Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Outfit: A Dress and a Jacket






Some summer weather finally arrived this week and, despite the casual dress code in the office, I decided it was time to break out a dress for a change. It was certainly much cooler than jeans would have been. This dress is old (which is just as well as the straps got covered in sunscreen at lunchtime) and is far too low cut at the front so I added a bandeau underneath to make it work appropriate but not add a full extra layer that I didn’t need.

Dress – Next
Bandeau – New Look
Shoes – Georgia Rose (c/o Sarenza)
Belt – haberdashery
Bangles – Oxfam
Necklace – Dorothy Perkins (sale)
Jacket - Warehouse (charity shop)

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Outfit: Summer Brights








I was working from home on Wednesday so that gave me a little more time to get outside in the sun and take some proper photos for the first time in a long time. It was a glorious day and I took full advantage by taking a lovely walk at lunch time. I layered a couple of tank tops, both super old, for a bright look to match the sunshine.

Pink tank – Dorothy Perkins (gifted)
Purple tank – New Look Tall)
Jeans – Long Tall Sally
Cardi – New Look Tall
Shoes – George at Asda (eBay)
Hearts necklace – gifted
Sunglasses – Boots (half price with voucher)

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Outfit of the Day

This is what I wore on Monday this week.  I feel like this orange blazer is really coming into its own this summer, despite it being part of TM Lewin's range last year.  I'm loving the bright colour.

The orange layer under my teal top is a bandeau.  I find bandeaux so useful in the summer to pop under tops such as this one that are cut just a bit too low to wear on their own.  I got mine a couple of years back from New Look, but I've seen them in several Primark Haul videos on You Tube recently, in an array of colours, so if you want one you should be able to pick them up there for a couple of pounds.

Blazer - c/o TM Lewin
Top - Long Tall Sally
Bandeau - New Look
Jeans - Primark
Shoes - Matalan (sale)
Necklace - vintage

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Outfit: Monday

This is what I wore Monday this week. It was warm and sunny which was a nice change after a damp weekend. It was that fine rain that wets you through all day on Sunday, and I was champing at the bit to get out for a walk. It fined up eventually after tea and I managed to make my step count for the day.

You may notice that I’ve changed my phone. I had another mishap with the old one, managing to drop it down the toilet. Again. A year and a week after the last time that happened. Yes, I am an idiot. I was at work this time and wasn’t convinced that the phone would survive two swims (spoiler: it totally did, the Galaxy 3 handset rocks!) so having stuck it in rice to dry out I hotfooted it to the Carphone Warehouse to purchase a new one. My intention was to get a cheap smartphone and then upgrade at the end of the year when my contract runs out, but the cheap models weren’t exactly cheap and for another £20 I could have a Samsung very similar to my old phone. So that’s what I did.

As I already mentioned my old phone dried out and appears to be fine, but it’s 2.5 years old and the battery life is pretty poor by this point so I think I made the right decision. I’m on a SIM-only contract so haven’t lost out there, and can stay on that type of contract another year to get my money’s worth out of this phone. I’ve also got insurance against water damage because let’s face it, it’s probably going to happen again.

Blue chinos – Primark (eBay)
Brown top – H&M
White tank – Topshop
Brown shoes – Roberto Vianni (Debenhams, sale)
Necklace – New Look (sale)
Earrings – gifted

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: Xiaomi Mi Band

I don’t know about you, but I need some kind of motivation in order to exercise. When I was doing Weight Watchers earning Activity Points for exercise was excellent motivation because points mean prizes extra snacks/dessert on the weekend. I have the Strava app on my phone and that’s good to a point because it tracks how far I’ve walked or cycled, gives me information about my speed, elevation gained etc but I need an actual target to work to.

I’ve seen various bloggers talking about fitness bands recently: xameliax has the Polar band and Forever Amber has a FitBit. There was no way my budget was going to stretch to either of those (I think both lucky ladies received theirs as gifts) so I had a hunt around for cheaper options. I found the Xiaomi Mi band on Amazon and as it was only around £17 (rather than £70+) I ordered it. As you would expect it is more basic than the more expensive bands, but it counts your steps, monitors your sleep, has a vibrating alarm and you can set it to vibrate when your phone rings or you get a text.

The band itself doesn’t give you any information other than a series of lights that tell your progress at a glance (there are three LED lights which tell you if you are one third, two thirds or at your daily step count target), but once you connect it (via Bluetooth) to the phone app you get your actual step count, information on how much you slept the night before (assuming you wore the band all night), the battery level, a bar chart of your total steps each day you’ve used the band, and a bunch of other information. I never would have though it but I am obsessed with getting those blue LEDs to light up, and I take a daily walk and will it to buzz (which it does when you reach your steps target).

The most motivating thing for me though is the bit that tells you the number of days in a row that you’ve achieved your set number of steps. I’ve had the band 9 days (at the time of writing) and it is currently set to 10,000 steps a day which I think is reasonable from a fitness point of view whilst being fairly easily achievable. I have reached my goal 9 days in a row so far and I really don’t want to break the run.

The band is comfortable to wear, lightweight and I have no complaints so far. I’m not convinced that the calorie counting and distance walked are entirely accurate (you tell the app your height, weight and whether you’re male or female when you set it up) but that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it’s encouraging me to move more. Even tiny things like using the bathroom that’s furthest from my desk at work, or walking to the kitchen for water rather than using the cooler right behind me will add up in the long run.

All the reviews I read before I bought the band said that the battery lasts for weeks, and that certainly seems to be true. Mine was about 84% charged when I got it over a week ago and it has only gone down by about 10 or 15% since then. I think if you had it set to vibrate for phone calls and text that would drain the battery faster.

If you’re looking for some sort of fitness tracker and are on a budget then I would definitely recommend the Xiaomi Mi Band. The app is free to download and there are versions for Android and iPhone.

This post is not sponsored; I just really like this gadget.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Outfit: Shirt and Jeans

I have several shirts in my closet and I don’t wear any of them very often. I’m not really sure why this is, other than perhaps my undying love for striped tops. However, Tuesday this week I tried out a jeans and half tucked shirt combination and I was loving it. Definitely one to be repeated with some of the other shirts I own.

Shirt – YSL mens (yes, really! Bought in a charity shop)
Jeans – Primark (gifted)
Shoes – Georgia Rose (c/o Sarenza)
Necklace – gifted
Earrings – gifted
Belt - Pieces (c/o Spartoo)
Sunglasses – Amazon

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Outfit: Monday

Monday's outfit was a simple jacket/jeans/striped top affair which is what I'm most comfortable in these days.
Jacket - c/o TM Lewin
Top - Zara
Jeans - Primark (gifted)
Shoes - Matalan
Scarf - Long Tall Sally
Necklace - M&S (gifted)

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Outfit: Denim and Stripes

Thursday this week was the first day of proper warm summer weather we've had so far. It was warm right into the evening too.

Top - Zara (sale)
Jeans - Primark (gifted)
Shoes - George at Asda (eBay)
Necklace - vintage
Belt - local boutique

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Shoes of the Day

I have lots of pairs of flat shoes but I think these soft red suede ones are my favourite pair. They were bought on sale in Jones Bootmaker several years ago now and they are super comfortable. My one complaint is that the insides of them tend to dye my feet red sometimes!