Saturday 21 December 2013

Back to black (and grey)

Another online order lacking in colour. Quelle surprise. But hey, it's autumn / winter. It's all about leather, quilting, and clashing textures don't ya know? Both the quilted tops will look perfect with chunky jewellery layered on top. And imagine the black lace of the shorts peeking out from under a chunky knit. Topshop, you've done me proud.

FACT #1: You can never have too much black in your wardrobe.
FACT #2: There is no such thing as too much cake. 
FACT #3: The likelihood of me making cake whilst wearing the above? Very high.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Front Row, models, and tiny speedos at Clothes Show Live

The above title pretty much sums up my visit to Clothes Show Live last week. I went on the Monday so it was nearing the end of the overall event. It was the perfect time to go as prices were starting to be slashed. In particular, goody bags filled with the likes of Company, Cosmopolitan, x2 editions of Elle and some lovely little freebies were going for £2 a bag. Yes you read that correctly. £2 per bag. Considering Elle retails at £4 an issue, this was an amazing saving.

The beauty hall in particular is well worth a visit if you go. Brands such as Barry M, Models Own and Mint were offering the most incredible deals. Models Own for example offered a bag of treats worth a staggering 60 odd quid for just a tenner. This contained a nail care kit, lip balm, make-up, nail art pen, mirror, their official Clothes Show Live nail polish - an absolute dream of a shade - choice of two magazines and three additional nail polishes of your choice. Bearing in mind how much Models Own nail polishes retail for EACH, unsurprisingly most people jumped on this offer.

For me, the highlight of the show was the main catwalk show. Hosted by Henry Holland, it was a 45 minute spectacle of fashion, dance and amazing music. I very luckily managed to reserve front row seats in advance so had a very nice view of the male models ;) See if you can spot Jade, former winner of BNTM and face of Clothes Show Live this year:

There were also various other catwalk shows that day. Although I'm not really into reality TV, I do love America's Next Top Model and Britain's Next Top Model. So I was very excited to learn that the BNTM girls from the latest cycle were doing their own catwork show:

All in all it was an amazing day. A long day, but worth it. My shoulders still ache from carrying everything back to London:

It's a great place to pick up presents so next year I plan to do some of my Christmas shopping there!

Have you ever been to Clothes Show Live?

Saturday 14 December 2013

What's under my little black dress...

To celebrate LBD season, Ann Summers are currently hosting a competition [competition now closed] with some amazing prizes on offer just in time for Christmas.

The prizes:

  • One overall winner will win £900 of LoveToShop vouchers and Ann Summers vouchers to the value of £100
  • Two runners up will win a £50 Ann Summers voucher each
  • Everyone that enters is eligible for a discount code that will give you 15% off your next purchase from Ann Summers

All you need to do is create a collage of what you would wear under your LBD this festive season,

Here is my entry:
Topshop earrings  //   Ann Summers corset  //  ASOS heels  //  ASOS dress // ASOS faux pony clutch

I chose an Ann Summers corset as it's Christmas and time for something a little dressier and extra special, don't you think? Plus a covered up middle when it's freezing outside? WIN. I'd pair my corset with simple black lace French knickers and some silky stockings - both from Ann Summers, of course. Ann Summers has a stunning range of lingerie - I could quite easily buy it all - but on this occasion I was drawn to their corsets as I've never owned a corset before.

What are your current Ann Summers favourites? 


Thursday 12 December 2013

Raising money for Save The Children with Christmas Jumper Day

As many of you are aware, Friday 13th December this year marks Christmas Jumper Day. A day which not only gives you the perfect excuse to dig out your winter woollies, but also raises money for a wonderful cause - Save The Children.

Forever the huge Home Alone fan, the increasingly talked about Home Alone jumper was the one for me. Seeing it sold at both ends of the pricing spectrum (£40 in Topshop Oxford Circus - WHY???), I scored mine for a mere £9 from eBay. Praise be.

I located a UK based seller as I didn't want to pay extortionate P&P. The quality itself isn't bad. There were a few loose threads here and there from transit, but for £9 I hardly mind. The material is very soft and thankfully isn't itchy - an added bonus.

You can find out more about Christmas Jumper Day and how to donate here

Will you be supporting Christmas Jumper day this year?

Sunday 8 December 2013

Yankee Candle advent calendar

Remember my advent calendar post the other week? I decided to treat myself to the Yankee Candle advent calendar as this was more "me". I love most of the beauty ones but could not justify spending £50-80 on an advent calendar - what if you have an allergic reaction to a product? You've then just paid a fortune to be red skinned and puffy faced at Christmas, eek.

The calendar itself was much bigger than I expected when it arrived. Every day you receive a tea light sized candle. This seemed a bit stingy to me, but if you think about it, tea lights are designed to burn for a few hours. And seeing as the whole premise of this calendar would be to have a candle a day, a few hours burn time constitutes an evening. So it works.

My one disappointment was that there are six candles you receive in rotation - so you don't get unique candles for those 20 odd days. I know that Yankee Candle has a wide range of other festive candles - such as Christmas Eve, Christmas Memories and Cranberry Ice - so they should have had enough in their range to have a bit more variety within their advent calendar.

Also I'm finding that three of the six candles they've supplied are very similarly scented - all very sweet with vanilla tones. So for the first few days I was checking the back of the box in confusion and was still none the wiser. Was it "Christmas cookie"? Or was it "Merry Marshmallow"? I think the calendar itself could be improved if when you opened each door, it told you what candle you have that day.

The last few nights, I have been transported away to my own personal Winter Wonderland where the air is filled with spices, maple, apples, cedar wood and juniper berries. Oh I bloody love this time of the year.

Friday 6 December 2013

Christmas wrapping paper inspiration

I don't care what anyone says, but wrapping presents is one of the most exciting things about Christmas prep. At least I think so. I love simplicity - think simple paper tied up with string / twine / ribbon and decorated with candy canes / foliage / pine cones / DIY touches like home baked biscuits wrapped in cellophane:

All images from WeHeartIt

Last year I used brown paper, holly, ivy and candy cane inspired twine:

How are you wrapping your presents this year?

Friday 29 November 2013

7 alternatives to chocolate advent calendars

We're mere days away from December. Then the count down begins. Oh my.

Have you got to that age where although chocolate is still awesome, you feel like chocolate advent calendars are a little done? There was a time where eating chocolate first thing in the morning was exciting. It felt naughty. Now it seems to have lost its novelty. Each year more and more brands are jumping on the advent calendar band wagon. Admittedly mostly beauty brands / products. But as you will see below, there are some lovely other little surprises to be found behind each door:

Body Shop advent calendar: I've seen this featured on some blogs lately and the selection looks amazing. I haven't managed to locate any online or in my local store though. Not sure if it sold out, or if it was just a blogger promo / sample type dealio.

Yankee Candle advent calendar: Fill your house with the smell of Christmas on the days leading up to the holiday - to me, this feels like the most festive of all the advent calendars I've seen. But then I have major candle bias. Love 'em.

Benefit advent calendar: A great way of trying out new beauty products

Boots advent calendar: A more affordable version of the Selfridges one (below)

Whisky advent calendar: If you like whisky and you've got more money to spare, this would be a very merry count down!

Ciaté nail polish advent calendar: A nail polish a day. Genius.

Selfridges beauty advent calendar: Always sells out in record time. But with daily delights from Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, etc, this is hardly surprising. Each year I um and ah over the price - trust me, it's a LOT. I decide to give it a try and what... it's sold out? Well I guess that answers that then.

What would your ideal advent calendar contain?

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Party on with ASOS

Awards night with work is just two weeks away and I literally have nothing to wear. With ASOS currently offering 30% off all party wear, it was meant to be:

TFNC maxi dress -  £45  £36   //    TFNC prom dress£35  £26   //   AX Paris prom dress - £40  £20   //  Same as before

I love the elegance of the maxi dress - although the shorter length dresses are more playful and very me - and how gorgeous are those embellished dresses? It was too difficult to decide so being the crazy person that I am, I ordered them all. Shop now, decide later. Fingers crossed, one of these will be The Dress!

Friday 15 November 2013

Christmas wish list - in association with The Watch Hut

The Watch Hut have joined forces with e-tail PR and are inviting bloggers to create a Christmas wish list for a chance to win £100-300 worth of vouchers from ASOS [competition now closed]. All you need to do is pick out a watch from their website and feature it in your wish list. I have been longing for a Michael Kors watch for ages now so knew I wanted to center my wish list around this. I used to wear a Baby-G watch when I was younger but it broke and I haven't owned a new watch since :'( I love rose gold jewellery so I was instantly drawn to the rose gold watches Michael Kors has to offer. And what better way to count down the hours until Christmas day than with a Michael Kors watch from The Watch Hut? ;) The rest of my wish list is based around the things I love most about Christmas. Festive scented candles, chunky knits, hot chocolate, moisturising beauty products, the perfect Christmas party dress, and cosy faux fur collars to instantly update last season's coat.

What's on your wish list this year?

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Charlotte Olympia Once Upon a Time Collection

Charlotte Olympia. A brand that has undisputedly taken the fashion world by storm. Famed for its idiosyncratic footwear collection favoured amongst the A list, for most of us it was the iconic kitty flats that first caught our attention. Ever since, numerous high street stores and online retailers have been inspired to produce their own Charlotte Olympia kitty flat dupes bringing a more purse friendly alternative to the masses. Charlotte Olympia are certainly no one trick pony. Oh hell no. Their Once Upon a Time Fall campaign is stunning - so much so, I couldn't resist sharing with you. Inspired by fairy-tales and legends, the campaign itself is edgy and very fashion forward:

Forever inspired by Alice in Wonderland, fairy-tales, and anything vaguely whimsical, this campaign really spoke to me. Whilst I still can't afford anything from the collection - what is my life - a girl can still dream:

How cute is the gingerbread house box bag? It opens and everything! The story book clutch I officially need in my my life. I never imagined I'd turn away from the kitty flats or be so quick to forget, but now it's all about that clutch.

What are your favourites from the collection?

Image credit: Charlotte Olympia website