Thursday, July 31, 2008

Outfit: Navy Blue

The weather did turn out nice in the end last night and so we got our BBQ. It was lovely sitting out in the back garden and one of the young man’s friends came to join us.

The young man and his friend then headed for the pub and I caught up with my friend on the phone and painted my nails. The shade is by Collection 2000 and is called Intense. It looks black in the bottle and from a distance, but close up it has flecks in it, making it more of a midnight blue.

I thought it would be fun to match my outfit to my nails again. Initially I was going to go all 1970s with high waisted jeans, but since it promises to be a sunny day again I opted for a skirt instead.

Blue velvet waistcoat – Primark
White t – New Look
Denim skirt (refashioned from a pair of jeans) – Topshop
Navy patent shoes – Magrit (local outlet store)
Navy heart necklace – Scope
Teal flower – Primark

Total Est. Cost £73

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Outfit: Blue & Red

I painted my nail bright red on Saturday with a new Bourgois nail polish. Since I will have to take it off either tonight or tomorrow before it becomes too chipped, I decided to make it a feature of today’s outfit by adding red accessories. It makes a nice contrast with the bright blue too.

The weather is overcast at the moment and it was raining when I drove into work. It is supposed to brighten up later and I hope it does so that we can have the BBQ we postponed from yesterday due to the rain.

Blue cardi – Ethel Austin
Blue tank – Topshop
Jeans – Gap
Red wedges – New Look (charity shop)
Red beads – eBay
Red bangles – Primark

Total Est. Cost £27.50

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Outfit: ‘Summer’ Corporate

Well that didn’t last long. 4 or so sunny days and now it’s raining again. However, it’s still warm and what’s a girl to do when she needs to look smart for work but trousers and a jacket would make her too hot? My favourite option is city shorts as an alternative to trousers. As long as you keep them on the long side and dress them up with heels they look very smart. And a cooler alternative to a jacket is our old friend the waistcoat. You still get the structured, nipped in waist, but there are no sleeves so it’s ideal to pair with a short sleeve blouse.

Brown tweed city shorts – H&M
Blue blouse – Dorothy Perkins
Blue velvet waistcoat – Primark
Blue patent shoes – New Look
Blue & silver bangles – Oxfam

Total Est. Cost £60

Autumn/Winter 2008

I know it’s July and I know that ‘summer’ has finally arrived in the UK, but the new season collections are already starting to trickle into the high street. So, what are the main trends to go for in the new season?
Elle and Look magazines have some ideas for us:

Punk – wear shredded or lacy tights
Sharp, statement shapes
Plaid shirts
Sequins for day
Earthy colour palette
Tailored, skinny trousers
Ribbon details
Coloured tights
Country gent look
Jewel colours
Statement jewellery
Power dressing
Dark romance

So, at this stage it looks like pretty much anything goes.

Lace up boots will be big, as will wedges and platforms. Stay tuned for more details!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wanted: Long Tall Sally Waistcoat

The new season items have started to arrive at Long Tall Sally and already I am in love. This waistcoat is my favourite item I’ve seen in the collection so far. I love that it can be styled as was intended: with a suit and button up shirt; and that can also be styled with jeans and boots as shown here. It is £45 at the moment so I am going to wait until the inevitable ‘mid-season’ sale before I buy it.

Outfit: Turquoise Monday

It has been scorching hot over the weekend. Today is still warm but not quite as hot so I thought a dress would be the perfect option.

Brown & turquoise dress – Next (charity shop)
Turquoise cami – Dorothy Perkins
Turquoise shoes – New Look (charity shop)
Turquoise bangles – Oxfam
Turquoise necklace – Dorothy Perkins

Total Est. Cost £15.75

Weekend Recap

For the first time in ages, I had Friday night free. I dropped the young man off in the city for a stag party, and then returned home to enjoy my evening in the garden and then later in the house when the thunderstorm arrived.

Saturday the young man went back to the stag do (it was an all weekend thing but he’d opted to just stay over Saturday night) and my sister came round. We walked up to the local retail park and wandered around the shops. I was surprised to find a couple of Tall items in the Next sale, and for research purposes, tried on a pair of trousers. I am pleased to report that they were very long, much more than the 35” inside leg that the catalogue and website claims that they are. I will definitely be ordering something from Next once I return from New York. My outfit on Saturday was just cropped jeans and a white tank as it was so hot, paired with my yellow flats for shopping and with bronze flip flops the rest of the time.

Sunday I went to church in the morning and by the time I got back at dinner time, the young man was home. We spent a lazy afternoon in the house and garden and then headed out to the pub to meet some friends for a meal, drinks and some games of pool. Sunday evening’s outfit was the same as Wednesday night’s, except I wore cropped jeans instead of full length ones.

Sunday morning outfit:

Black & white striped dress – charity shop
Red belt – Next
Black peep toe shoes – New Look (charity shop)
Red beads – eBay
Red & cream bangles – gift from a friend

Total Est. Cost £15

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing summer clothes – it’s arrived at last!
…reading ‘The WAG’s Diary’ by Alison Kervin
…watching the last episode of Top Gear
…listening to ABBA songs still, they’re just so good
…eating lasagne
…shopping for no more clothes or shoes until I go to New York in October

Friday, July 25, 2008

Outfit: Bright & Colourful Friday

I decided to go with my yellow shoes and belt again and I was going to put a grey tank with them. Then I thought, why not go with turquoise/green? I was going to put my grey cardi with it but then I thought, why not put teal with it? I really like how the teal works with the paler green and it gave me a reason to wear my teal eye shadow too. The day is looking promising – the sky is blue and the sun is out already.

Teal shrug – Ann Taylor Loft (charity shop)
Turquoise/green tank – Topshop
Jeans – Next (charity shop)
Yellow shoes – Cherokee at Tesco
Yellow belt – charity shop
Silver bangles – Scope

Total Est. Cost £21

Review: John Frieda Weather Works Style Sealant Crème

I recently signed up with the Latest In Beauty website and one of my sample products this month was a sachet of John Frieda Weather Works Style Sealant Crème. I was impressed by how well it worked, especially taming the frizz caused by my temporary straighteners, and so I headed to Boots last Friday to buy the regular sized product. At £6.49, this is a little more than I would usually spend on a haircare product, but happily, Boots have an offer on at the moment allowing you to purchase two Weather Works products for £7.

The style sealant is designed for use on damp or towel dried hair and I find the best time to use it is when I have showered before going out somewhere (I usually take a shower before bed) and am styling my hair properly, rather than just drying it. The formula is not sticky and you cannot tell by touching your hair that you have used any product. I find that any frizz in my hair is calmed and reduced by using Weather Works. With the erratic weather conditions we now have in the UK I would definitely recommend trying out this product, especially whilst the two for £7 promotion is available at Boots.

Review: Trevor Sorbie Straightening Addict Products

I can’t remember why I started using Trevor Sorbie’s Straightening Addict shampoo and condition. Possibly because they were available in a ‘take away’ small size in Boots one summer and I decided that was a good size to buy to try out a new shampoo. I have been using the shampoo and conditioner on and off for the last few years. I say ‘on and off’ because I am lazy and of the original ‘Wash & Go’ advert mentality (“Use shampoo AND conditioner? Take TWO bottles into the shower?”) and when my hair is long I prefer a 2 in 1 product for speed and convenience. (Also, our shower is not the most powerful thing in the world and so it takes ages to rinse my hair.)

However, now that my hair is much shorter I have been using Trevor Sorbie again this week. I always do this after a haircut, vow to use a shampoo with a heat protector to keep my hair in good condition, and then after about 2 days the laziness kicks in and it’s back to the 2 in 1. This week though I’ve kept it up, and have even added the straight and flatten styling spray to my routine for extra protection against my straighteners. My hair is definitely easier to rinse now that its shorter and I’m sure it will benefit from the use of a product containing heat protection, especially as I am a slave to my hair dryer and straighteners.

Boots currently have 3 for 2 on professional haircare miniatures and so if you want to try these products out, now would be a great time to do so.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Outfit: Thursday

It is forecast to be warm and sunny again today but at the moment? Not so much. It’s overcast and was trying to rain when I arrived at the office. However, yesterday started off dull and improved so perhaps today will do too.

Brown linen jacket – Dorothy Perkins
Brown city shorts – H&M
White tank – Topshop
Turquoise shoes – New Look (charity shop)
Turquoise necklace – Dorothy Perkins
Turquoise & silver bangles – Oxfam
Turquoise flower – Primark

Total Est. Cost £55.25

Outfit: Wednesday Night Out With The Girls

I headed to Harrogate last night for a meal with some of the girls from my old choir. It was lovely to catch up with everyone and it was lovely that it was a warm summer evening for once. We sat outside for a drink in the sunshine before we ate. I ended up not needing the cardi I had taken.

Blue cardi – Ethel Austin
Blue & white top – New Look
Dark jeans – Dorothy Perkins
Turquoise shoes – New Look (charity shop)
Turquoise & silver bangles – Oxfam
Earrings – Claire’s

Total Est. Cost £38.50

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Outfit: Supposed To Be Sunny Wednesday

The weather forecast for today was for sunshine and 24 degrees. Looks like the BBC were wrong again. It’s overcast but fairly warm. However, I’ve added my grey cashmere cardi to my outfit, fastened up to look like a shrug.

Pink, white, black & grey top – M&Co (eBay)
Grey jeans – Gap
Pink shoes – Faith
Grey cardi/shrug (not pictured) – Marks & Spencer (eBay)
Pink necklace – Scope

Total Est. Cost £66

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review: BaByliss Pro 210 Ceramic Worldwide Hair Straighteners

Following the dramatic demise of my GHDs last month, I am still waiting for the young man to see whether he can fix them. In the meantime I have borrowed my sister’s spare pair (she bought a multi-region/voltage pair before a trip to the US earlier in the year). They are BaByliss Pro 210 Ceramic Worldwide ones. Having been spoilt with my GHDs for the past 6 or so years, I was fully expecting these not to live up to my expectations and guess what? They don’t! However, for a cheaper pair of straighteners they are not at all bad. They have ceramic coated plates and if used slowly, they are pretty good. There is a tendency for my hair to go a bit static from using these straighteners but this is vastly improved by using some kind of product on it – currently I am alternating John Frieda’s Weather Works and Trevor Sorbie’s Straightening Addict styling spray. The BaByliss straighteners take longer to heat up than I’m used to, but then what other brand beats the 7 second heating time of GHDs? I am desperate to get my GHDs back but in the meantime these are a viable alternative for a lower priced pair, especially if you plan on visiting the US. I know I’ll be taking these to New York with me in October.

Outfit: Tuesday

The weather forecast can’t make up its mind for today – so it could be rainy or it could be sunny. I’m hedging my bets with a short sleeve dress and leggings, just in case it does rain.

Blue & black dress – Dorothy Perkins
Blue cardi – Ethel Austin
Black leggings – Long Tall Sally
Black shoes – Priceless Shoes
Blue & silver bangles – Oxfam
Blue heart necklace – Scope

Total Est. Cost £40

Outfit: Monday Evening

Last night was the last choir practice until September. We have had to move churches for the practice venue as the one we usually rehearse in is being refurbished. We are in a much more modern church at present and consequently it is far warmer.
My poor feet were aching after I took a walk to the Post Office at dinnertime and what better to put on aching feet than shoes which feel like slippers.
This yellow belt is my current favourite accessory.

Grey sweater dress – Oasis
White cami – Topshop
Jeans – Gap
Yellow shoes – Cherokee at Tesco
Yellow belt – charity shop

Total Est. Cost £51

Note To Self

Do not attempt to walk to the post office in 4” wedges; it will hurt your feet.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing a belt on my jeans
…reading ‘The WAG’s Diary’ by Alison Kervin
…watching whatever I want to at the weekend – the young man is away on a stag do
…listening to ABBA songs
…eating custard
…shopping for no more clothes or shoes until I go to New York in October

Outfit: Sunny Monday

It’s lovely out today – blue sky & sunshine to I’m wearing yellow accessories to match. It’s usually cold in the office though so I’ve added a sweater, just in case. I love this white blouse because it has super long sleeved. They’re supposed to fold back with the cuff links but unfolded they are the perfect length for me. That’s the kind of detailing you have to look for when you’re tall – cuff that will unfold and turn ups on trousers that can be let down to give extra length.

Teal cotton rib sweater – Gap
White blouse – Next
Jeans – Gap (embroidery by me)
Yellow wedges – Priceless Shoes
Yellow belt (on jeans) – charity shop
Heart necklace – Scope

Total Est. Cost £73.50

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Outfit: Sunday

This morning I was teaching a Sunday school class at my old church, filling in for the lady I used to help out as she is on holiday. I had 3 adorable children. When asked how old she was, one of the little girls said she thought she was 3 but she’d have to check with her mum as she wasn’t sure. The young man & I then joined my sister and brother in law for lunch at my parent’s.

Black wrap top – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
White top – Tall Girls
Jeans – Dorothy Perkins
Black shoes – Dolcis
Black leather Versace Jeans Couture belt (on jeans) – Leather shop in Crete

Total Est. Cost £55.50

Outfit: Saturday Night Pizza

Last night the gang from the local drama group gathered at someone’s house for pizza. It was delicious but huge – two slices and I was full. We had a good laugh though, just a nice relaxed evening.

Grey top – Topshop (eBay)
Jeans – Dorothy Perkins
Red shoes – Next
Red belt – Next
Red beads – eBay

Total Est. Cost £43

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Outfit: Saturday

I’ve just been pottering about the house today, doing some housework and two loads of washing. I also popped out to buy new batteries for my Gameboy (I’m so retro!) and went looking for a yellow belt in the charity shops. I’m pleased to report that I found one for £1.59 and I’m wearing that now too, for a bit of colour.

Black top – Long Tall Sally
Jeans – Gap
Yellow belt – charity shop
Black flats – Priceless Shoes

Total Est. Cost £65.50

Friday Afternoon Hair Cut

After work yesterday I headed to my hometown to get my hair done. It’s a bit shorter than I’d envisaged, but I love it. This is how it looked last night and this is it this morning having slept on it.

I told my hairdresser my tale of woe about my GHDs blowing up and she must have taken pity on my as she used her straightners on me which she never usually does, she usually just blow dries it straight.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Book Meme

I just found this on Antonia’s blog and since I got interviewed as a reader a few weeks back, I thought I’d give this a go. It’s a list of the ‘Greatest Ever Novels’ and you’re meant to:
Look at the list and:
1) Bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read.
3) [Bracket] the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list on your own blog.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2.The Lord of The Rings - JRR Tolkein
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 [Harry Potter series - JK Rowling]
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (well, bits of it)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (I’ve read part of it and intend to finish it at some point) 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 [The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald]
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (is that not just the Chronicles of Narnia?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie-the-Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 [The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon]
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 [Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding]
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 [Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson]
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - A. S. Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 [The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton]
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare – I saw the play, does that count?
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

eBay Bargain: Black Wrap Top

This is the top I’m wearing today. I had to run down to the Post Office to pick it up on Wednesday afternoon, as it had come recorded delivery so could not be left at my house without a signature. Whilst I appreciate that it is annoying for eBay sellers to have things go missing in the post, it is equally annoying for buyers to have to pick up a package (that would have fit through my letterbox) because it needed a signature.

However, the top is lovely and can either be worn as a wrap tied at the back as I have it today, or it can be scrunched up a bit and worn as a tie shrug with long ties down the front, as the picture above shows. It is made of silk and viscose so is cosy when I’m in the office with the windows open, and because it is Long Tall Sally, the sleeves are lovely and long for me. It cost £9.50 which is not as bargainous as some of my eBay finds, but Long Tall Sally items tend to sell for around this kind of price. It is still a bargain though as this top would have been about £40 new.


Yesterday I received an email newsletter from Lucky magazine. They have a definitive guide to buying denim online on their website at the moment. It’s all US sites but the one that caught my eye was Tobi. They stock a huge range of branded denim, organised by brand or by style. The best part about the site though is that they give you full measurement information about each pair, and they tell you how tall the model is wearing the jeans and what size she is (pretty tiny mostly!). Some of the lengths are great – check out J Brand for a 35” inseam and Grey Ant for a 36” inseam. Shipping to the UK is not cheap, it’s a flat rate of $29 for all international shipping, but at least the service is offered. And with US prices being cheaper anyway, and some of the items on the site being on sale, perhaps you won’t mind paying a little extra for the cost of shipping.

Outfit: Casual Friday

I’m mixing black and brown today, and layering in case it’s not so warm again today. I have the busiest day coming up: work, then the hairdressers, then tea with my parents, then youth work, then on to meet the young man at a party with one of his work colleagues. So my outfits today need to be adaptable. I have a change of clothes with me for this evening but I will keep the boots on for my youth work and switch to heels for the party afterwards.

Black wrap top – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
White long sleeve t – Tall Girls
Jeans – Gap
Cowboy boots – New Look
Brown leather belt (on jeans, not seen) – CK Jeans (leather shop in Crete)

Total Est. Cost £88.50

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cold Feet

I think I have found the key to staying warm in the office (yes, I know it’s July but I am cold all the time, all year round. And also: it's raining). Yesterday I wore boots and was toasty warm, despite being in a ¾ sleeve cardi. Today I have bare feet in my shoes and even thought my top is made of (fine) wool, I have been cold all morning. So perhaps I should stick to boots and socks until the sun comes out again.

Outfit: Rainy Thursday

It’s forecast to be cool and wet today, and that’s about right. I even put the heater on in my car this morning because I was cold!

Pink faux wrap top – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
Turquoise cami – Dorothy Perkins
Dark jeans – Dorothy PerkinsPink shoes – Faith
Turquoise necklace – Dorothy Perkins

Total Est. Cost £51.75

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Outfit: Cowboy Boots

I’m wearing my new cowboy boots for the first time today. The aim is to break them in so they will be really comfy for walking around New York in come October. Plus it looked like it might rain today so boots seemed like a good call.

Brown & pink dress – charity shop
Pink cardi/shrug – Gharani Strok (charity shop)
White t – Tall Girls
Jeans – Gap
Brown boots – New Look
Total Est. Cost £54