Tuesday, 26 August 2014

#irregularchoicechallenge Days 144-162..

ICC Days 145-153
ICC Days 154-162

Another round-up from the #irregularchoicechallenge. For previous pairs worn, see this post.

In this batch, I've finally worn Kim Bow - I think this was my favourite outfit of this set. I also managed to wear some of the pairs of flats I'd forgotten I had (Days 155 and 153) and my first (of three) pairs of Prom Princess (Day 161), which I can assure you is much more sturdy than it looks from the shape of the heel.

In this lot, I also wore a pair which is my favourite, by far. Audrey Loves, the knitted tiger heels I wore for Day 162 are my favourite pair of my whole collection. They have a lot of memories associated with them (so much so that for a while I was considering leaving them out of the challenge altogether) and I'd never worn them before, but I just decided wanted to. Weird. I love them and will probably wear them more now that I've got the first wear out of the way.

Day 147 is a new-to-me pair; Toodle Loo were a pair I'd been trying to find for a while, and recently secured via eBay. Day 156 was one of my first pairs of Irregular Choice and I was convinced I must have already worn them, but apparently not until now.

Any favourites here? I keep finding pairs which I'd forgotten about, and it's getting to the stage where I'm having to check each day to make sure I'd not worn these pairs yet.

Monday, 25 August 2014

So long sweet summer..

Whizzing towards the Autumn as we seem to be, it seemed the perfect time to reflect on the summer by filling in the Summer Tag post, which Hannah tagged me to take part in last week.

So, without further ado, my answers:

1. What's your favourite thing about summer?
This is always going to be the sunshine. Being outside in the summer is awesome, be it by the sea, or just going about my usual things in a warmer state. The world just seems a lot happier when the sun is shining. As do all of the beautiful flowers and plants which are about, the bees buzzing around at the allotment. That smell of the rain, when it rains for the first time in ages.

2. Do you have a favourite summer drink?
Not really. I still live on coffee and water, I guess. 

3. Is there a location you prefer to go to in the summer?
Always the seaside, although that answer would be the same whatever the season. I just find there's something so relaxing about being by the sea.


4. Favourite makeup look for summer?
I'm such a hopeless girl - it's been about ten years since I last wore any make up.

5. Dresses or skirts?
Always dresses, because then you have a whole outfit without having to worry about what top to wear. 
6. Sandals or ballet pumps?


Always sandals; I hate it when my feet get too hot.
This summer, I was treated to my first pair of jelly sandals in twenty years - awesome, right?

7. Do you prefer to wear your hair up or down for summer?
My hair pretty much does what it likes. I try to let it get on with it. 

8. Deep smoky eyes or bold lips?
(None. See 4.)

9. Favourite perfume for summer?
I don't seem to change my favourite perfume that often, so continue to wear all year round. Currently I wear JPG Classique every day.

10. Last but not least, favourite music for the summer?
Well, I listen to all of my music (and it's an eclectic mix), but artists which remind me of summer include Lana del Rey (Born To Die), Belle and Sebastian (Dear Catastrophe Waitress) and The Verve (Urban Hymns) because they all remind me of lovely summertime memories, at college, Uni or more recently, out in the sunshine. 

It's been a good'un, Summer. See you next year.

If anyone wants to join in with the tag, I'd love to see your answers. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sunday Shoes 058: Irregular Choice Speech Bubble Flats..

IC Speech Bubble

So, these are not a new pair of shoes, but that's OK. In fact, I wore them recently and was asked what some of the speech bubbles say, so I thought what better way to share them, then to dedicate a shoe post to them.

Called Speech Bubble and with the infamous mushroom-shaped toe detail, these Irregular Choice flats were released in 2004. I bought them a long while after that, on eBay though. I don't think I'd actually worn them until I got to them in the challenge.

They're super comfortable and easy to wear, so there's no real reason for them to sit neglected, except for the fact that I just don't wear flats that often.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Laura Ashley Latest..

LA AW14 Floral
Floral Print Dress: Laura Ashley
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that when I was in Stratford, I couldn't resist picking up a new Laura Ashley dress. This is by far their standout dress for the AW14 season, for me, and I definitely couldn't leave the store without it. Any excuse to feed my Laura Ashley obsession!

Irregular Choice Kim Bow
Kim Bow heels: Irregular Choice
Laura Ashley AW14 Floral 2
Cardigan: Matalan
Although the cotton sateen is nice and light, meaning there's nothing wrong with wearing it when it's sunny, there's something about the mixture of colours that had me save it for a chillier day.

I paired it with my Kim Bow heels. They struck me as the perfect match for this, so I was glad that I'd not worn them already for the #irregularchoicechallenge. The octopus necklace was a present which my sister brought back from China for me, a few years ago, and I finished the whole lot off with my trusty grey-ish cardigan. It basically reminds me of a school cardigan, and I wear it with just about anything to make it "work-appropriate". (In my mind, anyway).

Octopus Necklace
Octopus Necklace: Gift
Laura Ashley AW14 Floral

Are you getting excited about the new A/W collections hitting the stores? It's almost coat(buying) season!!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Friday Favourites 109..

H+M Coat
001: Bell-Shaped Coat, £69.99, H+M
Ricky Raccoon
002: Ricky Racoon Bag, £25, Accessorize
Sod it, I'm jumping on that "IT'S AUTUMN!" bandwagon which everyone seems to be on this week. It doesn't take an awful lot to get me shopping for coats, being the world's biggest self-confessed coataholic, so a little miserable weather will do and here we are.

001: This coat is not only a cute shape for wearing over dresses (important when dresses are one of your wardrobe staples, like me) but is also made from some rather super-cute fabric. I think I'm in love. Plus, I don't even own any other coats in this colour, which I probably ought to take as a sign that I need it, right?
I actually had a dream about getting a rail for my coat collection, so that I could display them all better. I'm odd.

002: Always a fan of a quirky handbag, this racoon from Accessorize would be a welcome addition to my collection for Autumn. He's got an across-body strap and enough space for all of the essentials. And he's only little, so it'd be mean to leave him out in the big wide world to fend for himself.

Have you started embracing Autumn / Winter trends yet? Got your eye on anything?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Recipe: Pilgrim's Choice Crumbles..

I take it you've all been outside this week? So, you'll be with me when I say the approach of Autumn seems to be inevitable. I don't know about you, but for me the A/W decline means comfort food. And when I think of comfort food, I think of mashed potatoes, stews, or my best of all..cauliflower cheese.

So, with cauliflower cheese on the brain, I found it pretty easy to decide what to make when Pilgrim's Choice challenged me to put their new Crumbles range to the test.

Crumbles Challenge Collage1
Crumbles Challenge Collage2

Easy as pie, and perfect as a side dish, here's what I did:

  • After putting my cauliflower in a pan of boiling water to cook, I melted 2oz of butter with 2oz flour over a low heat. 
  • Once that was all combined, I added about a pint of milk and stirred it in. Bring this up to the boil and allow to simmer gently. 
  • I then measured out 6oz of the cheese and added that in to the white sauce, stirring in until it was fully melted.
  • Once that was done, I drained the cauliflower and combined the two in a serving bowl and we had it with our Sunday dinner. 
So, my verdict on the cheese? Well, Pilgrim's Choice say that Crumbles are 4mm diced cubes. I'd say that they were more like bags of grated cheese, to be honest (although it's possible that that happened in transit!). They melted easily and have the regular mature taste you'd expect from Pilgrim's Choice cheddar.

Although I've seen them in stores, I've never bought into the "pre-grated" cheese phenomenon before, but I guess it's a definite time-saver. For this recipe I used the "mature" flavour, but the range also includes Mature with Black Pepper, and Mature with Breadcrumbs and Herbs, which I have plans to use for this recipe.

What's your favourite cheese-based recipe? Is this weather making you think of comfort food, too?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Butterfly swan song..

Dress: Handmade (SewOverIt 'Betty' bodice w/gathered skirt)
Necklace: eBay
Paisley Swan Heels: Irregular Choice

OK, so this might not be the most exciting or inspiring of outfits. And yet, I really liked it when I wore it on Saturday.

This beautiful butterfly fabric was on my Frumble wishlist, but I was treated to it by Peugeot as part of the #RandomActsofJoy campaign they've been running on twitter. I made this dress up as soon as the fabric arrived.

I chose to use the Betty bodice, but to add a gathered skirt instead of the circle from the pattern, mostly because of the amount of fabric I had to work with. I really like how it's turned out, though. I also love the way that the colours in the print make it easy to wear with just about anything.

I was astounded when I looked back through the photos and realised I'd not yet worn these swan heels. I guess because I wore the boot version very early into the whole thing that I'd been thinking I'd worn these. I hadn't, until Saturday. They're one of the first pairs of Irregular Choice heels I bought and every time I take them for new heel tips (like, maybe twice, but "every time" sounds better), my hilarious shoemaker is always like "Oh, aren't these heels crazy". He clearly doesn't know me, as I'd class these as pretty staid.

The necklace, similar to things I've seen in just about any high street store in the past few months, was about £4 from eBay and although it was a little longer than anticipated, I really like it. Tacky flower jewellery isn't going to go out of fashion with me anytime soon, that's for sure.

I keep losing track of the days this week. I think because I was feeling poorly yesterday and skipped out on my spinning class, it's thrown me all off-kilter. I did go back this morning, for Metafit, as my gym guilt got the better of me, but that may not have been the wisest of decisions. I came pretty close to fainting a couple of times. Yuck.