Thursday, 24 December 2015

Party ready with luxêmme

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Wearing: 
Black swing dress - Luxêmme*
Shoes - New Look (similar)

If you're looking for a new party outfit for over the Christmas period, look no further as Luxêmme has you covered! At affordable prices, this online retailer has some awesome party pieces which will have you covered for new years if you get your orders in quick! And you don't even have to leave the comfort of the sofa...

For me, online shopping is a whole lot easier this time of year. The boxing day sales are always a complete nightmare and I HATE rummaging through the sale racks which are always a complete and utter mess; my magpie-like brain gravitates naturally to the neat and tidy 'new in' section, which is not so good for my bank balance! This year I plan on doing my 'January sales' shopping online, probably whilst stuffing my face with the left over chocolates which nobody likes, but which I will happily eat because, hey, it's chocolate.

Talking of eating too much, this swing style dress is the perfect cover up for hiding a multitude of sins, so wearing this after Christmas you needn't worry about your figure and you can just enjoy the festivities before the January blues kick in and everyone starts talking about having to join a gym etc. Etc.  Luxêmme kindly sent me this dress - just in time for the party season - and I thought it would be nice to do a little post introducing you to the brand. I must apologise for the lack of creativity in these pics, but unluckily for me, it seems to rain every time I get ready to shoot pictures lately. Luxêmme have a whole host of other great party dresses, so I'm sure there's something for everyone!

So, what's everyone's plans for NYE then?

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Monday, 21 December 2015

Winter Coat Edit

Since we're now nearly in the middle of winter, now is the time to invest in your staple winter coat, if you haven't already. A lot of the sales start early, so if you can't wait for those Boxing Day sales there's still some pretty good deals online now, making it a great time to purchase your winter outerwear and avoid the chaos of the post-Christmas sales (3 of the coats listed below have already been reduced, including the navy Monsoon beauty!). 
I have complied a little 'essential winter edit' showcasing the best items from this season's hottest outerwear trends. These are my favourite coats I've found online. 




First up is one for fellow petite ladies: the camel coat from Asos. Camel is everywhere this season, and I love it! Opting for a camel coat not only injects a bit of colour into your look, but it is a great alternative to black. I personally would usually opt for a dark winter coat, but camel is a great option as it goes great with a lot of  'winter' colours you're likely to be wearing; navy, cream, grey and black all look striking against camel. I also really like the boyfriend style of this coat, and the contrasting collar even more so.

Next up is one for those winter nights out. When it's as cold as it is now, you need a coat to layer over your beautiful party dress to save you from catching a cold! So wrap up in the prettiest coat you can find but remain looking fabulous - this coat Mango (via Asos) faux fur definitely fits the bill. Faux fur has been undeniably a huge trend this season and this winter-white version will look great over pretty much anything; you could just as easily dress this coat down for a more casual look too. This coat is sure to keep you cosy this winter. 

The ladylike coat from Monsoon is a great choice if you're after a bit of a smarter look. This elegant navy coat remains on trend with the faux fur collar - this is a great choice for those looking for a stylish coat which will see them from this season to the next. This coat reminds me of something K. Middleton would wear. My tip: add a black belt to clinch in the waist to give a great silhouette.

An oversized jacket is next on the list. Oversized jackets are becoming increasingly popular and there are tons of styles available on the high street (check out Primark or H&M if you're on a tight budget). I love the laid back look of this Zara coat, plus shearling is well known to keep you nice and toasty - a little bit like wearing a duvet around yourself outside the house...

Finally, the parka! The epitome of laid back style. Almost too relaxed, however, manages to remain stylish somehow. I'm not sure if it takes a sort of person to pull one off well, but I personally am yet to find the perfect parka. But this Asos version sure looks tempting. 

Which coat is your favourite and have you found your perfect winter coat yet? 

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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Cosy nights

When the weather turns as cold as it has here up here in the North this past week, there's nothing I love more than jumping straight into my pj's and robe as soon as I get through the front door after work. Going to and coming home from work in the dark means I happily hibernate Mon-Fri - if it's not raining on my lunch hour (which it usually is) I'm happy to go for a walk to get some daylight on my face, but I mostly end up quickly rushing back to the office because it's so damn cold. And if this past week has taught me anything, it's that I seriously need to invest in a new hat and gloves!
Those cosy nights in seem to be extending into my weekends - favouring staying in over going out and, sometimes, not even getting dressed on Sundays. Is there anything better than a Sunday spent in your pj's watching your favourite films & drinking hot chocolate? I think not. 
A few weeks back, I was invited to the Cotton Traders 'summer sundown' event. Marking the end of Summer, we celebrated the fun adventures that the sunny days had offered us - we even got a scrapbook with our favorite summer photos printed out - and welcomed the colder winter months with a 'winter essentials' good bag.
A camera malfunction (I'm no good with technology, so this basically means who knows what happened) meant that I was left with no snaps of the event. However, I can show you how much I've been loving my gifts and putting that hot water bottle to good use. All the essentials for a cosy night in this Winter.
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*mug, slippers, hot water bottle and scrap book all courtesy of cotton traders 

Thanks again Cotton Traders for the fun event. I'm totally winter ready and praying for snow..

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Sunday, 29 November 2015

IWOOTXMAS gift guide event

Last weekend I attended a great Christmas gift guide event hosted by IWOOT.
In case you're not familiar with IWOOT (or, Iwantoneofthose.com), they're an online site stocking unique gift ideas for all occasions. The event was held at Ziferblat in Manchester - a great little coffee spot if you're around Manchester & looking for somewhere - where we got the chance to take a look at some of IWOOT's awesome gifts available this Christmas. 
We also got involved in the fun festivities at the event; we decorated mason jars - and I learned that my creative skills do not extend to using glitter - we picked secret santa gifts for one another which we took home in our gift bags :) and generally had a great time seeing what IWOOT has to offer.
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top of my christmas list <3
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IWOOT offers some great gifts from homeware to gadgets to stocking fillers under £20, you're bound to find something; so if you're stuck for ideas this Christmas or in need of a little inspiration check them out online here. See my favourite gifts on offer below.

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If that's not enough to entice you, well IWOOT are also offering 20% off order up until Christmas day! Fab right?! Just enter code: IWOOTXMAS at the checkout. 

So, have you shopped at IWOOT before and if not will you be now? 
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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

'Secret Shopping' with Propellernet & Megan Ellaby

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When the invitation to the 'secret shopping' event hosted by Propellernet landed in my inbox, I got just a tad excited; a day of shopping with a bunch of lovely Manchester bloggers, teamed with an arrival dinner hosted by Front Row Society for the night before, how could I possibly so no?!

The event was in partnership with Premier Inn, so we also had the pleasure of staying at their Manchester Picacdilly Hotel the night before our day of shopping. I checked in at the hotel with the help of the lovely staff and headed to my room, where I (very) quickly got ready for our arrival dinner. In true fashion, as I'm always running late, I didn't even have time to snap an outfit photo before leaving! Fashion blogger fail numero uno. Anyway... Once ready, we were taken to the snazzy  Fumo restaurant - part of the San Carlo group - picked by the Front Row Society, and which was hosted by Megan, from pages by Megan. The choice of restaurant definitely lived up to the expectations, just look at the food! 
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Okay, so I didn't take that many pictures as I was too busy scoffing my face, but you get the idea... 

The dinner was a great opportunity to meet other bloggers from around Manchester and discuss our blogging experiences, as well as share our thoughts and ideas on various topics which had been handed out on cue cards made by the lovely PR girls. As we chatted away, the wine was shared around and waiters brought us sharing plates, so that we got to sample pretty much the entire menu; after rounds of spaghetti vongole, calamari, duck salad, rib-eye steak, pork belly and of course, pizza, we were well and truly stuffed! (we definitely all still found room for a taste of the ice cream sundae though) The food was incredible, and the whole event was hands down the best event I have been to so far. 
Since the night was still young, after dinner, we decided to hit up the Northern Quarter for a good old dance. The PR girls, Hannah and Megan, Katie and myself ended up being the last bunch remaining by the end of the night, dancing away in Hula until 3am when it was time to crawl into bed and get a good night's sleep before our day of shopping. 

On Saturday I woke early - fairly fresh - but honestly, I could have spent the entire morning lazing in my comfy bed at the Premier Inn! But breakfast was calling my name, so I rolled out of bed and trudged down for breakfast. After a good old fry up, cup o' coffee and fresh orange, I was all ready to go shopping with my blogger buddies Emma and Katie

As part of the 'secret shopping' event, we were kindly gifted a voucher to spend at Manchester's Arndale shopping centre. So with our voucher in one hand, and a map featuring some of Megan's favourite shops in the other, off we went. FYI: Megan has a great post on her blog featuring the best of shopping in Manchester which you can check out for yourself here
The hotel was in the best location; after a couple minutes walk we were at the independent and vintage shops Megan had recommended in the Northern Quarter. The idea behind the event was great, especially for me since I'm guilty of sticking to high street stores and rarely venturing into smaller boutique shops. Megan's post has definitely made me consider alternative shops which I have heard great things about but don't necessarily shop in. I am definitely going to be stopping by Oxfam Originals to see if I can snap up any bargains! 
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So, I ended up buying a faux fur gilet from Topshop, which I absolutely love and will be styling up on the blog very soon!

Where do you like to go shopping in Manchester?

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Man-repelling in fringe

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Fringe jacket - Goldie (at Topshop), Top - Topshop, Jeans - Hollister, Lace-up boots - Asos

Apparently, I'm totally man-repelling in this whole ensemble - or so as my boyfriend takes great pleasure of telling me! - I think it's mainly the fringed jacket he takes issue with, oh and maybe the shoes. Oh well, you can't please 'em all! He did like the top though, so I guess we're getting somewhere..
I picked up this lace-up top from Topshop recently, and the fringed jacket was an absolute bargain I got in the 'end of summer sales' - a phrase which makes me both happy and sad at the same time; sad that summer is over; happy that Autumn is most definitely here!! (Autumn is totally my fave).
I feel like I'm channeling my inner Parisian chick in this outfit sans the fringe jacket, and Stevie Nicks wannabe with. In other news, I think I may have found the perf black jeans from Hollister but that's for another time.

Are you loving fringe and/ or lace-up right now?
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Monday, 24 August 2015

currently coveting / Boho blouses

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 Wearing: Blouse - H&M | Jeans - Topshop | Shoes - New Look | Clutch - RI 

I shot these photos with the lovely Becky yesterday, whilst the weather was behaving. 
I loved sitting in the beer garden on Saturday afternoon, just before the thunderstorm rolled in. And we were surprised at how nice the weather was yesterday in light of the forecast of rain. This weekend's volatile weather has me thinking that we have definitely seen the last of our so called 'summer'. 

This blouse has to be my absolute favourite item I've purchased this summer. I was supposed to be shopping for new workwear when I spotted it in all its glory in H&M - the bell sleeves, the lace-up the embroidery! (insert heart face emoji) - I just had to have it!  Oh well, my new workwear-drobe will just have to be sans one shirt.

I have also been championing my new Topshop jeans ever since I bought them recently! They're so comfy; the jeans are quite stretchy - almost jegging like material - and hug you in the right way. I was on the hunt for a pair of washed denim jeans, and since Topshop 'Jamie' jeans have long been my favourite style offered up at any high street store, I made a beeline for Topshop. I always buy from the petite range, which I think I've mentioned a few times on here, these are no exception, but I'm pretty sure they are available in the regular collection. Distressed denim is still going strong, and these offer a minimal take on that trend, which makes them very easy to wear. Expect to see these jeans cropping up a lot in outfit posts over the next couple of months. 

Photography by Becky Hughes
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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Glamorous opens at the Trafford Centre

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On Saturday morning I had the pleasure of attending a bloggers breakfast hosted by Glamorous to celebrate the opening of their very first store! And since Glamorous was founded here in Manchester, it is fitting that they chose to open up shop in non other than the Trafford Centre, and bloggers were lucky enough to get a preview of the store before it opened its doors to the public. 
If you're not yet familiar with the Northern Brand, I shall fill you in some more... Glamorous have been operating for roughly 8 years, and have already had outstanding success. They are an accomplished online retailer with their stock currently being sold in stores such as Nasty Gal, Urban Outfitters, Asos and Nordstrom to name just a few. They have now made the move and opened up their flagship store and plan to roll out more stores across the UK in the foreseeable future.
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At the event we got a first look at the swanky new store - very Urban Outfitters meets Oasis (the store not the band), but manages to maintain individuality - and had the opportunity to browse their collection, which included pieces from their AW15 range. You can take a look at their A/W preview here, made up of lots of suedette, denim, fringing, burnt hues and bell sleeves (all depicting the strong seventies revival, hurrah!). When browsing the collection I suddenly got super excited for Autumn; my favourite season is nearly here!! I'm looking forward to sporting more layers, cosy knits,  boots and chunky scarves - I just can't get enough of A/W fashions.
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Anyway, to really go big with their first store opening, Glamorous were giving bloggers and the first 200 customers vouchers to spend in store, with one lucky devil receiving £500!! I picked out a gorgeous grey suedette dress, which I can't wait to style up for a blog post, and I also snapped up a cute seventies inspired print crop. I really love the new store and will definitely be paying it a visit again next time at the Trafford Centre! But, most of all I love the brand's motto:

"Great fashion needn't cost the earth. We believe fashion should be individual, accessible and most of all affordable." Here, here!

Have you visited the new store yet? 
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Monday, 17 August 2015

The denim midi

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Top / Forever 21 
Skirt / Forever 21 (similar)
Shoes / Asos
Bag / Topshop 

The button down denim skirt; undeniably one of this year's biggest trends - the skirt that could launch a thousand ships, probably. Admittedly, I haven't myself bought one of said mini skirts; partly because I thought it likely to be a fleeting trend; partly because I already own a ton of skirts; mostly because I wasn't keen on making myself look more like a teenager than is necessary - I think it's my height that does it!

Anyway, when I saw this high-waist, midi, button down skirt in Forever 21 for £14 I decided it was too good of a bargain to miss. Plus, I thought I would give 'the midi skirt' a try as because of my height I tend to veer towards skirts that sit an inch or two above the knee, but as I've said before, I'm keen on quashing those petite fashion myths and so I decided to see if I could make it work on my short frame. I thought the length was just about right for me, any longer and it could look disastrous. I tucked in this casual print top (also F21) to balance out the proportion of the long skirt and added a (chunky) heel to not only lengthen the leg, but to avoid making the whole 'look' too casual. Thoughts?

Have you been sporting this years most coveted skirt and how would you wear the midi version?Answers on a postcard please! 
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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

What's in my beach bag

I love reading/ watching 'what's in my bag' instalments. It's like you somehow get a real insight into that person's life, don't you think? Well, Boohoo recently got in touch and asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a summer project, whereby I would create a post showing you what summer essentials I carry around in my beach bag. So of course I said yes! 

I went on holiday earlier in the year, so unfortunately there was no beach setting to shoot these photos. However, this is what I would typically carry around if I were jetting off on my holidays and off to the beach. 
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So here is a breakdown of my beach bag contents: 

1. The beach bag itself (c/o Boohoo): bold pink perfect for summer days. 

2. SPF: The number 1 summer essential. I swear by P20 lotion (only requiring once a day application) which is sweat and water resistance. But I still carry a bottle around to top up areas prone to burning, i.e. shoulders, face and chest. FYI: I use a higher factor at the beginning of the holiday (usually 35-50).

3. Sunglasses: Again, a super important holiday necessity to protect your eyes from the sun. I never used to care for sunglasses as they don't really suit my face, and instead I would opt for a hat. But I'd still end up squinting loads. Before my last holiday I decided to invest in a pair of Ray Bans and to be honest, I don't know how I managed without them!

4. Entertainment: I always carry either the book I am currently reading or my headphones so I can listen to my summer playlist on Spotify, but usually I'd take both. I read Mr Mercedes by Stephen King on my recent vacation, a book which I would highly recommend.

5. Bikini: Obvs. I got this one from South Beach last year. I can't get enough of their range. 

6. Make up: I hardly wear any make up whilst on holiday. If I do, I wear a waterproof mascara - oh, and I always curl my lashes before applying - and then just add a pop of colour on my lips; I'm currently loving the Revlon colorburst crayons, and this bright pink shade is wonderful for those summer nights. A bright nail polish always looks better with a tan, and so I always take one polish on holiday. My choice this year was Rimmel's Glastonbury. (eyelash curler c/o Boohoo). 

7. Haircare: I try to wear my hair au naturale on holiday. My hair is curly/wavy, and always seems to behave better abroad! I use a wide tooth comb to untangle and then apply Umberto Giannini's 'curl friends' scrunching jelly. I prefer to wear it natural and add accessories or create a simple braid. (Hairband c/o Boohoo). 

8. Scent: I hate carrying perfume bottles around, but I love these Victoria's Secret fragrance mists to keep you smelling lovely when basking in the heat. 

What are your summer essentials? 
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