Tuesday, 29 November 2011

joy to the world..


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i'd like to point out to begin with that this is in no way a sponsored post, but in the same way as i would no doubt be regaling you with the bad service from a company should i have received it, i felt it only fair to share with you a story of the opposite kind..

a while back, i was reading a blog post (i've tried to find it but i can't remember whose it was, so if you see this and think it was you, please let me know and i'll add a link to it here..) featuring various quirky winter knitwear pieces; a modern take on the infamous 'christmas jumper' you dread each year from Great Aunt Joan..and i saw something amazing, which i knew my little sister would love - a jumper with a garden gnome on it..i popped it in my favourites as it was a week or so until payday, and then when i clicked on to the JoY website to buy it it was no longer in stock..

had this been last xmas, i probably would have been a little disappointed, and then tried to find her something else, after some sulking..but now that i am on twitter, i figured i would ask joy if they would get any more of the jumpers in stock..i almost immediately was contacted by them to tell me which stores had the item i wanted, and that one of the size i required had been put aside to be sent to the website department, in order that i could order it when it got there..i was told to expect a call when it was ready to go back online, so that i wouldn't miss it, and, do you know what, that's exactly what happened..i had a call last week from the lady in charge of the website, asking me when she should put it back online to make sure i didn't miss it..i ordered it there and then, and it was with me by monday - i can't find fault with their customer service or their delivery, or anything within the whole process..

i also really love some of the things on the website at the moment, and codulnt' resist adding this hat print shirt to my order, depsite the fact i may have similar shirts of similar colours already..i love it!

shirt: JoY // cardigan and necklace: river island // shorts: clothing at tesco // shoes: irregular choice


Monday, 28 November 2011

mistletoe and wine..

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on saturday i went to birmingham, hoping to track down some of the elusive things on the christmas present list, and also for the bloggers' meet up, arranged by the lovely emma from oh really..

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i did a little shopping when i got to the bullring, and then met up with hayley and eloise..we all went to primark before heading to the starbucks where we were due to meet up with the rest of the girls..
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after coffees and a bit of a chat for a while, we headed on out to the German Xmas Market, which was full of lovely lights and pretty things to look at, but oh so busy..

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at sian's request, we stopped for sausages (well, rebecca had german wine), and then tried to find ourselves some more space to eat them, and ended up under the watchful eye of this creepy santa! annabel doesn't look too impressed with hers in the above photo..

#brumbloggermeet German Christmas Market Funtimes! (26.11.11)

then we headed to the mailbox to have tea at bar eat bar, where gem joined us, and michelle took lots of pictures (i've borrowed the above one from her!)
all in all a lovely day :)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

even if i told you, i know you won't believe me..


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dress: tesco clothing

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heels: primark

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cardigan: tu at sainsburys
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bracelet: topshop
another fabulous example of a tesco clothing item i have worn over and over again - this fab knife-pleat dress..i usually can't get enough of tesco's clothing offerings, and judging by the posts on the s/s12 collection, it seems as though next year will be no exception!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

anger inside builds within my body.

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pink and greay tweed heels: irregular choice
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clown print jumper: h+m (via ebay)
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pencil skirt: new look

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cardigan: h+m
an uninspired friday's office outfit..i woke up to find the cold which i thought i was rid of by wednesday this week, seems to be back with a vengeance..after a few false starts in terms of outfits, i finally dug out this skirt, which i had almost forgotten i had, and paired it with my h&m clown jumper..i was rather pleased, both with the fact that my weekly weigh-in told me i had lost another couple of lbs, and that both of these items feel like they fit a lot better than the last time i wore them..

the good thing about having a cold is that my overall body temperature seems to have gone down, so where i would usually be too warm wearing a sweater, i can manage it without any problems..every cloud and all that, huh?

i threw on some irregular choice heels with a pale pink feel to them, and this wardrobe-staple cardigan, and snuffled my way out of the door..hope nobody else is suffering with the winter sniffles :/

Friday, 25 November 2011

one day we'll run away..build a house made of straw and clay...

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i was recently contacted by Merry, who blogs here, at Patch of Puddles and also runs one of several of her websites, Craft Merrily, which stocks a huge range of craft supplies, hama beads and fimo..

i'm a great fan of fimo, and remember spending time making all kinds of creations with my sisters when we were younger..i use it to make badges for the guides when we go on pack holidays or camps and need patrol badges, and have recently had great success making sets of fimo cutlery with them..

on a more personal level, i also find it great to make charms and things to turn into jewellery, so when i was asked if i would like to pick something to review, i chose this bead roller and a refill kit of 10 coloured blocks of fimo to have a play with..it was very easy to use, you just take small chunks of warmed clay and roll the top piece back and forth over the bottom piece of the mould..i think i was expecting the moulds to be attached, as i found it took a bit of getting used to before i was sure i was keeping them level..but the result, as you can see, was a set of beads, of the same size and shape, which you can then use one of the pins to create a hole for threading them, once cooked..

the bead roller will create three different shapes of bead, and i can see it being a really useful tool in the future, so i'm very pleased to have been offered the opportunity to review it! if you would like any fimo inspiration, Merry has a lovely page of models and ideas here and if you're a fellow fimo-lover, don't forget to link me to what you have made! :)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

put some new shoes on and suddenly everything's right..


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boots: irregular choice // dress, tights, beret : primark // cardi: h+m

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the newest addition to the shoe-box palace..i could probably make a palace from all my shoeboxes..or a fort..hmmm..

anyway..these are AnnaBell's Trolley, from irregular choice, who were rather helpful and managed to track me down and transfer me a pair from one of their stores as the website had sold out of my size..they're a funny shape (part of what i like about them; the shape of the heel is so unusual)..

truth be told they are quite big around the top, i think the style makes them quite a wide opening, and there is a band of elastic inside them to hold your feet in place because of the wide-foot..i've found they took a little getting used to as the sides are quite solid, so a bit of an odd sensation having something against my ankles when i move my feet (i may be a bit weird, i have difficulty keeping my feet still, ie if i'm waiting in a queue for something or whatever, so probably most people wouldn't have this odd sensation..)

most of all i love the dollar print on them..i tried them on with various tights when they arrived the other day, and decided black was probably best to begin with, and then remembered this dress, which i figured would pick out the other colours..i've already had a lot of comments on them..what do you think - too mad?

the ice inside your soul..

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 i have an iPhone, which i probably use, look at, touch, play with, etc on average about sixty thousand times a day..i text, call and tweet on it, although to be honest very little else; i have no music loaded on it as i have my trusty iPod which actually fits into my docking station, whereas my phone will only fit if i take the cover off..

the most annoying thing about my phone..? definitely it's battery life, without a shadow of a doubt..yes, i've done all the things which common sense would tell me to; i have the location services turned off, and don't have the email setting on automatic..i don't have any automatic updates set up on it or any of it's apps, and the brightness setting is always right down at it's lowest (well, unless someone else wants to actually read or look at something on there, at which point i have to momentarily turn it up to avoid complaints of 'how can you read things on that, i can't see anything?!')

so when i was asked if i would like to review this kensington mini battery pack for ipods / iphones, i thought it could be just what i needed..i charged it up with the USB cable when it arrived, and waited for my phone to be getting low on battery, then plugged it in..(i had a little trouble getting it to fit and then stay connected, as i have quite a chunky outer case on my phone)

the charger claims it'll allow you to 'enjoy an extended playtime of up to 30 hours of music; 6 hours of video; or 3 hours of talk'..i'm not sure if this would be the case, but as i've said, i don't have music on my phone, so can't comment on the music play-time until i get a chance to connect it to the ipod..when i plugged it in the phone did begin to charge, although the 100% light rather quickly went off and the 60% power light on the pack lit up in it's place..

it definitely is something i would advise packing in a bag ready-charged if you have a long journey to go on - the grey cap also clips onto the battery pack (as in the middlephoto) in a way that creates a stand for your phone when you have it plugged in, so that could be useful if you were on a journey and wished to watch a movie or something..?

if i remembered to keep it charged up and to take it with me, i think it's a good little gadget for those times when you have forgotten your charger, or can't get to a socket - i'm thinking it could be useful for future camping trips! i wouldn't rely on it very often as i'm not sure how much charge it would hold, but i suppose it's only supposed to be a little boost, so it does what you'd expect..

this battery pack is available from most retailers at a cost of approx. £20 as far as i can see.. i was sent this item in order to review it, and all my words and opinions are honest and my own..

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

ten million fireflies..



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pesky Owl-face^^

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sheer mushroom blouse: primark

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skirt: primark


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heels: irregular choice

although i rather like all of the components of today's outfit, both together and separately, i still can't quite feel comfortable in it, as everything seems too big..

the skirt has a rather odd waistband, which i am not convinced is entirely flattering; it has a ruffled paperbag finish, which just seems to jut out at an odd angle, making me often want to fold it inside the top of the waist, which in turn makes my waist area look more bulky than usual..

the blouse is perhaps an oversized cut, but i think i would like it to be a bit more fitted on the shoulders..also it's quite long so i have had to tuck it in to this skirt..

the ring is named Owl-façé, and came from primark but is too big for even my index finger, so will have to have some tape around him to make him fit properly - he's already made one attempt at a suicidal bin-leap when i threw something away this morning..

and these shoes..one of my favourite ever pairs of my irregular choice collection..these have had so much wear over the several years i have owned them, i'm not sure how shoes get to be too big though?! i think they have just stretched with over-use..i just have to be careful walking in them..

i'm not sure whether to class this as an outfit fail or a success...?


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

tuesday titles 002

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The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn - a Daisy Dalrymple Mystery
i have to admit, i have not read any of the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries before, i'd not heard of them either if i'm being completely honest..but seeing the book in the library, i did break the golden rule and judge it by it's cover and picked it up as i liked the look of the hat Daisy was wearing on the cover..
having done a little research after reading the book, it seems this is the second in quite a hefty series, but this worked perfectly well as a stand-alone as well, which i always prefer when it comes to a series of books..obviosuly there are characters who will span a lot of the books, but enough background information was given that the reader could join the dots for themselves..
the main character is a likeable one, not as arrogant as readers may have come to expect from 'whodunnit' stars, which is refreshing, and the story was a relatively fast-paced, easy read, set in a 1920s country house, and with a few twists and turns to shy away from being predictable..
if all other Daisy Dalrymple mysteries are similarly written, i'll certainly keep an eye out for more next time i'm in the library as i was pleasantly suprised!

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Sundowners by Lesley Lokko

i have written here about how much i have enjoyed other Lesley Lokko books, and this one was no exception..the book tells the story of the four main characters; spoilt, South-African diamond-heiress Rianne, dependable Gabby, flirtacious Charmaine, and down-to-earth Nathalie..
the book follows these four girls over three decades of their lives, and in particular i enjoyed the first section where they met at boarding school, partly because it had a typical 'boarding school story' feel to it, and i was a big fan of series ike Malory Towers etc when i was younger, and also partly because it was set in a town familiar to me, which i do think makes a difference in the readers' enjoyment - if a writer is describing a scene in a place you know, and are familiar with, you are more likely to find some kind of empathy with the setting, right?!

whilst you may be thinking oh, a story about four girls, it'll be typical chick-lit, i think that Lokko writes in a style which moves away from the ubiquitous 'chick lit' label, and into a more gritty, realistic view of the world..each girl encounters difficult situations, which i think made me as a reader like them more, in particular Charmaine, whose feelings in the latter part of the book i found it quite easy to relate to..

whilst i don't wish to give anything away about the plot, or the directions in which the lives of the main characters go, there is the link with South Africa and other African countries, which you would expect from Lokko's writing - there is some political reflection of events (which may or may not be partially true; i don't know enough about early 90s world politics to be able to comment) but some well-known political names come up which, again, work to make the story seem more grounded..

the plot was full of twists and turns, and moves nice and fast through the course of the book, which i liked, as it made it easy to read the book in just a couple of sittings..i'd definitely recommend it!

Monday, 21 November 2011

and they were all yellow..


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poodle blazer: h+m // daisy print skirt: new look

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studded boots: matalan // vest: primark


i realise that with this post and yesterday's, my recent outfits are looking predominantly yellow..i didn't even repeat any of the items, so i guess i have a lot of similar outfit pieces..

i love this mustard blazer; the colour, the fit, the quirky poodle print (of course)..it was one of the many things which i had to rely on Super-Alex to track down for me on her travels, as i saw it online (as usual) and then couldn't find it in any stores near me (of course)..i remember going to ask in our local H&M and receiving a rather funny look and a comment of "i'm sure i would have remembered something like that! when i tried to describe it"

i also recall the day when i was away at a huge guide camp, for a week and by about halfway through, the stress was getting to me - some of the leaders we went with can be particularly trying - so i had escaped with another, and we were getting more and more stressed trying to locate a supermarket and then get back with what we needed in time to prepare dinner..as we were doing an illegal U-turn in the middle of a road and in front of a bemused police car, i remember the ping of a text from alex to say she'd found me my poodle blazer, and my day's stresses seemed to disappear!

so, as after all that fuss, i have only worn it a couple of times, i decided that it had hung around on the rail of my bed for long enough and deserved an outing..this new look skirt was hanging near to it on the rail (i use the rails of my bed for extra hanger storage, as the wardrobes are all full!) so i thought i would put them together..i added these boots because i thought i would have to be walking into town at lunchtime to go and buy our ghost-tour tickets for our rangers trip next week, but i managed to get them paid for over the phone and luckily mum picked them up on her trip into town earlier on ! but it's been a chilly day and i have been glad of them..i'm still feeling rotten with my cold, and my twitchy eye seems to be back as well, so i think i would plump for comfort over stylishly high heels today anyway..

Sunday, 20 November 2011

some things were perfectly clear..

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tights : new look // shoes: irregular choice // dress: primark // cardigan: tu
 i love these irregular choice rocko heels, and recenly i love coloured tights more than i have in the past, so why not put them together..here's how that turned out..these are the grey tights i would love to replace as they are quite ruined, but i can't find a suitable match..they seem to be the perfect shade of grey..

Saturday, 19 November 2011

let it shine..

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skirt: matalan // cardigan: new look // squirrel tshirt: tesco clothing // shoes: gift
  
 i felt like a bit of a frump in this outfit in practice, although it had worked in my head when i'd thought of it..does anyone else ever feel like an outfit is going to work, and then when they actually put it together, find out it's a fail? i love all of the pieces individually, just not entirely convinced they work when mashed together in this way..