Sunday, 27 July 2014

Lovely Lilac Nails ♥

Continuing my pastel obsession, I thought I'd share with you my latest manicure - Lilacism by Essie, a gorgeous soft lilac colour. It was a gift from a friend and I was excited to try it as I've never used Essie nail polish before! Application was really smooth and after 2 coats was a lovely even powdery purple dream!

Here are some of my other pretty pastel polishes, all Barry M. I really rate Barry M polishes as they go on easily, last ages, are great value and have the best selection of colours! I'm loving their 'Silk' range at the moment as they have a lovely soft pearl effect. The pink shade 'Blossom' is next on my shopping list!

What's your favourite nail colour?


Friday, 25 July 2014

Vivienne Westwood Shoes & Monty Python ♥

Last Friday I went to see Monty Python at the O2 with my husband. He gets free tickets through work to sit in a box, so we felt like proper VIPs! The show was brilliant and we laughed so much! The same day I had my new shoes delivered - Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon shoes!!! <3 I've wanted a pair for absolutely ages so when I saw my favourite ones on sale for £60 on Allsole I snapped them up quick! They usually cost £150 which is too much for me, even though they are my all time favourite shoe!

I decided to wear them to Monty Python as it dressed up my outfit a bit and I just couldn't not wear them! I love them so much! They smell like sweets and are surprisingly comfortable. I wore them on a baking hot tube so it was a good 'sweat test'(!) and my feet didn't sweat or rub at all. Woot. I'm planning on wearing these to a wedding later this year with a nice navy blue dress.

Do you like Vivienne Westwood shoes?


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Summer Work Outfit + Babylips Balm ♥

I'm pretty lucky in that I work for an industry that doesn't have a formal dress code. It means I can wear whatever I like, and in this scorching hot weather it's a god send! I do feel for the men and women commuting in to London wearing hot and sweaty suits!

I snapped a quick pick of an outfit I wore to work the other day. The top is from Primark and I absolutely love it! It has a cute wildflower print and is made of a nice lightweight jersey material. I wore it with my Topshop black Joni jeans and my yellow sandals. I also wore Babylips lip balm in Pink Punch. I have seen lots of bloggers raving about these and I wondered what the fuss was about as they just seemed like bog standard lip balms - how wrong I was! They are very pigmented so it's like wearing a lovely sheer lipstick. My one is a pretty pink colour which lasts for ages and tastes like sweeties! I'm definitely going to be buying the other colours in the collection!

Are you able to wear what you like for work? Have you ever tried Babylips?


Monday, 21 July 2014

Kimono Style - Lookbook Store ♥

The online fashion boutique 'LookBook Store' was founded in 2009 and has been growing ever since, providing the latest fashion trends to customers from all walks of life. They have a huge range of clothing at great prices, and you can always find something a little unusual, which I love. I was really excited when LookBook offered a couple of pieces of clothing to review as I had had my eye on a beautiful kimono for some time! It is mint (my current colour obsession!) with a gorgeous floral pattern, and perfect for summer. I also picked a glamorous white playsuit as a change as I don't usually wear them.

I decided to do a post on how to dress a kimono up for a night-out or event, and down for casual daytime wear. Kimonos are very on trend right now and there are lots of different kinds available on the high street, from plain and sheer to crocheted and tasselled! I love this kimono as it is very feminine, and the sheerness of the fabric makes it light and comfortable for sunny weather.

For my 'dressed up' kimono outfit I picked a chic white playsuit with a v-neck and 3/4 length sleeves. It also has a cute frilly trim on the short bottoms. I don't usually wear playsuits but I think they can look really good as an alternative for weddings or special occasions when you don't fancy wearing a dress. I really like the combination of the elegant white playsuit with the cool mint colour of the kimono. With the suede M&S wedge sandals it makes the outfit a little bit more dressed up and worthy of a special summer party or wedding! Some silver or gold jewellery would add the finishing touch and add a luxe feel!

For my 'dressed down' kimono outfit, I paired the kimono with a white £5 sundress from Primark and my mint Primark sandals. I really love this outfit as it's so comfy yet so pretty and perfect for warm weather! Again I have picked white to go with my mint kimono but any colour would look nice. Kimonos are an instant outfit pick-me-up, they make any ensemble look more put together!

Lookbook Store have some lovely kimonos for sale at the moment, and if you fancy buying one or anything else from their site, click here for a 5% discount off your purchases!


Saturday, 19 July 2014

My Wedding Table Plan DIY ♥

When I was planning our wedding I saw all sorts of lovely ideas for wedding table plans, from writing on mirrors, to luggage tags pinned up in old suitcases - the possibilities seemed endless! After going to a good friend's wedding I found the perfect style of table plan for us. My friend had used a multi-frame to place each table setting in and had set it upon a stand. I liked the simplicity but elegance of the finished effect and decided to pinch her fab idea for our wedding!

It ended up being an inexpensive DIY, as we picked the frame up from The Range for under £10! It had 11 frames which was perfect as we had 10 tables and we used the 11th centre frame as the 'Table Plan' sign. In each frame we placed the names for each table & designed pastel coloured backgrounds and borders for each. For the centre frame I found a vintage frame illustration on a free clip-art site and chose a vintage font to write 'Table Plan' in the centre. We then printed it all out and popped them in each frame - it was that simple!

The frame came with all of the sizes so it was easy to create the print-outs to go inside. The beauty of having a tableplan like this is that you can fill the frame with lots of lovely wedding photos afterwards, and keep it as a memento of your big day! I'd really recommend The Range for frames like these and lots of other inexpensive bits and bobs for weddings. This type of table plan can also be hung on a wall, or set upon an easel (like we did). It looks lovely and elegant, and is budget-friendly and very easy to create!

You can really play around with whatever colours or theme you like in each of the frames. As our wedding had an 'Afternoon Tea' type theme we decided to name each table after blends of tea. We had Assam, Darjeeling, Chamomile, Oolong, White Peony, Earl Grey, Jasmine, Sencha & Ceylon. You could name your tables after anything you like, from your favourite songs or books, to places you and your partner have visited on holiday!

What's your favourite kind of table plan?


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Pastel Pink & Mint OOTD ♥

I'm really into all things pastel at the moment, so when we went out for dinner the other night I decided to go all out pale pink and mint! Pale pink & mint are my favourite combinations of colours, but I'm often a little nervous about wearing such girly colours. I wear so many dark colours and black I decided to be brave and embrace my pastel dream!

Sorry about the soft & grainy pic, it was night time when I took the photo and the light wasn't great! I wore a new shirt from Primark which is a very pale peachy pink with white polka dots, my black skinny jeans, white sandals, and a gorgeous two-tone pale pink & mint clutch bag, also from Primark. I also wore Barry M Sugar Apple nail polish which matched my clutch really well. I wasn't sure what jewellery to go for so I wore some pretty pearl drop earrings.

 I love getting dressed up to go out and would like to do it more often as for work I just throw on whatever I can find and wear minimal make up. I spent time doing my make up for this outfit and chose a simple and fairly neutral look to go with the soft and girly clothing colours. I wore my favourite perfume & body lotion - Dahlia Noir by Givenchy. This perfume smells gorgeous, like talcum powder. I bought it for my wedding and I have been wearing it ever since! I think I will need to buy a new bottle by Christmas!

 Do you like pastel colours?


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cute Mason Drinking Jars ♥

Last week I received a package from that made me excited for the hot weather forecasted for the weekend. Drinkstuff sent me two cute mason drinking jars from their new range of own brand products. I love mason jars as they remind me of all things vintage so I was looking forward to trying these out in the sun!

The mason drinking jar glasses are made from sturdy plastic and are double walled to keep your drinks icy cool. They have a screw on lid with a reusable plastic straw and a handle so you can hold on to your favourite tipple! They would be perfect for picnics, BBQs, and even weddings to serve welcoming drinks in! I really like how the glasses have a lid as often in the summer pesky flies and wasps always try to take a dive in my glass!

I filled one of the glasses with fresh orange and chopped up strawberries, and the other with cloudy lemonade and lots of ice. My husband and I enjoyed drinking from them in the garden last weekend which was super hot! I'm excited to try out all different kinds of beverages in these glasses, the possibilities are endless! Here are a few drinks I would like to fill in my cute vintage mason jars:

- Homemade iced tea & lemon
- Pimms & lemonade + fresh fruit
- All kinds of summer cocktails 
- Sparkling fruit juice + slices of lemon & orange
- Tasty fresh fruit smoothies

The glasses are £7.99 for two, or £84.99 for a case of 24 (handy if you are planning a party or wedding!) and I think they're really good value as they can be used over and over again. I'm planning on taking my two glasses to Victorious festival in Southsea in August, and enjoy some refreshing Pimms whilst listening to tunes in the sun!

Do you like these mason drinking jar glasses?


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Protest Clothing ♥

I was recently invited to review some clothing from the Dutch brand 'Protest'. Protest is primarily a boardwear company and was founded by a small group of snowboarders from Holland. They are a design-led brand who make fashionable and functional clothing for boarders. As well as ski & boardwear, Protest also have a range of fitness clothing, swimwear and a summer collection of everyday wear. I really like the unusual prints and laid-back but chic look to their clothing. Their summer wear items are very wearable and perfect for casual outfits, and holidays.

I was sent a gorgeous Ink Blue Award Tunic top, a pair of Protest sunnies and a funky Winni 13 beanie hat complete with bobble top! The tunic is a lovely purple-blue colour with a tie dye-esque all over print. It has a cord around the middle that can be pulled tight to cinch in the waist. The cord also has two silver beads at the end of the cord which give the top a luxe feel.

The tunic is lightweight and would be great worn at the beach over a bikini or swimsuit. I chose to wear it with black leggings and havaiana flip flips one weekend when the weather was quite hot. It was very cool and comfortable and felt very summery without being too 'beachy'. I also wore the Protest sunglasses and they complimented the outfit really well. They're black and have the Protest logo on the sides in white. I can't find them on the website but they're a good classic pair of sunnies to have in your collection as they'd go with everything.

Here's the bobble hat! Unfortunately it's a little too warm at the moment to be donning chunky knit accessories, but I'm looking forward to wearing it once winter arrives. It would look great with a thick chunky scarf and cosy winter coat. I keep meaning to go skiing again as my family always go and I've only ever been once before. If I end up going this year I'll be sure to take this beanie hat, and I'll be snug as a bug!

Do you like boardwear/beachwear brands?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

My Hen Do - Part 1 ♥

In April I had my hen do and it was so much fun, almost as much fun as the wedding day itself! I decided to have my hen do in Brighton as I used to live there and I just love the summery, happy-go-lucky atmosphere the seaside town has! I also knew I wanted a vintage themed hen weekend and Brighton is the perfect setting for all things kitsch and retro! I'm writing about this in two (maybe three!) parts as there's just so many photos and cool details to share!

Excuse my serious face! Being a hen is serious business!! Haha. I curled my hair for the first day even though we weren't getting dressed up or anything! If you can't get glammed up on your own hen do, when can you! :-) I also had my nails painted in a vibrant red shellac to match the vintage glamour theme!

I knew from the beginning that I didn't want people to stay in a travelodge or hotel. I really love getting dressed up and having 'pre-drinkies' with all of the girls before we go out, and if we were all in separate hotel rooms it wouldn't be as fun! So I went on airbnb and had a search for houses or flats to rent. I had never used airbnb before and I am totally converted! You can find some cool places at a fraction of the price it costs to stay in hotels. We rented a lovely little apartment near the train station and it was just perfect.

Renting a whole place also meant I could decorate! I settled on some colourful paper bunting for the fireplace to give the living room a party feel! There was also an ipod dock and speakers so a very cheesy playlist was made and tunes were played all weekend!

There were 2 bedrooms in the flat that slept 2 people each, and there were 2 sofa beds in the living room. There were 6 of us staying so we fit in nicely! The other bedroom was really colourful and nautical themed which was a nice touch being a Brighton pad!

I loved the idea of hen goody bags and wanted to get personalised canvas bags for the girls but it was proving pricey and I couldn't find the right kind of look. My theme for the hen was 'pin up' vintage 1950s style, and I love all the old style illustrations of pin ups by Gil Elvgren and the like! So I decided to make my own bags using these kinds of pics. I found a pin up girl who looked like each friend and represented them in some way! For example, a cat or dog lover, a fan of sewing, a bake-aholic! I used photoshop to write their names over the pic, printed off and stuck to brown paper bags bought from ebay. I also wrapped a little bow on the handles too.

Inside I put a variety of little gifts. Here they are listed out for inspiration if you are making your own goody bags! (sorry I forgot to photograph the contents!)

- Polka dot compact mirror
- Love hearts scented candle
- Pair of earrings (each pair different!)
- A Nails Inc nail polish
- A mini cupcake bath bomb
- A Vogue postcard with a handwritten note
- A mini Lindt bunny
- A sachet of coffee for the morning after
- A paracetamol for the morning after!

They didn't cost me much at all and they went down well. I think everyone liked the bags more than anything! It's a nice touch to give your hens a gift as they are committing their whole weekend to you and spending a lot of money too!

The first night was just the girls staying in the flat so we had some low-key drinks and then headed for a tasty dinner at Bill's. It was delish and I had the most amazing dessert - orange and chocolate sorbet! Nom.

Stay tuned for part 2, and maybe 3 and lots of pin up fun!


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Polka Dot OOTD ♥

I have another honeymoon OOTD for you! Or should I say OOTN, as this is what I wore out on our last night in Antigua. It feels like so long ago already! I bought this dress from H&M for the honeymoon. It's navy blue with a white polka dot print. It was only £14.99 and has a really nice shape to it. Often I find H&M clothing to be cut a bit off, but this was really flattering.

I wore my trusty Primark £4 sandals with this outfit. I liked the combo of navy blue with a bright pop of yellow as it made the look more summery. I kept my accessories simple with a pair of drop pearl earrings, an Astley Clarke charm bracelet. I wore my hair down and my make up was pretty light as I wasn't feeling like caking it on in the humid heat! 

I love this outfit and will definitely be wearing it again this summer! I reckon I could even get away with wearing this dress in autumn too with black tights and a nice cardy! I'll be on the lookout for more H&M dresses in this skater style as I'd love to get it in different colours and patterns!


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Jelly Shoe & Sock Combos ♥

I've been thinking about to jumping on the 'jelly shoe' bandwagon for some time now. I wasn't sure whether they would suit me or go with the kinds of clothes I wear, but I can't resist any longer! They bring back wonderful nostalgic memories of being a kid and they also look pretty cute! I think I will play it safe and go for white or black ones, and take it from there...even though I adore the pretty pastel ones!

One thing I have read a lot about on other's blogs is that the jelly shoe can be very uncomfortable and sweaty if you wear them with bare feet! So I think I will definitely combine the current sock trend with the jelly shoe! There's nothing worse than your feet sliding around all hot and sweaty, it's the perfect breeding ground for blisters and pongy smells! Yuck.

I have also read that JuJu jelly shoes are the most comfiest and are not as rigid as ones from Primark etc, and that they're much more durable, so I'll probably get some of those. However I'm still so undecided about whether to go for flats or heels?? Decisions!

I've found a few shoe & sock combos that I thought worked well together. There's so many different socks out there these days, you're literally spoilt for choice. I love the ones with frilly trims around the ankle, they're so sweet!

Do you wear jelly shoes? Shall I buy heels or flats?


Friday, 4 July 2014

Wedding Sweet Cart DIY ♥

I really wanted a sweet cart or sweetie table at my wedding, so when I found out that my venue hired out a white wooden old fashioned style cart for only £25 I was over the moon! They offered a sweets package but I wanted to decorate and source all the jars and sweets myself to save some money. I can't tell you how popular the sweet cart was! I thought we had bought too many sweets, but they were demolished so quickly! I had wedding favours already but I thought a little bag of sweets would be a nice touch, and it also made a pretty backdrop to go with my vintage theme.

I found all the old fashioned sweetie jars and containers from second hand shops and I also bought some from Matalan for only £3 each which is a bargain! I got the scoops, tongs and pretty striped paper bags from ebay, for no more than a tenner altogether. The cute 'Mr & Mrs' sign my Mum found but I'm afraid I'm not sure where she got it! I also put some fresh spray roses in a cute glass vase from The Range that had a lace bow and hanging heart. As a final touch for the decoration I hung paper bunting from Paper Themes.

The sweets we picked up from various stores (supermarkets, 99p store, M&S etc!). I wanted lots of pale, pastel coloured sweets so I went for mini eggs, marshmallows, milk bottles, party rings, iced gems, flying saucers, chocolate jazzles, bananas & shrimps, choc eggs, love hearts and bon bons! Phewf. It was a lot of sweets...hence why I thought it was too much! I guess my friends and family have a sweet tooth!

It was a great focal point and all the kids loved it. If the venue hadn't of had the sweet cart I would have recreated this on a table with a pretty tablecloth and it would look just as good! It didn't cost us much at all to put together and it's a nice way to keep your guests entertained or use the bags of sweets as wedding favours. Everyone loves sweeties!

Have you been to a wedding with a sweet cart/table?


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Impromptu Tea Party ♥

The other day my mother-in-law was coming over and whilst I was out at M&S that morning I spotted some Sparkling Raspberry & Lemon Soda in the most gorgeous vintage style glass bottle! It was only £2.49 so I had to get it, and then I decided to do a mini afternoon tea / tea party! I made some chocolate chip muffins, using white, milk and dark chocolate chips, and I bought some juicy red strawberries too. The drink is made with raspberries and tangy Sicilian lemon juice and the bubbles made it light and refreshing. I'd definitely buy some again as I just love the bottle and label!

I displayed all the goodies on my pitifully small coffee table (!) and the muffins went on a gingerbread cake stand, and the strawberries on my funky vintage watermelon plate! I also put some cute stripy seahorse straws in our glasses, and some love heart napkins out. It looked so cute altogether!

I loved throwing this impromptu tea party (although I suppose no tea was actually involved!! But you know what I mean!) and I'll be doing more in the future. I love the retro vintage style products you can find in M&S, these bottles of fizzy pop would look great on the tables of a rustic 'barn' wedding!

What's your favourite kind of afternoon tea?