Friday, 29 May 2015

Because Zara.

I think the title says it all. Zara has gone from being a store that 10 years ago, I wouldn't have looked at twice, to the one store I must visit whenever I'm at the shops. I could honestly gush on about them for hours, but I won't. Instead I'll let these pictures do the talking...


I'm usually more of an autumn / winter sort of girl when it comes to fashion -  because I don't always find spring summer clothing particularly inspiring. And that's in any shop - I'm not singling out Zara in particular here. However the British high street has been a mine of spring summer wonderfulness this year. Zara I find is always strong, and this season is no exception. I just knew my spring summer wardrobe wouldn't be complete without the long denim shirt or the lace dress. And I think my wardrobe hangers are sighing a sigh of relief at the prospect of there being a shirt which isn't white.


Summer and crochet go hand in hand so the shorts and off the shoulder dress were a no brainer. The leather clutch was a bit of an impulse buy as I love all things ombre. Don't know when I'll use it - or why I need it - but isn't that always the way?

What are your current spring summer favourites?

Friday, 22 May 2015

Your summer wardrobe sorted

Give me one sunny day and I'm in full blown summer mode. Yesterday it reached 20 degrees Celsius and didn't rain once - this is tropical by London's standards. Along with the excitement of better weather coming our way, also comes the realisation that when it does come, I have absolutely nothing to wear. My London wardrobe is full of jackets, jeans and knits - I'm just not equipped for any sort of heatwave. This had to change. I hunted down some new summer pieces from Missguided which instantly made me feel more summery. Now all we need is for the sun to stay...


I have a full blown obsession with white at the moment. Be it white lace, white broderie, white shirts, white dresses or white skirts. Something white seems to work itself into every order that I place. Whilst I'm trying to restrain myself on the whole whites thing, I just couldn't resist this beautiful lace midi skirt and off the shoulder cheesecloth dress. Nothing says summer more than white lace. And how beautiful is the mint midi skirt?  For a mere £10, it's an absolute bargain. The floral dress is the perfect festival dress but because of its vintage look and feel, also wouldn't look out of place if you wore it walking around some of the more hipster parts of London!

What are your summer go to pieces?

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The perfect Little Black Dress

What makes the perfect Little Black Dress? Maxi, midi or mini? Body con or a looser fit? Long sleeves, short sleeves, spaghetti straps or strapless? I have my own ideas about what constitutes the perfect LBD, but never did I expect to say body con. This sort of dress says to me... office worker, bank employee or contestant on The Apprentice. But I stand corrected. Recently House of Fraser very kindly sent me a dress for review purposes. I love a black dress as much as the next person, but body con scares the bejesus out of me. I used to wear these sorts of dresses all the time when I worked in a bank, but that was a good few years ago. Way before I developed an addiction to burgers and along with it, hips the size of a small country. But I remained open minded.

When I received the dress what first struck me was how lovely the material was. When I've worn this sort of style before, it was very much office wear so was tailored, tight material that wasn't very comfortable at all. This dress from their Therapy concession range is light, stretchy, forgiving and definitely not stiff like traditional work wear. What impressed me the most was how flattering a dress it was. It creates curves in the right places and sucks you in at the waist, creating a beautiful silhouette. That morning I expected to try it on, take some outfit pictures, and then change into something else for the rest of the day. But oh the comfort. I ended up wearing the dress all day long.


As the dress fit so well and is so classic, I decided to keep my look relatively simple opting for white heels to keep the look monochrome and only wore simple jewellery so as to make the dress the main focal point.

I always thought these sorts of dresses to be office appropriate only, but the dress was the perfect fit and I felt so unbelievably confident in it (something I never thought to be possible in body con!) that I will definitely be wearing this for social occasions outside of work. In fact I'll be wearing it for a date this weekend.

If you fancy giving the dress a try yourself, it's the perfect time to do so as it's on sale at the moment! Grab yourself a bargain whilst you can by clicking here.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Alice Look

This year is a very special year for all Alice in Wonderland enthusiasts like myself. This year celebrates 150 years of this very special text which has been read - and used as inspiration - worldwide. To celebrate it's 150th anniversary, this is being marked by several events in London in 2015. Some of you may of heard of Alice Underground (I've yet to go!), Macmillan has announced it's re-releasing some of the texts in 2015, and there's currently an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition hosted at the Museum of Childhood in London's Bethnal Green.


The exhibition hosts a collection of books, images and outfits showing the impact and amount of influence the book has had on pop culture. What was most interesting to me, was how the image of Alice has transformed over the years to fit in with the fashions of the time. Little changes like frills added to her apron, a fuller skirt, ribbons in her hair and a more defined waist. It was interesting how Disney has shaped our perception of how we think Alice should look - because in the first colour illustration of Alice, she was in fact wearing a yellow dress not a blue one.


In some texts, she is depicted as wearing a black and white check skirt, a pink t-shirt, or even jeans!


It was also interesting how the image of Alice - and her attire - varies from country to country. For years it has been a major form of inspiration for the Harajuku girls in Japan - particularly Lolita style.


There has been Alice in Wonderland inspired Liberty print for Vans
 

... as well as appearing in fashion editorials, Temperley London's shop window and Vogue


Younger visitors to the museum are  encouraged to design their own Alice outfit - a variety of ages participated, most of the designs very cute.
 

My favourites included an East London hipster Alice who wears culottes as they're both "on trend" and "practical"


... and let's not forget "stroppy Alice" (definitely had a giggle there!)


 Most drawings adhered to the well known dress and apron combo - because why change a classic?


Although not a massive exhibition, it's definitely worth a visit. Ideal for those who are really pushed for time, as it's right at the front of the museum and will only take you about 10-15 minutes to look around... if that. The Alice Look will be at London's Museum of Childhood until 1st November 2015. You can find out more about the exhibition and museum here.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Streets of Spain

One of the highlights of being in London this bank holiday weekend was #streetsofspain on the South Bank. A short walk away from Waterloo station, delicious aromas of meats, spices and Campo Viejo wine filled the air. The very experience of being there reminded me of the La Boqueria market in Barcelona and lots of lovely memoires came flooding back. As the sun came out and the temperatures crept up, we craved ice cold beverages. The sangria, although mostly ice, did the job.


We browsed the different stalls, seeing what was on offer.


To give you an idea of how busy it got...


The longest queue was for the chorizo and rocket sandwiches, so instead we queued for paella... which wasn't much better. There was a choice of chicken paella (chicken leg, thyme, saffron, runner beans and butter beans) or seafood paella (two types of mussels, king prawns, peas, peppers and saffron). Both cooked in vast quantities:


It had to be the seafood paella. We queued for what seemed like a lifetime... but it was worth it!


I love events like this and can't wait for the next foodie event to hit London. Anyone know when and what the next one will be? There was a Malaysian food market at the South Bank over the weekend too - I didn't have a chance (or space in the belly!) to taste anything, but it all smelt pretty darn amazing!
 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

It's my birthday!

I've had a lovely - if busy - birthday weekend spent with my loved ones. I've been spoilt for choice with food, stayed in the loveliest hotel near London Bridge (review coming soon!) and enjoyed a day off work today (my birthday is actually today!). Blogging will resume later this week when I've had a chance to catch up on sleep and go through all my photos!

Here are a selection from my phone for the time being...


Birthday shoes!

Burgers, cider, and bourbon 'n' vanilla milkshakes at MEATMISSION

Right now I'm en route to dinner with my family which will probably involve ribs or another meat feast of some kind! 

Thank you for all your lovely birthday messages and Tweets so far!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The ultimate birthday gift guide / wishlist

scrabble ring  //  flowers //  yellow courts  //  floral straws and mason jar
pink courts // vouchers //  playing card bag // artwork

My wish list this year is a lot more homeware orientated - whether it be vouchers for my favourite places to buy homeware from, or specific items to decorate my home with, like that lovely terrarium. I am still obsessed by all things copper and rose gold - such as copper storage baskets for the home, and don't even get me started on those rose gold headphones and rose gold make-up brushes. Swoon. As ever, candles remain prominent on my wishlist (you can never go wrong with a candle!). Mango peach salsa are my favourite Yankee Candles - although their newest range which includes pain au raisin and tarte tatin are intriguing. I love mason jars, milk bottles and other kitsch "drink me" type glassware filled with patterned paper straws. Another Alice in Wonderland shout out to that amazing ace of hearts bag which matches my favicon perfectly! Lately I've been a fan of the lady-like shoe - namely embellished ballet pumps and low courts. I never used to do pink and I never used to do colour - so it shows what this ageing malarkey is doing to me(!) Never thought I'd hear myself say this... but how darling are the yellow pair? Oh to have all of these in a UK size 6...

My birthday is a few days away now (Tuesday 5th May if you're interested!). It's always nice having a birthday in early May because of the long weekend you get with the UK bank holiday. Wishing all my UK based readers a lovely long weekend, and everyone outside the UK a lovely weekend too! :) Do let me know what you're up in the comments!