Saturday, 25 October 2014

Home Sweet Home..

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Last week I popped into Dunelm on a lunch break because I wanted to get myself a crochet hook, before my crochet day with Becks. I came out with not only a crochet hook, but quite a number of pretty homeware items as well. Oops. So much for a homeware shopping ban until I have a new house. But here's what I bought. 

I think the one thing I'm most excited about is the rolling pin. I've always wanted a proper vintage-style ceramic rolling pin; there's just something so stately home about them. For me they conjure up images of Cook in a Downton style kitchen, rolling pastry for that evening's dinner. I've already put it to good use rolling the icing for this cake.

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Candy Rose 'Bake' Ornament
Obviously, I didn't stick to just one collection. My existing homeware collection is a bit of a mis-match of colours and designs. I don't think I own more than two the same of any item. So dinner parties for six are a bit of a hilarious mixture. But that's what I like. And I really liked this BAKE ornament. I have a little glass shelf in the kitchen where I keep my prettiest glasses and measuring cups etc and it's going to find a spot there to reside.

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Candy Spot Cutlery // Tea Party Cake Server

I also treated myself to a new set of cutlery because the ones I bought from Ikea when I moved in are really on their last legs, with the colour rubbing off the handles etc. I prefer chunky handles to just metal and thought the colours would go with most of my crockery. Ish. And a cake slice, just because.

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Ceramic Rolling Pin // Candy Rose Clip Top Jar
Lately I seem to be gradually building up a collection of cute storage jars. Again, I've got a mish-mash of this sort of thing for storing dry store cupboard essentials like rice, pasta and sugar.

I also picked up four of these cute cushion pads to go on my dining chairs as my previous ones had been getting a bit tatty. I forgot to take a photo of them, though. 

I rarely remember to go to Dunelm but I'm always impressed when I do. Have you picked up any bargains from there lately?

Friday, 24 October 2014

Friday Favourites 118..

This week has been a little more about virtual window shopping than actual shopping. I've been asked to decide on some jewellery by a family member who believes that diamonds are the only proper gift.

The trouble is, I'm not entirely sure what I want.

Vashi Collage

I've narrowed it down to a few options, all from Vashi.Vashi are an online diamond specialist, who ensure that every gem they sell is conflict free. After reading a lot more about the diamond trade recently, that's quite important to me.

001: I love sapphires. They're not my birthstone but are always my stone of choice. I'll admit, I do have two sapphire rings already, but they're both yellow gold and I like that this white gold band is a little different, as is the fact that the sapphires are set around the diamond itself. This is one of the Vashi zodiac collection; they've picked out engagement rings with the perfect characteristics for each of the star-signs, which I think is pretty cute.

002: I do already have a sapphire ring with a rather similar surround to these studs, so perhaps a pair of earrings would be a better option. I don't wear earrings as often as I'd like to, but if I had a dainty pair like these I would make sure I wore them more often.

003: I've always wanted to add some pearls to my jewellery box. There's something about their link to the sea which makes them feel that little bit more personal to me - I'm always more relaxed by the seaside. A set of pearl studs would go with just about any outfit, as well. So tempted.

004: I think the swirled shape of the ring around this diamond is just so elegant. It seems a lot more modern than the regular settings of the others I've picked, but I wonder if I'd prefer something with a little more colour.

005: I love the look of this ring because it's just so classic. When I was younger I always preferred to wear either silver or white gold, but these days I'm more drawn to yellow gold, so was naturally drawn to this. 

I'm still no closer to a decision. Also, I'm aware that some of these rings are listed as engagement, but I don't see any reason why they're not suitable for any other purpose. I'm not a believer in marriage, as anyone who knows me will already know, but that doesn't mean I don't plan to build up my jewellery collection with pretty shiny gems. 

What would you choose? 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

I want a unicorn..

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Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444, last worn here)
This feels very odd. Although I'm still wearing something from Irregular Choice today, it's not my shoes. It seems to be the end of an era. 222 days and pairs of shoes later, I've worn every pair once. A different pair each day since the challenge began. 

I was really hoping that my 223rd pair would have arrived by now. I ordered the ballerina heels when they were released last Friday and received my order confirmation at 12.02. But they've not even been despatched yet. Apparently there have been major issues with these pairs and it doesn't sound as though they were quality controlled before they went on sale. I was finally told yesterday that the pair I ordered was faulty so they haven't sent them out and are waiting for another to be made. Um. I'd feel a bit better about the situation if they'd let me know in advance, I guess. 

It does seem to be another in a long line of things which have been making me question my support of a brand I once loved, though. How far do you have to be pushed to take your business elsewhere?


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Unicorn Jumper: Irregular Choice
I really love this jumper. I bought it from the Carnaby Street store the first time I ever visited it, almost 6 years ago now. That was a really expensive shopping trip. It doesn't get as much wear as I'd like, though. I figured it would layer quite nicely over the colours of this dress. 

As for the shoes, it took me a little while to choose - how strange to finally have my pick of *any* pair of shoes, again. I went for these Shelly's wedges, as the floral print seemed to match the other colours quite well. 

I've also been having a big wardrobe clearout and have added a few things to my IG sale page, which you can find here. I'm adding more things each day as I come across them and am happy to consider offers. 

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

#passtheparcel

AS PASS THE PARCEL DESIGN

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.


#StressFreeReading


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..

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Dress: Handmade (NL6223)
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Patent Brogues: Office
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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..

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Coat: eBay
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Shoe Boots: Charity Shop find
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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. 


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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.

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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.