A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

31 Oct 2014

OOTD: Simple Workwear

Taking blog photos now the clocks have gone back is an absolute nightmare! I have to take the pictures in doors with so much lighting and they still look rubbish! I've been waiting for the weekend to take blog pictures, but as this is a workwear post I had to do this tonight! 

Doing something interesting but appropriate with workwear is really hard to do unless you work in a cool, London office! I like mixing dark trousers in different cuts e.g. culottes or skinny black jeans, with bright colours and different textures of tops. I also like dresses, but as I'm currently on a placement with children I have to get on the floor and play a every day, but then look sensible to talk to parents. dresses aren't practical.

This is my simple workwear look -  I'm wearing skinny trousers from Warehouse (who have a huge sale on at the moment!), a pink vest top from Warehouse (similar here), Brogues from Dorothy Perkins (similar here) and a tweed jacket from TK Maxx. I've accessorised it with some pink lippie and a really simple silver necklace c/o Marc Jacobs from Harvey Nichols

I have to show you a close up of this necklace - it's so delicate and interesting!


22 Oct 2014

I have Chatty Feet!

Blogging about socks ain't easy. Mainly because I have no idea what to write about something we don't tend to give much thought to (although we should) but also because I've discovered my naughty puppy Teddy is obsessed with socks! Now it's getting colder, breaking out a pair of socks is becoming more common and Teddy is really enjoying pulling them off your feet, stealing them and chewing them to death. Therefore, taking photos of these cute and silly Chatty Feet Socks was a nightmare and he is in every photo! 

I was sent a couple of pairs of their silly socks to try out and I had to show you guys because they're something special. 

This is Venus, the pretty princess working to save your sock drawer from missing socks! They are pink all over, with darker pink tops and faces on the soles and tops of the socks.

This other pair are Loli who have a black top so are perfect for work

"I pick this sock" 

They are nice socks, fairly thick but not too bulky in your shoes. They come in sizes 4-8 or 8.5 to 11.5. I'm wearing the sizes 4-8 on my size 7.5 feet and they are really comfortable, not too tight or pulling on my toes, and they don't have the dreaded "little toe bobble" which I really hate (strange confession but I tend to refuse to wear socks because of that little bobble, it makes me feel physically sick... I am aware that's odd).

They also come in other fun designs such as "Kate Middletoe"

superhero, Sigmund (Freud?), Prof Brian Sox, and Don Cottone (a gangster character) and you can get his n' hers couples sets or tiny versions for kids! For £7 a pair, they make a cute, funny gift and don't cost too much, plus they make getting socks for Christmas perfectly acceptable!

19 Oct 2014

No butter chocolate fudge chip cookies

I love cookies! However we all know they're super fatty and bad for us. Yesterday I decided to do some baking experimentation with cookies using Greek yogurt instead of butter! What resulted was a gooey, brownie-like cookie which I was really impressed with and after interest in Instagram I thought I'd share my recipe. This recipe is really easy, you won't even need to get a mixer and scales out. 

Start by grabbing yourself a medium sized mug (one that contains around 250ml liquid) as this is our measuring tool. You will then need:

1 large egg
1 and ½ cups of caster sugar
1 and ½  cups of greek yogurt
1 and ½ cups of plain flour
1 cup of cocoa powder
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla essence
A pinch of fine salt
Big old handful of chocolate chips (I chopped up some chocolate from a big bar)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4) and line some trays with baking paper
  2. Throw all your ingredients except the chocolate chips into a bowl and using a rubbery spatula or wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients together. If the mixture is too thick you can add a little more greek yogurt. You want it to be cake mix consistency
  3. Add in your chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and fold in. 
  4. Using 2 dessert spoons, blob some onto a baking tray and pop into the oven for 10 minutes. As you can see it makes loads of cookies. 
  5. Once you take them out, sprinkle with a tiny bit more salt for a cheeky way to make the chocolate really pop! 
What you get is a slightly crisp, yet gooey chocolate cookie which is similar to a brownie in consistency. So delicious! 


15 Oct 2014

Fashion and being a tall girl

In my opinion, being a tall girl doesn't often go with being fashionable. Although models are very tall, clothes for tall people don't tend to translate down to the highstreet. When I discovered Emma from Computergirl's Musings had started a blog called 5 Foot 10 - (The "Tall" Girls Guide) about the challenges and highlights of being a tall girl who loves fashion I was hooked. I was super excited when she then offered to feature me on Tall Talk Tuesday

Here's my interview below. Pop over to her page to read more!

Tall Talk Tuesday is where I'll introduce you to real people, tall or not so tall people! We'll have a chat and a nose in their wardrobe, share funny tales...  Today I bring you Lauren of Lauren Loves Blog.  Lauren has been a blog friend for many years- we met via several events and she is really sweet.  Her blog is a place for her passions- beauty, fashion and day trips out with friends (and her very cute puppy!).  She also has flawless skin. 

Lauren Loves Pink Hair!
Tell us about you?
My name is Lauren and I write www.laurenlovesblog.com – a blog about fashion, makeup, hair, baking and anything else I see and love!

How tall are you?
I’m 5 foot 9  ½ - I grew an inch 10 years ago when I had a spine operation meaning I can’t even slouch to hide how tall I am!

Like or Loathe your height?
A bit of both. Some days I love my height – being able to see at concerts, being able to pull off many different styles of clothes and being described as “legs up to here” are all pretty awesome. Some days it’s fairly rubbish, like when I hang out with my tiny friends or mum. I joke that when I wear heels with my friends I must look like a man in drag compared to them!
Lauren loves the outdoors

Where do you buy most of your clothes?
Most of my clothes come from Zara, Mango and ASOS – I tend to get around sizing by always wearing ¾ length sleeves, skirts, dresses and cropped trousers.

Are there any places you find the clothes too short?
Most places on the highstreet! Dorothy PerkinsMiss Selfridge, Topshop if not in longer lengths, Primark. I’m that girl who has to try on everything in the shops because there’s no guarantee things will fit, much to the dismay of my boyfriend.
Lauren in a vintage style pussy bow blouse from Dorothy Perkins, layered over a long line tank top.

What was it like growing up tall?
I was always the tallest in school, which was embarrassing when the boys were all smaller. Sadly I grew so quick I developed scoliosis meaning I was in a backbrace and eventually had my spine fused.  (I wrote about it here)

Any funny ‘tall person’ storied to share?
Thankfully there aren’t too many funny stories, although a couple of weeks ago I met The Saturdays  and standing next to them I looked like a giant which everyone else found very funny! I’m doing my best to dip my hip and look shorter here!
Lauren and The Saturdays

Who is your style inspiration?
I like to go a bit vintage-inspired so I tend to go for 60s looks (probably because I can get away with a lot of skirts and dresses rather than having to find trousers that fit!) I love Brigitte Bardot’s style, particularly her hair and makeup. I also love Rachel Bilson’s look and watched Hart of Dixie, drooling over her wardrobe, wishing I could wear shorts to work.

Any tall dressing style tips?
Embrace your height and don’t let it stop you wearing highstreet styles with skirts and cropped trousers. Make sure you try everything on and if you’re not 100% comfortable in what you’re wearing, then don’t bother! Walk tall and enjoy being able to see over other people.
Lauren Loves cropped dresses

What is the best thing about being tall?
Sounds strange, but my Mum always says the advantage is being able to put on a little weight and it doesn’t really show! Also, being able to step over rows of seating and fences to get to places quicker! I’m clearly impatient.

And the worst?
Being taller than boys! Also, my puppy Teddy is a small breed so doing puppy training classes were difficult because I had to twist and bend down to do a lot of the training exercises, whereas the 5 foot tall instructor made it look easy!
Teddy the puppy!

Tall + High heels - Yes or No?

Depends… thankfully my boyfriend is 6’2” so I can wear heels with him and still be smaller. With girlfriends I tend to steer clear for fear of looking like a giant.

Any words of wisdom you’d like to add?
Just keep swimming!
Lauren loves seeing her friends.  Stop by her blog and say hi!

Thank you to Lauren for taking part in Tall Talk Tuesday!  I really enjoyed our chat, although I am now heading to broswe Mango online!  Oh and next time you meet the Saturday's, feel free to take me along to help balance the tall girl ratio :)

Please do check out Lauren's blog at http://www.laurenlovesblog.co.uk or you can find her on twitter @laurenlovesblog.  I know you will find lots of great blog posts and pictures.

If you have enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below and thank Lauren for taking part.  If you want to read more 'Tall Talk Tuesday' posts, or fancy taking part then click here (link).

Stand Tall x

Thank you for featuring me Emma! I think the last picture should be captioned "Lauren loves cocktails!" x


14 Oct 2014

Christmas Menu Tasting at Coast to Coast Portsmouth

Last week, I was invited with some other bloggers, to sample the new Christmas menu at Coast to Coast restaurant in Portsmouth. It's an American bar and restaurant which I had not come across before so I was really excited to try it out. Here's a quick warning - I LOVE food so I may go a bit over the top! Also apologies for the quality of the photos - there was some serious mood lighting going on meaning my photos aren't as crisp as I'd like.

First we were treated to cocktails made by the very talented Joyce Brabban. They were so delicious and Christmassy themed. The coctails were between £5 and £7 each.

This is the chocolate orange cocktail made with chocolate sauces, orange liqueur and white chocolate round the rim. I enjoyed this one with blogger Sam from Sam Blogs who was really lovely! I enjoyed gossiping all evening long with Sam and her sister Kerri.

We also tried eggnog which I thought I would not enjoy due to the raw egg but it was so delicious! I think it may be my favourite cocktail of the night. You MUST try it!

We also had a hot cinnamon cider one which I didn't like (I hate cinnamon... sorry)

And an orange bucks-fizz style drink which was really crisp and delicious. Perfect for with a meal

After the drinks we began to line our stomachs with food. Andy Hamilton, who designed the Christmas menu came out and introduced us to what he had created. We tried the goats cheese bruschetta starter which was so moreish. I am a huge fan of goats cheese and the mix of sweet cheese and raw red onion was a big winner with me.

Then between courses there was time for some outfit photos obviously! (excuse my flappy hands)

 I'm wearing a sheer pink vest top from Warehouse, peg leg trousers from ASOS and wedge shoe boots from New Look 

We then got on to the roast turkey. It was very traditional but really delicious. The mashed potato was so gorgeous and the gravy tasted like real homemade gravy and not the skinny stuff that is a let down at lots of carveries.

Also on the menu were lots of other things including a maple syrup and bacon burger which looked amazing (the other table had some) and a mushroom risotto for the veggie option.

We finally got served up a huge wedge of Oreo cheesecake with Oreo icecream. This had a base of crushed oreos with lots of oreos in the cheesecake mixture as you can see. It was really yummy and very indulgent but didn't feel too heavy after all the other courses! I managed to find room to finish it!

Finally we were surprised by super-cute snowman cocktails! They had mini oreos for eyes, matchmakers for arms and a real carrot nose! Super indulgent and creamy, these were so yummy you could barely tell they had alcohol in so go easy!

So overall, being a massive cocktail fan I can genuinely say I am sold and will be taking a trip back soon (even just for a round of cocktails). The Christmas menu is £24.95 for 3 courses which is really reasonable and has lots of other options so check out other items on the Christmas menu here if you're interested. It's got me so excited for Christmas I need to have a lie down! I'm off to ASOS to do some Christmas shopping! 

7 Oct 2014

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping and The Cake & Bake Show

At the weekend I went to London to see the girls! We've known each other since college and we're all going to be Hannah's bridesmaids (the beautiful lady to the left). Being very girly girls, we decided to meet up for a whole weekend for cake and to try on bridesmaid dresses together. 

We met at Westfield in Stratford. I'm not very "good at London" and get overwhelmed by everything so the girls met me at Waterloo and we headed over to Stratford together. We had a spot of lunch at Giraffe (I had a piri piri chicken and chips, yum!), with champagne and cocktails which was so much fun! 

We then tried on potentially hundreds of dresses. Obviously I won't share the serious ones but here's some we loved the look of, with the bride in blue!

On Sunday we headed over to the Cake & Bake Show in Earl's Court for some yummyness. I took some photos of the gorgeous things we saw (including the Fabulous Baker Brothers!)

I got 2 Gin and Tonic meringues from Meringue Girls!

Overall, we had a great weekend and it was so much fun seeing my clever, beautiful friends!


1 Oct 2014

DIY Gel Nails at Home: My Research Guide for beginners

I've had my nails done with gel polish twice now - once with Jessica Geleration and once with Shellac and I am completely sold!

This has made me really interested in buying some gel manicure items for home so I can at least remove my own, and at best do a really great gel nail manicure on myself and my Mum. However, it turns out the whole thing isn't easy (who'd have guessed people have to do qualifications in this!) and I have ended up putting a frightening amount of research into the whole thing (hopefully not at the expense of my PhD!) It seems you have to be really aware of what you are buying to ensure great results.

I thought at the time it would have been so helpful if someone had written an easy guide on everything, then I thought I could share my research so far with all of you. I will try and reference my sources like a good researcher as and when I can, but some of it I have just picked up and can't remember where from.

1. Decide on what gel nail system you will use

It seems there is a big difference between shellac and gel systems such as Geleration and Gelish chemically meaning you'll have to make a decision at this point which you go for. Personally, I'm going for gel nails for the simple reason that there are more colours in the range and there are several brands making gel nail polishes where as Shellac appears to be the only company doing their style of polish (and knock-off brand BlueSky).

It is important to make a decision at this point as this changes what type of curing lamp and what equipment you will need.

2. Choose your equipment: curing lamp
This part seems the most challenging to me! There are two types of lamp, UV and UV LED. The difference being that UV cures nails using Ultra Violet light which takes about 2 minutes per layer where as the UV LED lamp uses a different wavelength of light which takes 10-30 seconds to cure. There is a fear with long-term treatments that the UV lamps can cause skin cancer too which can swing the decision for you. There are also different strengths of lamp which you can understand by finding out what wattage the lamp is.

The decision as to what lamp you will buy depends on what system you have chosen. For Shellac, it is important you buy only a UV lamp with a minimum of 36W (reference) as LED light will not cure Shellac (yet).

Professional gel systems such as Geleration, Gelish and Gelux will require a minimum 30W UV LED lamp, or 36W UV lamp (reference) with the huge difference being drying times (and cancer risk).

It is best to choose a lamp which has automatic timing buttons on and good bulb positioning around the lamp.

3. The application
Here there is a difference between gels and shellac again.

Shellac have done a guide here, Geleration have a guide here, and Gelish have a guide here on applications. I'll summarise the main differences:

  • With gel systems, you have to use a fine buffer to take the shine off the top of the nail before application, where as with Shellac you don't. 
  • With gel systems, you have to apply a bonding coat before the base coat to increase adhesion to the nail, where as with Shellac you don't. (you don't have to apply it before gel base coat if you have issues with removal on your nails either apparently). 
  • Shellac takes longer to dry than the gel systems because you are not using a UV LED lamp. 

4. Removal
Again there is a slight difference between brands, but on the whole removal is very similar. The guides referenced above tell us how to do it in detail but basically you just soak off the old colour and it shouldn't damage nails. In gel systems you have to buff the surface of the old manicure to break the seal, but in Shellac you don't. 

If you are after more information on soak of gels, the PurseForum have an AMAZING guide here and if you want swatches of colours, they also have this forum
Blogger Template Created by pipdig