Winter Warmers

winter warmers
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Now that the clocks have gone back I’m properly embracing the autumnal and wintery feel in the air. I suppose yes you could argue I did that a while back, after all I’ve been rocking the tights and boots combo and drinking copious amounts of the autumn flavoured drinks for quite a while now. But it’s only this past week that I’ve been looking at warming winter woollies and I’ve decided that my current striped mittens just won’t do. The number of holes in them make them more useful for draining pasta than warming hands so the hunt has commenced for the perfect pair of mittens. Above are the current contenders. What do you think, do you have a preference? I’m heading towards the cream and neon pink ones at the moment (5) as they’re so unusual although maybe a more neutral pair like number six is most sensible? But the ones with the string do hark back to one particular outfit I owned as a five-year old. For a long time it  was all about the mittens, shiny buckled shoes and my special ‘smart’ coat that was a dark blue with a black fur collar. Gosh how I loved that coat!
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A treat for myself, making a list

Happy Friday you lovely people, how are things? I’m (hopefully) nice and settle in the Peak District for a weekend of family fun. To be honest I can’t wait for board games, my favourite people, scrumptious food and lovely walks in the countryside – bliss I tell you. What about you, what are you up to over the next few days?

In a few weeks I will be starting a brand new job, which means leaving the place I’ve worked at for the last five and a half years. Gulp. Yeah big news alert. I’m massively excited about this move (more explanation about that and why I’m moving soon I promise) but it goes without saying that I’m going to miss my current job. I’ve made so many fantastic friends there and I really don’t know how I’ll cope without them sitting next to me or indulging me in multiple coffee and cake trips. Very sad times indeed.

To cheer myself up I’ve decided that when I leave my current job I’m going to treat myself to something lovely. Not just to make me smile (yes I’m that shallow) but also because 1) I’ll have a new better wage, 2) finally leaving is a big deal for me and it has taken me a while to pluck up the courage to do it, so a reward is needed and 3) something tells me that the first few weeks in my new job might be quite hectic, so I think something nice might get me through those crazy few weeks. It’ll act as a reminder of why I’ve made the change I’m making. Well anyway that’s my excuse for this little gathering of lovely things and I’m sticking to it!

Treating myself
Treating myself a little bit more

So the above thirteen things are all gorgeous and clearly no explanation is needed for any of them, yet…you know me and you know there’s nothing I like more than waffling on about stuff. So first up bags – I’m in dire need of a new one, as my current one is being used to death, so a bright coloured bag would be perfect to see me through the winter. I obviously won’t be buying the massively expensive Kate Spade bag but I had to add it because it’s so wonderfully gorgeous and I will be buying it once I win the lottery. There are a fair few rings on the above list and this is because I’ve not been able to wear mine for a while – thanks to them needing to b e re-sized – so it would be good for my fingers to not be so bare. I love the Monica Viander ones, they are so beautiful and I like the idea of mixing them up and wearing one or three, depending on how I feel. Which I suppose I could do with all these bracelets too so simple and I always like the idea of multiple ones on one arm, so far I only really have two that I can wear at once, so these three would be good additions!

Iv’e just noticed that there’s a bit of a Kate Spade thing going on on this list – what can I say I want everything on that site. As for the two cushions, they had to be included as I love cushions on the sofa and my bed – so snuggly. Finally I love that purple purse from Fossil, such a beautiful colour and pockets for everything I could possibly need to put in it (including the money I won’t have once I buy this!).

So there we have it my list of potential candidates for when I get round to treating myself, don’t worry I’ll check back soon to let you know which of the above lovely things I went with!

Jolly jumpers

It’s probable that by the time you read this lovely blog post about cosy clothing I will be sat on a beach reading a book and (hopefully) sipping a cocktail, so you might thing that a blog post about cosy jumpers is a little absurd. But in my defence it was rather grey and miserable before I got on the plane and if I’m honest I’m bored with the warm weather. Yes I said it, I’m not a fan of the Summer, at least not right now. *runs and hides* I’m fed up of the crazy weather, of sweltering in the office and not being able to enjoy the sunshine. I’m ready to enjoy choosing clothes in the morning without having to worry about what the weather will do. Also in my lazy early morning state I’d much prefer be able to bung on a dress, tights and boots or skirt, jumper and tights than spend fifteen minutes changing three times and then rushing for the bus only to find that my clothes are inappropriate because it’s too hot/sticky/wet/windy/humid [delete as appropriate].
jolly jumpers
1 – £45 from Joy        2 – £22 from Asos           3 – £38 from Oasis
Anyway whilst I’m sunning myself on a beach I thought I’d allow you to see my current jumper wishlist, aren’t they all amazing? I want to own them all and I’m incredibly jealous of the models that get to wear these jumpers for a living – these lucky, lucky people!
Where to start with this luscious list? Well I seem to be having a grey jumper obsession if the first three are anything to go by! But I’m sorry how could you say no to any of them? number one has a unicorn, so enough said, the second features hearts on the elbows, which I believe is freaking genius and the this grey one? Just when you think it couldn’t get any better you see a grey jumper with a leopard print fur collar. A-MAZE-ING. Totes adore this! The other three, surely need no explanation either. We’ve got spots, birds and stripes on these. That’s essentially the holy trinity of jumper designs, yes?  [Also how abouts we just ignore that price tag on jumper number 6 – I meant £116 what the actual hell is that about?!]
So what Autumn lovelies are you lusting over, or is that just me?!

My autumn wishlist of gorgeous things

I’m loving that wherever I look at the moment Isee brand new shiny clothes, and pretty bags and lovely autumny things to buy! So far I’ve been very restrained, go me. But I do fear it’s only a matter of time, especially with all the online window shopping I’ve been doing… Maybe now I’ve gathered everything in one place I’ll be more restrained, yes? Hm and then of course hamsters will take over the world and fluffy tailed unicorns will start prancing round the countryside…
So here’s what I’ve fallen in love with – don’t you just love it all? Do you think I can convince myself that they are all essentials in my life…
wishlist 1
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What about you, what are you lusting over right now, anymore lovely clothing items you want to share. Who knows I might then add them to my ever growing list…

My August budget – dresses, tops and shoes galore!

How on earth am I doing another budgeting bloggers post already? I swear it’s only August 10th, there’s no way it can be the end of the month. How on earth has August gone by so quickly?! Anyway, I really should spend less time freaking out about the speed that this month has gone past in and more time talking about what I actually bought, hooray! Well I’ve bought lots of lovely things and most excitingly I’ve been gifted lots of lovely things too. Aren’t friends just the best?! So I had been doing really well this month and up until a week ago I had only spent half of my budget and then the bank holiday weekend happened and I went a little bit crazy, oops. But I purchased lots of things on my list this month, so I shouldn’t be too upset with the amount I’ve bought.

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1) Floral top, Dorothy Perkins, £26 – Top of my current list at the moment are tops that are smarter than my usual array of T-shirts as I want to make my work wardrobe a little smarter. I think if I have a number of smarter tops that I can pair with jeans it’ll make the usual early morning panic a lot less stressful. So when I saw this floral top I couldn’t say no. It fits perfectly, although I might have to remove the big bow, I’m not sure it’s quite necessary and is a tad fussy for my liking.

2) Burgundy leather pocket top, Primark, £4 – I love this top, not only is the colour gorgeous (and great for the autumn) but it’s also got lovely (fake) leather detail on the pocket which makes it a bit more interesting. So far I’ve worn this with my jeans – see above – but I think it’ll work just as well with a black tube skirt for work.

3) Black Camisole, Dorothy Perkins, £14 – I’ve been searching for a simple black vest for a while now as I have a couple of really clingy skirts that really need one to make them more work appropriate. Plus I’ve got my eye on this skirt…! I also like the idea of pairing this with a bright necklace, cardi and skinny jeans – the perfect outfit for a meal or evening out I think.

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4) Brown bag, Zara, £19.99 – I’ve been searching for a brown leather-esque bag for quite a while now and I’ve not had any luck, that is until I came across this one in Zara. It’s perfect! It’s big enough for all my random crap, has two strap options (I’ve gone for the short ones) and goes with anything and everything. Plus it was so cheap and I know that it’s good quality as it’s from Zara. I’m so excited about this item.

5) Dotty Pumps, ASDA, £8 – I’m a sucker for cheap pumps and when i spotted the pattern, price and rounded toe on these I had to buy them. There was really no question about this!

6) Neon Pink Pumps, Gap, £15 – I first see these about two months ago but I couldn’t justify for £30 for a pair of shoes. BUT when I saw these in the sale I had to get them, it was clearly meant to be! Sadly though they absolutely kill so I had to stop wearing them after just an hour, but hopefully if I eBay these I should get back some of the money that I spent on them. They are gorgeous after all.

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7) Navy striped dress and 9) Pink and white chiffon dress – My lovely friend was clearing out her wardrobe when I was staying with her and she ended up giving them to me – how lucky am I! They both fit perfectly and are absolutely ideal for work so they are definitely great additions to my wardrobe. Thanks lovely Mara.

8) Black and white striped dress, Dorothy Perkins, £15 – I know I bought a striped dress last month, but I maintain that this dress serves a totally different purpose (sort of). Either way I fell in love with it when I saw it and it was in the sale, so it had to be done. To be honest anything that has sleeves like that is certainly a must!

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10) Navy Blazer –  This is another item that my friend gave to me during her cupboard sort out and it fills  another hole in my wardrobe, as clearly a navy blazer is one of the great wardrobe essentials! I’ve not worn it yet but it’ll be perfect for those days at work when I need to be a little smarter, plus it’ll be the perfect jacket as we head into Autumn.

11) Bikini, ASDA, £10 – I’m off to Portugal in just over a week and really want to sort out the hideous strap marks I currently have so a bikini seemed like an essential. I’ve not owned one since I was about eight, so this is a big departure for me, but at only £10 it doesn’t matter if I only wear it a couple of times and who knows I might get over my total phobia of bikinis!

12) Green skirt, Primark, £8 – I love this skirt as it’s got a really lovely flowery pattern and is a nice fabric. I’ve not work it yet, but as soon as the weather is perfect for black tights this will become a wardrobe staple.

So there we have it, lots of lovely things, lucky me! In total I’ve spent £119.99 this month, which is actually £10.01 under budget. I’m really surprised about this if I’m honest. I was definitely expecting to be over this month as I got so much! Although I do fear that the September budget might be in a bit of trouble as there are a lot of autumnal items that are coming into the shops that  just look so warm and cosy. There’s no way I’ll be able to stop myself from buying at least some of the things I’ve seen…

Clothes, glorious clothes!

So here we are, I’m in my second month of budget blogging and if you look at the below you’ll see that I’ve managed to buy a ridiculous number of items. It’s plain to see that I’ve really not been that great at having willpower this month, but I am very pleased with everything that I’ve got to show for July’s shopping trips. So I shouldn’t feel too bad about this! If you look at my final total for the month (£193.91) you’ll see that I did go over my proposed budget this month by £62.41 BUT it’s not all bad. After all I did make some savings in July when I returned my gorgeous Oliver Bonas dress (£65) having decided that it was far too thick for a July wedding, plus I sold a number of things on eBay. So when you take those into account I actually only spent £79.91 on clothes in July – whoopee to me! I do love eBay sales, they make me feel far less guilty about crazy amounts of July purchasing! So what did I actually buy?

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As you can see from the picture above I bought quite a few accessories this month. One thing I’ve learnt: I can never say no to jewelry or shoes!

1 – Mint sandals, Forever 21 – £7.40. I’m a little in love with the colour mint at the moment so I had to buy these as soon as I saw them. I’ve worn them non-stop and they are super comfy.

2 – Pink stripey shoes, Primark – £4. Grey and pink is a great colour combination and these pumps are perfect for the summer with jeans and skirts, plus they’ll go well with tights in the winter too. They are definitely the perfect multi-purpose shoe in my humble opinion (and they are super cute to look at too)!

3 – Grey and Neon die-cut bag, Primark – £5. When I saw this bag I fell in love with the neon and scalloped detailing. As I don’t own an envelope style bag I decided in needed purchasing, which I think is a great idea as this colour way will go with outfits of any colour, so hopefully I’ll get a lot of wear out of this in the future.

4 – Silver bead necklace, H&M – £4.00. I love multi chain necklaces and oddly enough I don’t own any, craziness! This necklace will be perfect for jazzing up a plain top or dress anytime of the year – it’ll instantly make any outfit more interesting in one easy step – hooray!

5 – Gold wishbone necklace, Forever 21 – £3.15. I have a thing for necklaces (hence the 20 odd hanging on one hook in my room), and this one was an essential buy as it’s a lovely length for all my summery dresses. My one regret, I wish I’d purchased it in silver too…

6 – Mint cuff bracelet, Forever 21 – £3.90. I told you I had a thing for mint, so of course this had to be purchased. I know I’ll get a load of wear out of it and for less than four pounds, it would have been crazy not to buy it!

Some other accessories that I bought in July, but just don’t have pictures of:
Silver heart necklace, Forever 21 – £2.50. Another essential as it will go with any outfit and it is just super cute thanks to the two entwined hearts – gorgeous!
Zara cream sandals – £24.99. As soon as I saw these in the Zara sale there was no question I wouldn’t be buying these. They’re lovely and only hurt slightly when I wear them – although I’m sure this will change once I’ve worn them in more. They are cream and neon so they’ll pretty much go with everything – exactly what you’re looking for in a summer sandal if you ask me. They are amazingness shoe-ified (yes that’s a word I’ve just made up. Awesome right?!) and I’m so grateful that my size was the only size remaining in the shop!

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7 – Black and white striped dress, H&M – £7.99. This was a last-minute holiday purchase and I’m so glad I picked it up. I love the elasticated waist, which makes it so easy to wear and ensures there’s a bit of shape to the otherwise simple dress. It was absolutely perfect when we headed to the zoo and paired with my neon cardi and I think it would be perfectly suited for a plane trip, day at the beach or during a day in the city. I honestly think I’ll get so much wear out of this and for only £7.99! I only wish they had it in more colours.

8 – Floral Patterned Trousers, Gap – £8.50 (originally £34.95). When I was in Dublin I saw these in the sale, and even though I wasn’t sure I would wear them due to the pattern, I had to buy them as they were so cheap and fitted perfectly. Thankfully I did do this as I have literally not stopped wearing them since! They are the comfiest pair of jeans I’ve ever owned and they aren’t as bright or bold as I originally thought. I adore these trousers so much.

9 – Black dress, ASOS – £14. A perfect dress for the summer, which I’ve already jazzed up with loads of different accessories for both work and evening things – plus it’s jersey fabric so I’d be able to throw it on at the beach too. A snip at just £14, bargain indeed.

10 – Khaki trousers, Gap – £14.99 (originally £34.99). Comfy summer trousers were an essential purchase prior to my trip to Dublin as I knew we’d be walking around a lot and skirts and dresses would just not do. I’d been scouring loads of shops for the perfect sightseeing trouser, so when I saw these in Gap I had to get them – they were certainly a steal at their sale price which made it that bit sweeter!

11 – Green bandeau dress, ASOS – £14. Another ASOS purchase when I had my holiday wardrobe in mind. I love the forest green colour and it was great over the last week for getting rid of strap marks!!

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12 – Turquoise skater dress, Primark – £13. As I mentioned at the top of this post I returned a dress that I’d bought last month as I deemed it too thick for the wedding I attended last week – it was meant to be scorching and three days before the wedding I realised my chosen dress just wasn’t going to work! So after a panicked search on ASOS and the high street I popped to Primark and spotted this dress. It’s such a brilliant texture, fit and colour and was absolutely perfect for the wedding. And it was so much cheaper than the original dress, so lots of money was saved – hooray!

13 – Belted printed strapless dress, Primark – £13. I was in dire need of a dress that was good for beach to evening wear, and this box ticked that need perfectly. The patterns unusual and I love the brightness of it, plus when you add a cognac belt to the waist to give it a bit of shape and throw on some gold sandals it’s perfect!

14 – Vest tops in mint and grey, Forever 21 – £2 each. Wardrobe essentials that I have been needing for a while – I do love a Forever 21 bargain!

15 – Black and white cardigans, Tesco – £0 (£8 each, but free for me). The Mothership bought these for me during a recent food shop as she knew I’d been looking for new basic cardis for a while. Considering how cheap these were they fit absolutely perfectly, which is a change to all the other ones I’d seen on the high street. Why is this always the case?!?

16 – Blue dress, Primark – £8. You’d think I’d have had enough of beachy dresses this month – but for some reason I couldn’t say no to this one. I love the cobalt blue colour and it stops at the calf, so is perfect in my opinion. Also, I’m not a fan of jersey dresses that cling too much, so when this one didn’t I know it was a winner!

There are another couple of items of clothing – yes really – that I’ve not yet mentioned as I don’t have pictures of them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them both. First up I got a dotty blazer from Zara for £39.99. I’ve had a blazer on my ‘must purchase soon’ list for a while as I wanted one that was plain (my only other blazer is turquoise) and that had 3/4 length sleeves. When I saw the dotty blazer in the sale that fit both criteria there was no question this was being left behind in the shop. It fits absolutely perfectly and looks great with everything – plus I’ve received loads of compliments when I’ve worn it. So whilst it might have been a bit too much for one item, almost forty pounds, I think it was totally justified! The other item was a navy pocket t-shirt from Primark for just £1.50, which I’ve worn so much as it goes absolutely perfectly with the patterned Gap jeans. That outfit is fast becoming my favourite one of the summer!

Phew – what a lot of things I now own. July was an epic shopping month, let’s hope August is calmer. I think considering I now have all my holiday essentials (apart from a swimming costume and shorts) I should be much better this month…famous last words!

I am of course linking up with Franish for the August edition of Budgeting Bloggers.

Clothing wish list

This sunny weather has me dreaming of more appropriate clothing. Apparently my wardrobe is severely lacking in the Summer clothes department. I’m not sure how as I’ve spent a small fortune recently, yet somehow it appears to be the case. So of course I’m window shopping online AGAIN, what is wrong with me?! Check out these scrumptious delights, aren’t they all wonderful and wouldn’t they be the perfect additions to my Summer wardrobe. Yes I think so too!

 

Leather Sandals, ASOS – £22.00

Grey Legging Jeans, Gap – £39.95

Grey Jersey Dress, Oasis – £15 (in the sale)

Meadow Floral Dress, Oasis – £65.00

Stripe Tube Skirt, Oasis  £22

Black Tie Sleeve Dress, Dorothy Perkins – £16

Coral Ballet Pumps, New Look – £7.99

Raffia Ballet Pumps, £9.99

Pinterest Corner #25 – A new go-to outfit and a new way of thinking

It’s taken me a while but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that when it comes to outfits, things should be kept simple, clean and as uncomplicated as possible. Think Gap’s simplicity and not New Look’s fussiness. This is quite a departure for me, as in the past I’ve been a mess of colour, styles, eras, all in one outfit. But recently things have changed and I’ve become a lot more logical in my shopping choices, previously mentioned here and here, and my style has consequently changed. Now I’m far more likely to settle on jeans, a coloured t shirt, a striking necklace and a cardi than anything else. I like this new look me and it’s meant that packing for a weekend has become far easier plus I’m not so inclined to spend a small fortune on mismatched clothes at a weekend, well at least so far…

Part of the inspiration for this change has been perusing the wonderful world of Pinterest where I have pinned loads of brilliantly inspiring outfits. One of the outfits I’ve been wearing a lot recently is inspired my the below image, which I actually pinned from m&s months ago and even blogged about here. I wore a very similar outfit to this last week (twice) and it’s definitely one of my new go-to outfits. It consists of a bright turquoise blazer, a black and white stripy 3/4 length sleeve top, skinny jeans and a bright gold and turquoise necklace and it’s just lovely. Not only was it perfect for a day at work, it also worked absolutely perfectly for a day of full on sightseeing. I will definitely be wearing this a lot in the future, plus I also have my eye on a brand new blazer – this one – which I think will work perfectly!

Dress obsessed

Over the past two weeks I’ve gone a little bit overboard and purchased seven dresses in the hope of finding the perfect casual Summer dress as well as the perfect dress for our work Summer party which is on Monday – eek! Whilst searching for the perfect Summer dress, I actually found two, hooray to me! The two dresses are lovely and will be just as perfect in the Winter with tights and a thicker cardi as they will be during the Summer. So money well spent me thinks! Dress number one is flowery and bright and looks perfect with my woven belt and has been my outfit choice twice in the last week alone. The second, denim number is one of my favourite pieces of clothing ever – considering I’m such a huge denim fan, I can’t believe I’ve never worn a denim dress before (well not since I was five anyway). It’s perfect with my new Gap belt with turquoise stones and it also has pockets. One of my fave embellishments on a dress.

Floral DressDenim Dress

As for the Summer party dress search, it’s been a bit more tricky. The floral Oasis dress below is lovely but it just doesn’t fit right on the back, the cut-out doesn’t line up quite right unfortunately. So that’s had to go back, as has the blue flowery maxi dress. The top is just a bit too big, which is a shame as the dress itself is so comfy and pretty. The red flowery Dotty P’s number is wrong in so many ways – it’s too long, too big and the skirt is like a meringue – not good at all. So back that one goes. Thankfully the bright pink number is staying, hooray! It’s such a lovely colour and fits wonderfully. Whilst I was a little worried it was a bit too ‘worky’ for the Summer party I think it’ll be fine paired with some skyscraper heels and gold accessories. well it had better be as after all I’m not left with any other options!! Whilst the flamingo dress isn’t quite right for either occasion, I couldn’t resist buying it as it features flamingos, surely a good enough reason to purchase yes? Sadly, or rather brilliantly for my credit card balance, it is far too big and in reality I don’t need a dress with sleeves now it’s Summer, so that one’s being returned. Sad times.

FlamingoDitsy Maxi Dress –  Floral Dress –Pink Twill Dress – Red Embroidery Dress

So yes a bit of a dress shopping month, but it was worth it as I ended up with three lovely dresses, even if I did end up purchasing a ridiculous number to get those results. But hey no pain, no gain right?!

My ‘Is it Summer yet?’ wishlist

So we’ve had two or three days of sunshine IN A ROW this week, how amazing was that! So of course as the sun has finally made an appearance I’m now assuming Summer is about to start in earnest – and I can’t wait! Bring on the bright colours, fun patterns, flip flops and other Summer outfits I say. As I’m thinking of Summer outfits, I give you: My ‘Is it Summer yet?’ wishlist – I’m lusting after some pretty awesome stuff!

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