't covet this....thing. You are a house, not a ship! 

So yes, that was our day. Oooh, we also purchased some MULLED WINE to have this evening. Oh yes. I love the sweetest, usually cheapest mulled wine in our normagiant wine glasses (seriously, those things can carry half a bottle of wine...for those 'but I only had 2 glasses' excuses). 

Happy weekend. What did you get up to? 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Scarves, scarves, scarves.

I do love a scarf or two. Or threefourfive. Especially now that it's the time of year where you can mention Chrismas and all of the cosiness that it implies...eee. The snuggly socks, the hot chocolate (Earl Grey Tea) by the open fire (central heating). Ok, so it's the idea of winter cosiness that I like. And scarves definitely play a part in that snug as a bug feeling. Shame I'm too scared of my beloved scarves getting wet most of the time to actually wear them, as I almost always forget to bring an umbrella. But that can change...

On to the scarves, of which I own rather a few I realise. Apologies for the rubbishy lighting/set up. I left my camera at work and getting an ipad to stand up by itself is a task and a half!

Scarf #1: Tartan. Zara. 
 Huge scarf that can double as a picnic blanket. This thing is so soft and warm and snuggly and, if you care about those things, right on trend what with the tartan and all that.

Scarf #2 Mustard. Zara. 
I'm loving this colour at the moment, which may have something to do with all the pretty leaves on the ground. Another cosy scarf that goes well with my mostly monochrome wardrobe. Slightly thinner than the tartan blanket of a scarf.

Scarf #3 Pink Splashes. Topshop. 
Sorry for this terrible pic, which isn't showing the scarf too well. This is much thinner than the other two, and is something I would wear with an LBD for a more sophisticated feel. I love the look of this and how swishy I feel when I'm wearing it, but I struggle to keep these things on all day. How do you do it?! Safety pin? Brooch?

Scarf #4 Sea. Primark. 
Playing around with the filter on this one. This scarf is pretty thin, another one that I'd wear to jazz up a little black dress. I should wear this one more often actually, it stays at the bottom of my scarf basket most of the time. Will add a splash of brightness in the winter months (well, with my closet it's always the winter months...)

Scarf #5. Pink Ruffles. M&S. 
This was a gift from my fiance's sister (still feels weird typing fiance!) last Christmas. At first I wasn't too sure about it, what to style it with, yada yada, but actually, it's quite pretty. Will experiment with this more soon...

Scarf #6 Colourful Blotches. Primark.
Another 'spruce up your LBD' scarf.

Scarf #7 Gold Patterned. Monsoon. 
So when I purchased this I had an image in my head. Long black Laura Ashley Dress. Oversized sunnies. Black court shoes. And this golden scarf for a touch of class. Worked in my head but I never got round to creating that look in reality. YET!

My cute little teddy bear hat for good measure. I see children in this. Not the look I'm going for, but comfy all the same.

Do you have baskets full of scarves? If you do, show me! I love a good nose.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

New month, new goals...

 Hello there.

Last month feels like such a blur. I've been so busy, which I secretly love (spare time scares me) but I have realised just how much better I feel when I take a rest and exercise and eat well. Surprise that, eh? Hmm. Towards the end of last term I felt so run down and ill, never rested, that it became the norm. There are certain things I can't change...working full time, doing a masters, tutoring and commuting for over an hour to work and an hour and a bit back each day can't be changed. But my eating and sleeping habits and general attitude can! Oh yeah, so enthusiastic there.

So this is what I aim *vow* to achieve this month:

Yesterday I went for my first non-forced run (ie, I didn't feel like I was about to fall asleep on the treadmill) and it felt SO good. I stepped off feeling nice and energised, like I could take on anything, which is how it should be. That was also due to listening to Hairspray songs and belting out 'Good Morning Baltimore' a hundred times. So yes. Exercise being helpful= acknowledged.

Next month's exercise: 

*I know I'm late to the bandwagon, but I want to try Jillian Michael's 30 day shred. 
So that, every day.  

*Using the treadmill for at least 30 mins 3X a week.

*Swimming once every 2 weeks.

Now I'm going to be a bit wishy-washy on this one. Basically, I want to eat a diet that looks something like this:

B/f: Big bowl of bran cereal to fuel me for the day.
L: on the a marmite sandwich and apple (was having protein bars)
D: I always struggle to think of ideas...but variation of tuna/broccoli or sweet potato and cottage cheese.

Possibly a few snacks too. We'll see how this goes, but I want to eat more healthily than I did this month!
I have a long commute so I get to read a fair bit. I want to start enjoying reading on the train again. At the moment I have been resorting to my course textbooks and Jacqueline Wilson books for comfort! I have a whole stack of books waiting for me, I just need to dare to delve into them.

I want to experiment with my outfits. I have a whole lot of clothes and usually stick to the same old outfits. Blogging here will help me to document/get inspirations, and my 'clothes for the week rail' that I purchased last week should help too (see below)

Do you have any aims for next month?