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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

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Parklife 2014: A Festival Date with Forever Miss Vanity


So yesterday I had the most incredible day at Parklife festival in Manchester's Heaton park with blogger Jessica of Forever Miss Vanity.

It all happened in a bit of a whirlwind when Jess invited me to attend the Saturday line-up at the weekend festival with her on Thursday evening. If a VIP press ticket to one of the best festivals in the UK (also happening to be in my city) isn't worth clearing your calendar for, I don't know what is!

I actually want to take this moment to say how hugely appreciative I'm feeling at the moment. This being the second VIP access high profile music event I've attended through my blog in the space of just a few weeks. I also haven't announced it on my blog yet but I've just landed a new job too which I'll be starting in two week's time. I'm literally on cloud nine right now and so thankful for everything coming my way.

Anyway back to the festival.

Despite having a bit of a nightmare arriving at and leaving the festival, the duration in between was so much fun, despite the typical curse of Manchester's rain!

Above; me and Jess arriving to a wet start. I got absolutely soaked in the queue to pick up my ticket and rushed out to buy a rain poncho as soon as I got it. I think I would have paid the guy I bought it from any money for it!

Thankfully the weather cleared up a bit a few hours later and it actually ended up being pretty sunny later in the day.

Earrings- vintage
Choker- eBay
Dress- Motel
Hoodie- borrowed from boyfriend
Camo jacket- army shop
backpack- Primark

I was out on Thursday and Friday evening so didn't have any time at all to outfit plan. I threw the above on yesterday morning as I peered out of my window to be greeted with a downpour. I would've loved to have worn any number of hats or my gorgeous Rock n Rose flower crown but I was a bit scared of getting them ruined by water. My outfit was a bit on the safe side!

After getting a thorough soaking and a bit of a rave in the Hospitality tent, we decided to check out the press area. We were absolutely delighted to discover that Tigi had a styling tent; it was just what we needed for our limp, rain-ruined hair! Jess and I were equally excited about the whole thing, finding out that we're both massive fans of the Bed Head brand.

We had some fun in their photo booth and were given an amazing bag full of products. Mine included the Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray which is my absolute favourite styling product; I use it every time I wash my hair and my current bottle has almost run out so this came at the perfect time.

The stylists at Tigi gave our hair some much needed zhuzzing-up, I opted for extra volume and curls. You should be able to see the difference in my picture at the main stage below.

It was also amazing to spot super blogger babes Lily and Zoe who were in the tent promoting the Bed Head brand with Tigi. I had a chat to them both and they're such lovely girls.

After getting our hair did by the talented team at Tigi, we rushed out to the main stage to catch Katy B who we both were really looking forward to seeing. She didn't disappoint- her live version of 'Katy on a Mission' was amazing and really got the crowd going.

After Katy B, quite a lot of the crowd filtered out so we took the opportunity to get to the front which was the best decision of the day.

We watched Annie Mac, who I've seen a few times before and think she's just the most talented female DJ and achingly cool, and Rudimental from the very front.

Rudimental were absolutely phenomenal with bags of stage energy. They had some amazing vocalists and the trumpet player really added that extra dimension to make it a fantastic performance.

We then managed to get ourselves on the front row at the barrier for Snoop Dogg which was just insane. It's something I'll never forget. I can't believe how good he was live and his engagement with the audience was wicked.

The Snoop pictures are little blurry. Probably to do with me not being able to stay still while he was on stage.

A huge thank you to ID&C Brand for the festival wristbands and to Jess for taking me with her for our festival blogger date- I think we should have many more days like this!

Have you ever been to Parklife or were you there this weekend?


Foxy x

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Katy Perry at Phones 4 U Arena Manchester


This post is a bit belated though exciting all the same.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to get the chance to see Katy Perry in concert on her Prismatic World Tour along with a handful of other bloggers in Manchester.

The amazing team at the Phones 4u Arena invited us into our very own VIP suite to enjoy a little pre-party complete with cake, nibbles, drinks and complementary make-up and manicures.

Did I mention cake? Oh boy was there cake! Sorry for what's probably too many photos but wow, that cake was good.

I indulged in a gorgeous slice of red velvet cake which, if I remember correctly, had bubblegum flavoured icing.

If any Manchester-based readers would like to try cakes like these, they're made by the very talented Charlotte O'Toole aka BakeOrama and her team who also supply Northern Quarter eateries Home Sweet Home and Almost Famous with their sweet creations.

It was really nice to attend the event with a small group of friendly bloggers. Above are Lily and Frances, always nice to catch up with these two! I also met the lovely Terri for the first time (hope we cross paths again soon) and the beautiful Rosie was there too.

Sheer daisy top- Glamorous
Bralet- Forever 21
Fluffy green pompom earrings- DIY
Choker- eBay
High waist leggings- Tinned Bananas  

The venue was absolutely packed with fans and there was a great atmosphere. You get a really unique view of things from the VIP boxes and can see the whole arena.

Katy was supported by Swedish female duo Icona Pop who you might know from the hit '(I Don't Care) I Love It' which has been all over the UK charts.

There was a great build up to Katy Perry's entrance and the crowd went crazy when she reached the stage.

I haven't really been to many big arena shows so this was such an experience for me.

The choreography, staging, outfits and lights were absolutely sensational and Katy had a great rapport with the crowd.There was a prism-shaped standing area at the front and those guys were seriously close, getting lots of high fives from the singer!

Some highlights for me was the staging for 'Dark Horse' which was Egyptian-themed with an awesome huge horse on stage which you can see in my photos below; the 'dance cam' which picked up some hilarious moves from the audience; the big inflatables during 'California Gurls' which included a replica of the smiling poo Emoji! And of course the amazing outfit changes. There were so many outfits! During the 'kitty purry' part of the show, she donned a pink catsuit backed by dancers completely kitted out as cats (was there a little pun there?). I also liked her acidic yellow smiley face costume which had a 90s rave theme, as did part of the show.

All in all she was amazing and I'd definitely recommend going to see her live. You forget just how many hits she's had!

She also did a double encore which involved getting a lucky member of the crowd on stage for 'Birthday' and she finished the show with an amazing version of 'Firework'.

Enjoy the photos!

We were given some more amazing cake to take home as well as a great goody bag which featured some thoughtful bits from Boohoo to tie in with their #ExperienceEverything campaign.

Thank you so much to Phones 4U for inviting me- I had the best night!

Have you seen Katy Perry in concert before?


Foxy x