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Monday, 22 September 2014

Last Day's of Summer: Coral Tones


Summer is swiftly leaving us behind (where did it go this year?) as Autumn approaches. I'm actually not sad about that. Autumn is my time.

Autumn/Winter is undoubtedly my favourite season in the fashion calendar. I have friends who are all about the bronzed legs, cut-off shorts and strappy tops of the summer but seriously, give me fluffy knits, rich velvet and chunky boots over that every time.

That said, I am partial to a bit if sunshine, even though my complexion might suggest otherwise.

A few weekends ago, the sun seemingly came out of no where so me and the boy made the most of the nice weather by going out for a Sunday lunch at a pub down the road.

Whenever the weather's not grim (and it usually is in Manchester) and I have a bit of spare time, I always try and get an outfit post shot outside.

Black felt fedora hat- Primark
Sheer floral kimono- DivaDames*
Wu-tang Clan halter crop top- Forever 21
Riding Pants- American Apparel
Religion coral spike clutch bag- Psyche*
Cleated sole patent heels- ASOS

Kimonos have been my saviour for the past few months; they're so easy to just throw on over a summery top to keep the chill out when the sun goes behind the clouds. This one's from a new site I discovered called DivaDames who do lots of trend-led clothing at really good prices.

I found myself wearing lots of coral in this outfit. From the coral tones in the print of my kimono to the gorgeous colour of this Religion box clutch from Psyche. It's the perfect size for a night out for a bit of makeup, some money and your phone. Psyche stock lots of accessories including Michael Kors bags and watches, Olia jewellery and Ted Baker purses. I was pleased to see Religion in the lineup which has been one of my favourite brand's since I was about 13.

This clutch isn't really a colour I would usually choose but I'm glad I did as it adds a nice pop of colour to my typically all-black outfits. It also perfectly matches my new Loreal Colour Riche Intense lipstick that I picked up on a three-for-two offer a few weeks ago. It says that it's for blondes but who I am to be told what does and doesn't suit me!

Are you enjoying these infrequent bursts of nice weather?

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Best of British


This post starts out a little differently. I've decided to include more lifestyle-type posts on my blog because I often get the chance to go to some great events with more of a food, drink and various other random things focus and it would be a shame to miss out on sharing those. I also seem to have less time on my hands nowadays (take me back to being a student when all I had to worry about was whether I could get up in time to watch the Jeremy Kyle repeat at 1:30pm) which means I don't get as many opportunities to do dedicated outfit posts.

Waitrose British Dish Challenge

I was recently thrilled to take up a challenge from Waitrose to recreate a classic British dish. I was more than happy to accept as I love cooking, though this presented a bit of a problem; British cuisine! I actually don't tend to eat many traditional British dishes, I tend to be into more exotic flavours found in Indian, Moroccan and Mediterranean cooking.

I thought about the typically British stuff and the ways I might be able to put my own spin on things. I came to the conclusion that actually, the British dishes I like the most are dead simple; steak pie, a Sunday roast and fish and chips.

It was the latter that I decided to go with. A fish and chip shop conjures up memories of visiting seaside towns when I was younger, or scraping together change with friends to buy a cone of chips to share smothered in salt and vinegar when we were teenagers.

As much as I wanted to reinvent traditional fish and chips, I figured that it's one not to be messed with. Instead I altered the concept slightly and made fish goujons rather than a large fillet so I could have a posh version of one of my favourite variations- a fish finger butty!

Beer Battered Cod Goujons with Crusty Bread and Hand-cut Chips
Ingredients from Waitrose:

Maris Piper Potatoes
Cod Fillets
Crusty Sandwich Loaf
Plain Flour
Sparkling Water

Maris Piper potatoes make the best chips. I washed and peeled a handful and cut them into thick, chunky chips. I then parboiled them, then coated them in olive oil and seasoned. I baked my chips so that they were a bit healthier.

I must say that the quality of the cod I got was amazing. I cut the fillets into thick strips, coated in plain flour and then dipped into my homemade batter before frying. I followed this recipe for the batter.

This crusty bread was divine with loads of thickly spread butter.

To add to the English theme, I decided to try some of Waitrose's own brand gin, paired with Fever Tree ginger beer and a generous wedge of lemon. Amazing.

An awesome meal. The man agreed too.

Checked shirt- vintage

Stylefruits Brilliantly British Fashion Blogger Card Game

This post seemed like a good opportunity to share another recent British-themed venture. I was asked by Stylefruits to take part in their annual fashion blogger card deck. This year's pack is titled 'Brilliantly British' and features a set of British-themed statistics for 32 fashion bloggers.

They're so cool and a great way to discover new bloggers. You can nominate bloggers for next year's pack, here.

I'm going to give a pack away to a lucky reader who comments on this post so don't forget to leave me a comment to let me know that you'd like to win the pack!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Reading Festival 2014


It seems like ages ago that I was getting home from Reading Festival but it was only last week!

This was actually my first ever camping festival and safe to say, I loved every minute.

I didn't take as many photos as I probably should but I got enough to put a little blog post together.

Warning- floral overload!

Sunglasses- Primark
Earrings- vintage
Choker- ASOS
Crop top- Forever 21
Tassle bag- ASOS
Floral culottes- Cow Vintage

Some of my favourite acts over the weekend included Queens of the Stone Age, Duke Dumont, Beardyman, Arctic Monkeys, Andy C, Papa Roach, Klaxons and Blink 182.

We were fairly lucky with the weather, it only seemed to rain at night (other than the last day which was torrential during the walk to the car-grim!) and was actually really hot in the morning and early afternoons. I even got myself burnt, complete with bikini top, t shirt and wristband lines. In a slight hungover haze on Friday we also had a little kip in the main arena at midday and I managed to burn just my knees which now looks pretty ridiculous.

I actually didn't get any decent photos of my favourite outfit which was a gorgeous gingham crop top I got from Cow Vintage with some denim cut-offs, knee high socks and a red checked flannel shirt I bought while I was there.

I think we were also a bit guilty of going overboard with the stick on gems and bindis, they got more elaborate every day!

Have you been to any festivals this summer?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Sunshine and Beer: Moretti Gran Tour


Okay so the weather has definitely took a turn for the worse since my last post. This one was a few week ago when we still had glorious sunshine in Manchester.

I went to a great little event by Italian beer brand, Birra Moretti. It was held at the Old Granada Studios which made for such a cool venue. They had made a 'mini Italy' in the studios with different stands offering authentic Italian street food from some of the best-rated eateries in the UK and of course, lots of Birra Moretti!

I was invited as a VIP guest which was great as we were able to try as much as we liked.

I can't even pick out a favourite from the food stalls, it was all so good. I tried most of dishes from the different vendors. I started with gnocchi with slow braised pork shoulder in a tomato ragu from Pasta e Basta; then I moved onto an amazing spit roast pork roll with rocket and and pesto from Forza Win before going in for my fave- pizza! Pizza Pilgrams were offering the most amazing and authentic wood-fired margherita pizzas.

After all that, I was going to give the food a rest until I bumped into the gorgeous Hannah who told me that I must try the deep-fried calzones from Cheeky Italian (yes, they tasted as unhealthy as they sound- delicious though).

And of course I had to try some gelato from Gelupo and an amazing Italian coffee from Terrone & Co.

Sheer leopard print shirt- charity shop
Clubmaster sunglasses- Ray Ban
Backpack- Primark
Metallic gold sliders- Office*

I was gifted these gold sliders from Office recently and they've rarely been off my feet. The weather has gotten cooler over the past week and I've started wearing trainers and boots a little more- come back summer!

Have you indulged recently?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Afternoon Sunshine


A quick outfit post.

This is an outfit I wore to a friend of mine's (baby's, obvs) christening that I went to just after we got back from Brussels.

 Clubmaster-style sunglasses- New Look*
Off-the-shoulder floral crop top- New Look*
Belt- charity shop
High waist trousers- ASOS
Bag- Vivienne Westwood
White court shoes- Dorothy Perkins

I'd had this floral bardot-style top for a couple of weeks and was been looking for an opportunity to wear it. It's quite girly for me but I was glad it was there hanging in my wardrobe- can hardly rock up to the church in my usual uniform of ripped jeans and a baggy top.

I was so surprised by the weather! I was expecting to return from Belgium to the usual dreary Manchester skies but it was so gorgeous the weekend we got back.

I had a white blazer with this outfit but couldn't bear to keep it on for these photos. The shoes are also horrendous to walk in, worst pair I have by far; I don't know why they're so uncomfortable! I walked down to my little outdoor blog photo 'spot' in my Nike sliders and threw on a big T shirt with an ice cold drink when I got back in.

The things bloggers go through for a photo opportunity...

Have you had any nice weather where you are recently?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Break in Brussels


I feel like I've been a bit absent recently; not just on my blog but across all social media.

To be honest I've had a pretty hectic few weeks having started my new job as Ecommerce Manager for another fashion brand. It's been taxing and I've found it difficult breaking out of my old routine.

Good news is that two and a half weeks in, I'm feeling a bit more settled and ready to put my blogging head back on!

I had a week off in between jobs and as I hadn't been away yet this year, took the opportunity to get away. The boy and I settled on Brussels pretty much for the ridiculously cheap flights (you never let us down Ryanair...)

Enjoy some of the snaps. I've given them captions and have gone into detail my experience of the city at the end of the post for anyone who might be interested in visiting- it's a great city!

Grand Place- the main square

At Grand Place. Outfit: sunglasses, Ray Ban; choker, ASOS; jersey top, Primark

 Galeries Royales St. Hubert- historic shopping mall

 Royal Palace of Brussels- the king's crib

Belgian waffles and beer 

Clothes at one of Brussels' vintage shops

Oxfam Vintage- like the Oxfam Originals vintage shop we have in Manchester! 

My favourite vintage shop- Think Twice and right, the jacket I bought there. Black jumpsuit is Vero Moda and shoes are eBay

The Mont des Arts

The Botanical Gardens of Brussels. Outfit: sunglasses, Ray Ban; earrings, eBay; necklace and belt, vintage; kimono and mom jeans, Primark

Brussels seriously impressed me. We were only there for three days but it totally blew me away.

Firstly, there's so much amazing architecture there. I'm not big into buildings per se but I can appreciate a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. In Brussels, you can't go far without stumbling upon an old ornate structure, detailed sculpture or grand landmark.

Our base was on Rue Royale- named thus because the king lives there, yo! Who, by the way, I swear I saw in blacked out car with a police entourage. Boy wasn't convinced it was him. I digress. In this small area of the city alone, we visited the royal palace (obviously), Congress Tower with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Botanical Gardens.

Within a short walking distance were landmarks like the Mont Des Arts (a hilltop landscaped vantage point with amazing views across the city), Manneken Pis (small brass statue of a little boy doing a wee; sounds hilarious but was actually most underwhelming attraction we saw!) and of course the famed Grand Place which is the main square in the city and contains the Town Hall.

We spent our first day exploring and I'd already earmarked some cool vintage shops I'd looked up online. In the end, my favourites were two that we stumbled across; an Oxfam vintage shop which reminded me of the Oxfam Originals store we've got in the Northern Quarter back in Manchester, and a hidden gem called Think Twice Vintage. I so wish I could've brought the shop back home with me, it was so good! I sometimes think because vintage clothing is now so popular in the UK, there tends to be a lot of overpriced shit out there but in countries where it isn't as well-shopped, the quality seems to be higher. This little shop was full of really colourful, mainly 80s pieces and it was so cheap too. I bought the floral jacket above at what works out to around £13 but almost came away with a studded cropped leather jacket with fringing and a day-glo 80s Nike raincoat. Eyes were too big for my suitcase, sadly.

Aside from visiting all the main tourist attractions and shopping, there was a lot of drinking of Belgian beer and eating involved. Did I mention drinking beer?

The boy and I are big beer drinkers but ladies let me tell you, you don't know what you're missing until you try a fruit flavoured beer; they are seriously good. One of my favourite places to drink was Mort Subite (meaning sudden death!) who have such experience in the industry that they have their own brand of beer which is actually sold in bottles all over the world. I had one of their own brew beers in peach which was yum.

It also goes without saying that I stuffed my face with plenty of Belgian waffles and chocolates. For the best Belgian chocolates, don't go to the tourist traps. The Grand Sablon area of the city is littered with boutique chocolate shops and they are far better quality, home to some of the best in the world. We visited the famous Wittamer, first for a coffee and cake and then to their chocolate shop to buy some treats to take home.

It also helps to know a little French if heading to Brussels, it's the most widely-spoken language there. Luckily I took it to AS Level- it came in handy on the first night when we found an amazing little restaurant away from the hustle and bustle and the waiter didn't speak a word of English. We were relieved to find that I'd managed to translate the menu and order correctly!

I'd recommend Brussels to anyone for a reasonably-priced city break. I'd love to go back.

Have you been away anywhere nice recently?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A Bucket Hat and Manchester Bloggers Meet


Earlier in the week I had the  pleasure of meeting up with some other Manchester-based bloggers at the first #WeBlogMCR meet, organised by the lovely Holly.

We congregated at the fabulous Whim Wham Cafe in the city centre. The venue is such a little hidden gem; it describes itself as a 'Gin Saloon' and boasts loads of gin-based cocktails (we may have sampled a few of those...). The interior is also really cool and like an old Speakeasy inside. I noticed some flyers around the place advertising regular vintage clothing fairs taking place there too which I'll definitely be checking out.

There were more bloggers at the meet than I expected and it was great to see loads of new faces who I've never come across on the Manchester blogging scene.

I mostly chatted to Emma, Cat, Jess, Laura, Claire and (another) Cat; thank you for being super friendly girls.

I had such a fun evening and even won a prize for social media activity on the night which was a voucher for City Spa Escapes- I can't wait to book in!

I didn't stay as long as I'd have liked as I wasn't feeling too well but it meant that with these light nights we're having, I was able to take a few snaps of my outfit outside.

Bucket hat- Lazy Oaf
Earrings- Gogo Phillip (via ASOS)
Choker- ASOS
Chiffon maxi shirt- eBay
Vest- H&M
Monochrome backpack- Primark
Jeans- Primark
Sandals- SpyLoveBuy

I'm loving this choker from ASOS with little 90s-style moon and sun charms. I'm sure you'll soon get fed up of seeing it around my neck, i think it's going to be a firm favourite.

Must admit I've had a fair bit of stick for this hat! I don't know about you but I'm loving the bucket hat trend; long may it continue. Adding a touch of Kevin and Perry can never be a bad thing in my book.

Would you rock a bucket hat this summer?


Foxy x