Sunday, 10 May 2015

One Fine Day: Feat. A Charm Bracelet by Nomination


Life seems to be moving so fast at the moment that blogging has taken a little bit of a back seat. To give you a wee update, I start a new job in the morning! Once everything settles down, I'm hoping to get back into more regular posts - plus I have a few events coming up in the next few weeks so that's something I'm looking forward to.

Blessed with a rare free weekend, I had a lovely day with Chris yesterday. We got up late, took these obligatory photos (poor, long-suffering Chris...) and mooched into town for an afternoon of overindulgent food, drinks and record shopping. Check out my Instagram feed to see what I ate, drank and purchased!

I was recently given the opportunity to try a charm bracelet by Nomination from Argento Jewellery, which has not been off my wrist since I received it.

Truthfully, I've never really been a bracelet person, nor am I particularly a fan of typical charm bracelets (looking at you, Pandora...). However, I have so fallen in love with this one!

Stacking rings - Primark
Nomination charm bracelet - Argento*

These bracelets are quite unique in the sense that, usually (to me, anyway), charm bracelets bring to mind dangling charms or the overdone Pandora-style types. Nomination bracelets are basically a series of silver links which are stretchy, like watch straps sometimes are, and each 'link' has the potential to be a charm.

Someone pointed out to me that the idea is that when you have swapped enough links with charms to fill the bracelet, you're left with enough spare links for a whole new bracelet, which you could maybe give to someone else - I thought that was a really lovely idea.

Argento recently launched the Nomination 'Rose Gold' collection and asked me to choose three of these charms to create my bracelet. I went for quite a simple rose gold 'plate' charm, with two of the beautiful stone charms - 'Black Agate' and 'Amethyst'.

I must admit, I struggled a lot putting the bracelet together. Even after watching a ton of YouTube tutorials, I still found the whole process fiddly and pretty bloody difficult tbh. I was however pleased to discover that I must not be the only one, because they also sell this handy little tool for adding and removing charms. I'll definitely be investing in one of these for any new charms I get.

The range is huge, with all the charms set in 9ct rose gold, backed on silver stainless steel like the rest of the bracelet. It was hard to choose just three so I can't wait to collect more charms and add to my bracelet.

Shirt - Lazy Oaf

Here's a little shot of the rest of my outfit. I picked up this shirt a few weeks ago and it has fast become a favourite; Lazy Oaf is one of my top brands ever, love love love their stuff! Plus whenever I wear this shirt, I get Alice Cooper's 'Poison' in my head - and that's a pretty awesome song, right?


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Pretty Spring Things


I thought I'd put together a little post with some lovely new bits I've acquired recently. Spring is 'in with the new' (I definitely need to have a sort out for the 'old with the old' bit!) and it's nice to have a change up. In this post I talk about a beautiful new lingerie set (always a nice pick-me-up) and some cute house things.

Elle Macpherson Intimates Set at Bras & Honey

Recently I've been loving this gorgeous Elle Macpherson Intimates set from Bras & Honey*. Bras & Honey are an online lingerie and swimwear retailer who are known for specialising in larger cup sizes - though they cater for pretty much anybody!

They stock a great range of brands like Freya, Curvy Kate and of course - Elle Macpherson Intimates.

Elle Macpherson Intimates Dune Sunflower Set
Elle Macpherson Dune Sunflower Longline Bra and Brief - Bras & Honey*
Elle Macpherson Sunflower Lace Lingerie Set

I chose this beautiful 'Dune Sunflower' lace set. I was taken with the bra as I love longline styles; I really like the contrast of the black satin with the delicate lace cups.

This set features pretty black lace in a repeat sunflower pattern, layered over a camel coloured backing. It's a really classic and wearable combination.

I was really impressed with Bras & Honey's customer service. My usual bra size was out of stock, however after chatting to one of the girls at B&H, I followed her suggestion of going up a cup size and it fits perfectly! She told me that Elle Macpherson styles, like many Australian brands, come up slightly small.

Flamingo Gifts

Flamingo Gifts is an amazing destination for quirky presents and gorgeous things for the home. Flamingo Gifts are probably best known for their jar candles in a diverse range of scents and the cute flamingo motif on the front.

They however have much more than candles! The website is split into some great gift guide sections; whether it's for your mum, friend, boyfriend or grandma - there's a selection of perfect gifts!

Here's what I chose.

Fox Cushion from Flamingo Gifts
Paddy the Fox cushion - Flamingo Gifts*
Flamingo Candle pink raspberry salted caramel

I'm so pleased with these things! The fox cushion caught my eye first (naturally) and it now has pride of place in the middle of my sofa. This particular one is out of stock at the moment but they have two more versions in different colours and prints.

I just had to try one of the flamingo candles. They have so many scents, it was really difficult to choose one. I chose the raspberry & salted caramel for the colouring as well as the flavour and I'm really impressed with it. The scent is really sweet and stays in the room for ages after the candle has gone out. I can't wait to try more of these.

The notebook is a great example of the brands that Flamingo Gifts stock. They have a huge range of Ted Baker stuff - from laptop sleeves to manicure kits. I've wanted to get an extra nice notebook for ages to write down ideas for my blog and plan posts; this is perfect and really beautiful for spring with the floral prints inside.

What new things are you coveting this spring?


Monday, 6 April 2015

A Wax Jacket in the Yorkshire Countryside


Most of you will know me for being a Manchester girl - the city that's been my home for the past four years. What you may not know is that originally, I'm a country girl. My family's home is hidden away in the depths of the Yorkshire Dales, in the middle of the three peaks (you've maybe heard of the three peaks challenge?) - a small hamlet in the absolute middle of nowhere!

While I love living in the city, I do like to head back now and again for a bit of R&R; it's a great place to wind down away from the hustle of Manchester and to do some much-needed head clearing.

On a recent trip home, I took my new wax jacket from Country Attire* and thought the Yorkshire countryside would make the perfect backdrop for some photos.

Black wax jacket - Country Attire*
Roll neck jumper - Label Lab @ House of Fraser
Ripped jeans - Ragged Priest
Boots - Vagabond

My dad took these photos - how good?! And a photographer he is not. His best bit of kit is his Fuji point and shoot digital camera, circa 2005.

This location is 5 minutes down the road from my parents'. In the background is Ribblehead viaduct - the longest on the famous Settle to Carlisle railway line with 24 arches. The mountain behind the viaduct is Whernside which is the largest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks - pretty cool!

Anyway, onto the jacket; which was kindly sent to me by Country Attire. This online designer destination are known not just for their country clothing but sell a huge range of top brands including Calvin Klein, Lacoste and Vivienne Westwood. Country Attire have recently launched their own branded range which is made in England. The range is really classic and in line with their roots, with a great selection of women's wax jackets.

I chose this style as it's a little more biker-esque; it reminds me of a Belstaff jacket I used to have when I was younger. The quality is impressive for the price, with a waterproof waxed cotton outer by British Millerain. I love the breathable checked cotton lining too and especially the ability to personalise it with the sharpie marker Country Attire provide - such a lovely touch!

I haven't really got a proper waterproof jacket so this is definitely a welcome addition to my wardrobe. I love how the belt cinches the jacket in at the waist for a more feminine shape and the cord-lined collar fastens high on the neck to keep out the wind and rain.

What do you think of this look?


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

McArthur Glen Accessories Challenge: Part Two


So, in my previous post I wrote about my trip to Cheshire Oaks designer outlet as part of McArthur Glen's spring accessories style challenge. I was tasked with finding two accessories under £250 which I could style up in different ways for the spring season.

Well here it is; the big reveal. I am so in love with the accessories I chose!

Lulu Guinness 50:50 Lips Hug and Hold Clutch*
Prada Poeme Sunglasses @ David Clulow Eyewear*

Before my trip to Cheshire Oaks, my heart was set on getting a bag from Lulu Guinness. I've wanted one of her acrylic lips box clutches for ages, though the one I got in the end changed my mind! It's an oversized clutch in patent leather and I love the classic design and neutral colours - with the signature Lulu Guinness lips motif, of course.

I wasn't planning on buying sunglasses but after trying on these amazing Prada shades, I couldn't think about anything else for the rest of the shopping trip!

I was so impressed that I was able to buy both of these designer accessories for less than £250. The Lulu Guinness clutch has an RRP of £195 but was just £78 in the outlet shop. The sunglasses retail at £250 and are available current season everywhere, including Selfridges - they were £143 which I think is a really great discount.

I've snapped five different looks with these accessories, below.

Look One: All Black Errthang

Longline black coat - Boohoo
High neck ribbed crop top - In The Style
Midi skirt - Banana Republic*

I feel like this look is a bit Kim K! This isn't really a trend; it's no secret that I love black and this is just a really simple but chic outfit that I'm totally comfortable in.

Look Two: Suede and Floral

Black suede fringed jacket - vintage, from Amsterdam
Floral cut-out dress - Forever 21
Suede-look thigh high boots - Public Desire

Something a bit more boho! I don't really do girly so if I'm wearing something like this floral dress, I'd normally throw a big jacket over it. This fringed suede jacket of dreams is a recent buy from my trip to Amsterdam. I picked it up in a really cool vintage shop for only about £18. I could have bought so much in there but had to think about my hand luggage space...

Look Three: Sports Luxe

Longline blazer - Monki
Cropped Ellesse tee - Bank Fashion
Jeans - Primark
Trainers - Adidas (Stan Smiths)

I wear this Monki blazer all the time; it has to be one of the best things I've ever bought. It instantly smartens up any outfit and is great to wear as a light coat for the spring. I picked this bright Ellesse top in the Bank closing down sale recently for just £10. I used to wear Ellesse clothes all the time when I was younger so the brand has a bit of retro nostalgia for me.

Look Four: Evening Out

Leopard jacket - vintage via charity shop
Velvet high neck crop top - River Island
Earrings - Susan Caplan @ ASOS
Gold collar necklace - Primark
Gold chain belt - Blitz Vintage
Riding pants - American Apparel
Heels - Vivienne Westwood X Melissa

This is the sort of thing I'd wear on a date night with Chris. This vintage leopard print jacket is another one of my all-time favourites - I picked it up for around £3 from a charity shop back home! I'm also wearing my new Vivienne Westwood shoes which I got in the January sales; I was praying that they'd be comfortable but sadly not, great restaurant shoes though.

Look Five: Glam Grunge

Leather jacket - vintage via Mum
Chokers - eBay (tattoo) and ASOS (tartan heart)
Checked shirt - vintage via Reading Fest
Ribbed crop top - Topshop
Moons and stars leather belt - vintage via charity shop
Ripped jeans - Ragged Priest
Boots -Vagabond

It had stopped raining by the time I got around to my fifth and final outfit (typical Manchester!), so I decided to venture outside for photos. This was my favourite outfit of the five so I was glad to get some good shots of it. My style (at least on the weekends) is quite grunge-y but I really like how my shiny new accessories glam this look up a little.

What do you think of the accessories I chose and which is your favourite look?


Sunday, 29 March 2015

McArthur Glen Accessories Challenge: Part One


I had a really exciting shopping trip last weekend as part of McArthur Glen's spring accessories blogger challenge.

McArthur Glen own several of the UK's biggest and best designer shopping outlets, as well as many more around the world. With up to 70% off top designer brands, there's no wonder than these outlet malls have become a real shopping destination.

My nearest McArthur Glen outlet is Cheshire Oaks, which is actually the UK's largest designer outlet, with more than 145 stores and restaurants. I've lived in Manchester for almost four years (around a 40 minute drive from Cheshire Oaks) and have been meaning to visit the outlet for ages; so when McArthur Glen invited me to take part in the spring accessories challenge at the outlet, I couldn't wait to get shopping!

Tasked with finding two perfectly versatile spring accessories for under £250, I hit the shops with, if anything, too much choice!

McArthur Glen Gift Card

There are so many great stores at Cheshire Oaks, from high street retailers like Warehouse and Gap, to top end designers like Mulberry and Burberry. With the huge choice of stores, I had a mental hit list of where I planned to look first; these were Lulu Guinness (gorgeous bags, well known for the cult lips clutches), Daniel Footwear (branded shoes retailer) and Reiss (dreamy on-trend minimalism).

I took some snaps of my trip and favourite finds below.

Above: amazing glittery black and pink Air Max's at the Nike store
Above: Bag heaven at Fiorelli
Above: Lulu Guinness lips clutches

After a whole lot of browsing, we decided to stop off for lunch and were spoilt for choice with the selection of restaurants available. Though massively tempted by Ed's Diner, we opted for Yo! Sushi as a slightly healthier choice as we'd just got back from a break in Amsterdam and had eaten a bit too much over the previous few days!

Above: lunch at Yo! Sushi

After an amazing lunch and time to mull over the accessories I'd seen, I headed back to Lulu Guinness and David Clulow eyewear to make my purchases.

Sunglasses - Ray Ban
Black longline coat - Boohoo
Fluffy jumper - Fashion Union
Jeans - Primark
Trainers - Adidas (Stan Smiths)

Come back soon for part two - the big reveal on what I bought and to see me style up my buys five different ways!

Have you ever visited a McArthur Glen outlet?


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Marks & Spencer Bring Fashion Week to Manchester


Another season has gone by with me not attending London Fashion Week! Every time it comes around, I pledge to go and then something always crops up and scuppers my plans. There's always September...

Luckily, Marks & Spencer chose Manchester as the only non-capital location to host their exclusive Spring/Summer'15 catwalk show, which was held to mark their involvement as an official sponsor of LFW.

Sitting front row with some of my fave girls by the purpose-built runway at the Market Street store, we got a glimpse of the brand's key new season looks which if not already available, will be hitting stores very soon!

Front row Marks and Spencer SS15 Fashion Show Manchester
Frow-ing with Chyaz (and her lovely sister) and Anna
Marks and Spencer SS15 Fashion Show Manchester look 2 3
Marks and Spencer SS15 Fashion Show Manchester look 1
Marks and Spencer SS15 Fashion Show Manchester look 4 coral lace

The show was opened with a speech from Belinda Earl, M&S' Style Director. We were also shown a short film before the catwalk show which was produced with footage from London Fashion Week and outlined some of the season's top trends and how M&S had interpreted them for their own collections.

I loved the looks that were sent down the runway - as someone who doesn't really shop in M&S for clothes, I was surprised by how on-trend and wearable the pieces actually were!

There were some great monochrome looks which were really clean and minimalist; lots of floral prints and bold spring shades like coral and bright blue, plus plenty of seventies-inspired pieces with plenty of suede and denim. The 70s trend is undoubtedly one of the biggest of the season and one of my personal favourites too.

What spring trends are you loving right now?


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Branded Lab Spring/Summer'15 Showcase: Get Branded


I recently went along to PR agency, Branded Lab's Spring/Summer showcase - 'Get Branded'.

Branded Lab look after some great high street fashion brands and as I'm not so familiar with some of the labels they represent, I was really excited to see their SS15 collections and get to know them better.

The brand showcase was held in Manchester's amazing Rosylee tearooms - one of my favourite places which has recently been transformed into more of a restaurant; I haven't been in for a while so it was great to see the changes to their menus and decor.

Pieces from South Avenue
Bejewelled Coord by KoKo Couture
Pick 'n' Mix!
South Avenue Coord and NaaNaa paisley playsuit
Alex and I looking at the ranges and being papped by photographer Sophie Lobban

Rosylee provided the perfect atmosphere for a fashion event - the inside is so sophisticated yet still maintains that Northern Quarter quirkiness. It has a real vintage feel to it and lots of pretty touches like interesting light fittings and plants around the venue.

While being treated to delicious, classic spring cocktails and the most incredible mini desserts (not ashamed to say that I tried all of them!), it was great to catch up with some of my favourite bloggers as well as meet some new faces.

On to the collections! I was really impressed with the brands on display which included British-made leather bags by Harriet Sanders, Jailbird Jeans, Ruby PromNaaNaa and South Avenue. The latter two brands were behind my favourite pieces of the evening which I've photographed above: the dreamy pastel pink Clueless-inspired check coord two-piece set and the cool boho-style red paisley playsuit.

Thanks to Branded Lab for a great evening and for a fabulous goody bag which included products from Lipcote, Elf and Avon - as well as a huge bag of sweets from their amazing pick and mix stand!

Have you seen anything you'd love to wear this spring from these brands?

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