Tuesday 30 June 2015

Hello Fashion magazine

I love a magazine. In an age where the move to digital is inescapable and so many magazines have ceased publication due to a lessened response to printed media, I still like to buy magazines and support the industry. Some magazines are choosing to move across to digital which may excite some people, but I actually like holding a magazine in my hands. Nothing beats that new magazine smell and actually being able to read a magazine when you're underground on the train and don't have an Internet connection. I'm currently only subscribed to only one magazine but do dabble in others - depending on cover story headlines And money off coupons for the more expensive titles.

Issues with my computer at work lately meant that my computer was in for a long update which still wasn't done by lunch time. Faced with not a very nice day for a walk and no Internet, I sauntered down to my local WH Smith to pick up a magazine. It was one of those days where I didn't want to spend close to £5 on a magazine. When I first came across Hello Fashion it was kind of tucked away so I only saw some of the headlines and the model - I had no awareness it was related to Hello Magazine. I moved the surrounding magazines to one side and saw a big yellow sticker saying NEW FASHION MAGAZINE ONLY £1.

I was intrigued and picked it up to have a snoop, wondering how good a £1 magazine could actually be. And I was pleasantly surprised. It had a decent amount of reading in it compared to some of the more high end fashion magazines which instead have all the adverts. And the fashion pages are amazing.

And for obvious reasons, I got especially excited about this section...

But it gets better.

I took the magazine to the till with my £1 coin poised in my hand. Nothing could have prepared me for when it rang up as on offer and was now... 50p! I have never paid 50p for a magazine ever - not even as a kid. I couldn't believe how such a genuinely good publication could cost so little. I have been really impressed with the magazine - there's a good amount of reading in it, the fashion is spot on and although a thin magazine, it did last me a while.

Have you seen Hello Fashion in the shops before?

* This isn't a sponsored post nor have I been prompted to write this review. I am genuinely really impressed with this magazine, discovered it for myself, and wanted to spread the word!

Tuesday 23 June 2015

The best of the Urban Outfitters sale

What constitutes a good sale? Is it scoring a huge discount and a basketful of cheap items? Or is the quality of items (things that you would actually buy even if not in the sale. And new recent ish stock rather than cast offs from two years back?). A few years ago I would have said the former. Back then I was all about getting something as cheaply as possible. That student life though. Nowadays I work full time and am more open minded about price - if it's good quality, won't go out style in a heart beat and will last, then that's reason enough for me to invest. Nowadays I only gravitate towards pieces I was already eyeing up before the sale. I tend to play it safe with nothing too out there -  so a basket of basics that will last as opposed to spending a lot more and taking a chance on odd quirky items just because they're a bargain. Urban Outfitters had some pieces that I'd eyed up a while ago but hadn't got around to ordering - so I was delighted to see some of the items from my wishlist come into the sale.

Navy pleated skirt £39 £25

I live for pleated skirts. I wear a lot of black so felt it was time to branch out and get some new colours in the wardrobe. I also found this very same skirt in an Alice In Wonderland blue (below) for a further £5 off.

Blue pleated skirt £39 £20

Berry jumper £35 £25

This lightweight sweater is perfect for this weird in-between weather where it can't seem to decide if its summer yet or not. And also a great way of subtly introducing a bit of colour to the darkest of wardrobes.

Stripe tee £58 £40

I'd eyed up this sweater long ago on UO but couldn't justify the £58 price tag. It's not a massive saving, but £40 is more my sort of budget at the moment (house hunting very much still in progress!). I thought they were blue and white stripes based on the product photos, but just read they're actually green stripes which is disappointing. Will still be chancing as I love how it's different to the traditional black and white Breton stripe.

Sleeveless blazer £59 £35

I've been after a sleeveless jacket for a while as they're a great cover up when it warms up a bit and you don't want to carry a massive coat around with you. Up until now, I've only ever seen these sleeveless duster type coats in white and I was after a warmer colour. This one in taupe fits the bill perfectly.

In the meantime I'd love to hear about any sale bargains you've found lately, the stores you recommend for the best sales or what you feel constitutes the perfect sale. Leave me a comment below - I always reply to all comments I receive - or alternatively Tweet me @Lucy_Angele

Friday 19 June 2015

The best of the Zara sale

When it comes to the Zara sale you have to act fast. The girls at work mentioned its impending arrival the night before, and wanted to go there the next day at 1 ish. But experience has taught me that you can't wait that long. People burst into stores first thing in the morning and all the good stuff goes within hours. So if you have something in mind that you want to catch in the sales, you need to get in there early. Fortunately I had a spare few minutes whilst eating breakfast the morning of the launch so managed to pick up some gems online. Here are my top picks from this time around...

Cropped white cami £17.99 £12.99

Blue striped skirt £25.99 £17.99

Blue shift dress £39.99 £29.99

Nude lace dress £39.99 £29.99

White lace dress £69.99 £49.99

White star cut out dress £59.99 £39.99

Tie die sweatshirt £25.99 £15.99

As always, the money off in the Zara sale isn't that great. £10 off? Gee thanks Zara for your being oh so generous. But seeing as Zara notoriously doesn't offer promo codes, this probably accounts for why people get so excited about the Zara sale in particular. Money off is money off, right? And a few pounds off here and there may not sound like much, but when you add everything you saved on your shop, it really does add up. I calculated that I saved £83 off my shop compared to if I'd paid it full price - every little helps!

Sunday 14 June 2015

Juicing with Currys PCworld and Philips

Lately it's been so muggy in London. Each day I feel myself struggling to cope with the heat, often popping out at lunch time for a cheeky ice cream or icy cold drink. The other week I was invited to a juicing event in King's Cross and being an especially muggy evening, it couldn't have been timed any better! Upon arrival we all had a chance to get to know one another over Pure wraps, and coconut water kindly supplied by the lovely people at Coco Vita. We then had a talk from Raw & Juicy about juicing vs blending, what sort of ingredients work together well and the health benefits of certain fruits and vegetables. I love avocado and before then I'd never considered adding it to a drink before! A colourful array of fruit and veg were placed on our tables, as well as an Avance 2L blender and a Viva Collection 700w juicer kindly provided by Philips. We were told about a competition that night where one winner would win a juicer and the runner up, a blender. A guy who was introduced to us "Lovely David" formed part of The Cocktail Service who were there to give us a mocktail masterclass. We watched him blend a mixture of berries to make the mocktail "Berries Matter". Fresh and light, it was the perfect drink for a humid evening.

We then had the chance to make our own. Rather than blindly chucking weird combinations of fruit and veg into the blenders and juicers, we were given a step-by-step masterclass of how to make two drinks which I was very relieved to hear - because who knows what we would've been drinking if I'd been left to roam free(!) Firstly we made a breakfast smoothie which from memory think contained melon, mango, pineapple, kiwi and bananas. I'm not the biggest fan of bananas in drinks, but this drink was so full of other flavours you hardly noticed it.

Lastly we made a vegetable based drink which contained avocado, beetroot, celery and carrots. This had a thicker consistency. I don't like celery and this was quite pungent within the drink, so I still preferred the fruit smoothie overall.

Throughout the night we were Tweeting, taking pictures and uploading pics to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #CurrysIntrojuicing - so feel free to have a snoop! I sat with David and Alina who were amazingly good fun and we were giggling the night away. At the end of the night we were all packing up ready to go home and I came out of the loo and found everyone staring at me - turns out I'd won first prize! I was - and still am - really chuffed as I don't win anything ever! My winning picture which can be found on Twitter and Instagram:

Juicing from celery's perspective. 
Glancing nervously at the contraption taking all his friends

Natasha from Dance Flow Lift was runner up and Phillips very kindly let her have a juicer too. 
Here's a cheeky lift pic from the end of the night (still amazed how I got this huge box home!)

Thank you to Joe Blogs for inviting me, Raw & Juicy, The Cocktail Service for getting so hands on with our drink making, and to Currys and Philips for the juicer which I look forward to making my own creations with!

Whether you attended this event or not, if you would like to use any of my photos, please check with me first (lately I've had some of my photos used without my permission). More than happy to share, just ask me first!

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Debenhams AW press event

I know what you're thinking - it's wayyy too early to be thinking about autumn winter. It's barely summer as it is. Although with the gales and rain we're experiencing in London at the moment, I'd forgive you if you did think it was autumn. The Debenhams AW press day couldn't have come at a better time. I was especially excited when the invite read fashion AND homeware - for reasons perhaps best explained here.

My first impressions of the Debenhams press day? Complete awe over the autumnal decor.  Warm lighting with an orange hue, autumnal leaves, arrangements of wild flowers, flower pots and crates upcycled with gold and copper detailing... the visual merchandising of the event was genius.

The homeware department was really inspiring and got me even more excited about the prospect of owning my own place. I loved the neutral colour palettes - however the pink flamingo lamp was - and still is - is a brilliant statement piece.

 I loved the Mad Hatter tea party feel of this dining table set

... and my dream kitchen would be filled with copper pans like these

The homeware department was full of inviting looking beds that I wanted to slip under the covers of

I loved this end of the bed feature with the candles and champagne flutes - perfect for a night in!

 In terms of fashion, Debenhams presented my ideal wardrobe - capes, coats and beautiful boots.

... along with a whole host of party dresses ideal for party season in December


This coat. The warmest of shades. So autumn, don't you think?

The softest and cosiest sheepskin aviator jacket

Another must have for autumn - rust shorts

The camel coat - an autumn winter classic

And let's not forget these Mary Jane shoes. Very Alice in Wonderland.

... and then most of their lingerie. It was housed in the most atmospheric of settings with dim lighting, a white fluffy rug and a glass table (the latter two I seriously need in my life!) My favourites - as ever - are lacy affairs

Thank you so much to Debenhams for inviting me over that day to preview such an incredible collection. Is it so terrible that I'm willing summer to be over just so it's autumn...?!