Wednesday, 22 October 2014



Have you heard that Aspire Style are celebrating their 10th birthday? Although I don't have a shop nearby, they're a store (and a website) which Sarah introduced me to, and we tend to stop in when I visit her. 

They sell Emily + Fin, so I've used their website quite often when I've fallen for yet another quirky print, like this Isobel dress. As part of their celebrations, Aspire have let some of us bloggers play #passtheparcel, where we can pass the joy on to another blogger and each receive a voucher to spend with Aspire. I've passed my parcel on to Maria and can't wait to see what she chooses to buy! 

Aspire Style Collage
001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005 // 006

Now, my only dilemma is what I'm going to buy - help! I've put together a little wishlist of the things which I'm loving at the moment. I really like the Little Mistress striped skirt, but will probably go for the Emily + Fin exclusive firework print dress, because it has the added benefit that some of the money from the sale of each dress goes to charity.

What would you pick?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Tuesday Titles 025: Be Careful What You Wish For {Giveaway}

Lately, things have been so busy that I'll try just about anything to de-stress a little. So of course I was thrilled when StressFreePrint sent me a box of goodies as part of their #StressFreeReading campaign.


As well as a book to read, they sent me everything I'd need to keep my reading time stress free, including a hot water bottle, a set of flavoured teas and a book token so that I could carry on with my stress free reading. I've not yet narrowed down what I'm planning to spend it on, for that I might need your help!

Be Careful What You Wish For
Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles)

As for the book, I'd not read any Jeffrey Archer for a while, and I'm fairly indifferent towards his books. I don't mind them, but I don't tend to seek them out either. I actually quite enjoyed this one, although being part of a series it was a little annoying not to come to the end and have everything nicely wrapped up for you.

Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno?

As you can imagine, the book continues in a similar fast-paced vein, following the lives of Harry and Emma Clifton as they struggle to escape from the untoward intentions of Don Pedro Martinez and his team of cronies. I enjoyed ploughing through this book, perhaps mostly because it was so different to anything else I've read lately. 

StressFreePrint are also offering one of my readers a £25 book token as well, to put towards some #StressFreeReading of their own. Enter below, and the winner will be drawn on 2nd November. Good luck! 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Stitch by Stitch..

Dress: Handmade (NL6223)
Patent Brogues: Office
Lace tights: Primark // Cardigan: H+M
I'm not entirely sure where this weekend went, but all of a sudden it's Monday once again. The weeks do seem to be speeding by at a rather alarming rate, lately and it's making me feel a little overwhelmed. I know I tend to thrive on being busy but last week got a little too mad even for me. So much so that I had to force myself to have a night off and go out and enjoy myself. The world didn't end, and I still managed to get everything done. Who knew?!

This dress is my latest make. A bit of a rush-job on Saturday evening, which was quite an emotional little evening after received some sad news. I decided to snap myself out of the sadness and get on with some sewing as the idea of wearing a dress with a knitting sheep print for a day of crochet with Becks yesterday. I picked the fabric up from the Fondant Fabrics sale a while back now. Nothing wrong with a casual Sunday outfit.

Crochet Day was really fun although I don't seem to be a natural crocheter. I kept forgetting to crochet the end stitch and Becks couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong with the doubles at all. We did have lots of fun marvelling at the stupidity of folk on Judge Judy, though - another new-to-me thing.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sequins and Studs..

Coat: eBay
Shoe Boots: Charity Shop find
Beaded Dress: Monsoon

This dress was one of those things I'd not seen before, but noticed in the Monsoon sale when I was actually looking for something else. It was so pretty, that I couldn't really leave it behind, so encouraged by Alex, I added it to my armful of sale bargains. It's been hanging on the front of one of my wardrobes since then. 

Clutch Bag: New Look
Until Thursday evening when I needed a quick outfit to meet a friend in town after getting home from the gym. It finally seemed like time to wear it. And I still love it. The beading detail to the neckline and the waist, and the sequinned, beaded and embroidered flowers are so pretty.


I kept my accessories pretty simple; grabbed a clutch bag and some basic black shoe boots and a coat and headed out of the door. Actually it was rather lovely to have a night off to "to do" list, and I managed to catch all of the things up fairly successfully. Maybe there is something to be said for taking a little time to relax, now and again.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Just keep swimming..

Fabric: Windham "Swim Team"

This is the other dress I made last Sunday evening, which is sadly the last sewing I've done lately - this week has just been one of those stupidly busy ones with too many things to fit in to each day.
I've managed though, by telling myself to keep going when I've wanted to give up on something, to skip the gym or to reschedule my blood donation. I guess I sort of thrive on being busy.

Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444)
Petal Pusher wedges: Poetic Licence (Irregular Choice)
This dress is just another Simplicity 2444, which has been my pattern of choice for a while now. I seem to go through phases with the things I make, favouring one pattern for a little while before deciding that I fancy a change and moving on to something else. I'm hoping to find some time for sewing again next week as I've got quite a lot of fabric recently which I can't wait to get made up!


Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday Favourites 117..

George Hooded Duffle
001: George Hooded Duffle Coat, £32
Boden Eliza Coat
002: Boden Eliza Coat, £160.65

Yes, yes, more coats. So shoot me. With the turn in weather, I've been wearing some of my coats this week and I think I've established a couple of gaps in my collection.

001: Although I have a pink coat (or two), I don't own a duffle coat. They always strike me as being suitable for the less formal occasions, which some of my swing coats (including my pink one) are most definitely not, so it seems to be a duffle coat would make good sense. Plus, look how cosy it looks inside!

002: I don't have a purple coat. What is that about? And frankly, how can one be expected to create a coat rainbow without a purple one?

Have you established any gaps in your outerwear collection? What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Question Time..

I'm not doing well with outfit photos this week. I am also battling with finding the right words to write a post which I've been meaning to finish for a while, but I'm struggling with it, so I'm going for something a little different.

Hazel posted these questions recently and I thought I'd give them a whirl..

1. If you could have anyone (dead or alive) write a guest post for your blog, who would it be?
Audrey Hepburn, as I'm currently in the throes of a mini obsession.

2. If you could live the life of someone else for a day, who would you be?
This one is really tricky. When I was little I really wanted to be a Formula 1 racing driver when I grew up, but there aren't really any of the current ones I aspire to or follow that closely, but maybe I'd like to live Alonso's life for a day and drive for the Ferrari F1 team. 

3. Name something that you wish you were really, like really, good at.
I can't draw for toffee- I wish I was artistic! 

4. What was the last film you watched, was it any good?
Breakfast at Tiffany's - having a few weeks to myself whilst someone is working away is ace; I get to watch as many trashy girly films as I like without complaint. I'd love to be Holly Golightly! And yes, I love the film.

5. What childhood possession do you wish you still owned?
My Sylvanian Families collection - I'm hoping they're still in my parents' attic as I want them back. 

6. If you were to bury a time capsule what would you put in it?
I suppose it has to be a slice of me, so my time capsule would contain my favourite ever pair of Irregular Choice shoes (these), my Queen's Guide badge, a needle and thread, a postage stamp, a sports bra, some dinosaur stickers, and a pair of secateurs. Oh, and a coat. If I could narrow my collection down to one coat.

7. If you could rid your life of one thing, what would it be?
If I could rid myself of the constant feeling of unhappiness with my body, that would be amazing. If I could look at myself in the mirror and see anything other than a body I hate so much that it reduces me to tears, that would be amazing. Amazing but unlikely.

8. Would you rather be trapped alone on an island or never allowed to spend a single moment alone again?
I quite like spending time on my own and sometimes it's just what I need - it's the reason I've never agreed to move in with anyone else. An island would be nice, unless it was like Lost. 

9. Who's blog do you take most inspiration from?
Umm, this is probably the trickiest of all of these questions. I think I do an OK job of carving out my own style, so I don'tt tend to use blogs for outfit inpiration (although if I could look like Amber in my outfits, that would be great). I wish I could write like Becks, Gem's blog gives me shoe envy and Louise's wishlists always inspire me! I'd love to dress more like Katie + Amanda.

10. How did you find out that Father Christmas doesn't exist?
I'm fairly sure Mother let slip that she didn't like sherry when we were kids and leaving out a glass of it.

11. What's the first thing to come into your head when I say 'beauty'?
"Meh," I'm really not a beauty products girl. 

I'm afraid I'm not really in a thinking mood so I've not come up with any more questions for you to answer, but if anyone feels like giving Hazel's a go, let me know as I'd love to see your answers!