Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thrifty Thursday is BACK!

I'm not normally in the habit of starting things and then quickly giving up, but owing to the fact that I now blog professionally for another website, this blog has sadly been rather neglected of late. One of the reasons I started blogging was because I really enjoyed finding great fashion buys online since real life shopping is now a luxury I no longer have in my life. With that in mind, Thrifty Thursday was born! So today I've resurrected it, and hopefully I will get back into it.

First off today I heard the familiar knock on the day of our local delivery driver, and these goodies from H&M arrived, fresh from their sale. Cheap, cheerful and perfect for one summer's wear.
H&M Blue dress £12
It looks hideous doesn't it? It's actually lovely on, who would have thought it! Really summery, flattering and not "showy". Perfect for the school run and beyond.

The other items I ordered are sadly now out of stock! However I love this asymmetric black dress that would be great for day wear or beach holiday wear too. Something that's a real throw on and a snip at £17.
Assymetric black dress £17
I'm still in love with Joules and think their stuff is far higher quality than their arch rival Crew. However, in this summer's sale it's the mens wear that has really made the grade, I love this checked shirt, even if it isn't that great for summer, great investment piece (even though it's really reasonable).Great with jeans and under a blazer (how old do I sound?!)
Joules checked shirt £29.95
While I was on the site, I went over to take a sneaky peak at Joules swimwear for women as I'd heard their stuff is pretty lovely. We went to Center Parcs earlier this year and I was wearing a hastily bought bikini from Asda, which was quite pretty but needed constantly hitching up and looked a bit, well, wrong. They've a few nice bikinis in the sale including this Blue Mera Bikini which is now £31.95. That might sound like a lot but I spent £28 on one from Next a few years ago (post baby body, no longer fits) and that seemed to be the going rate. The Joules ones are far nicer than that, so I think it's not bad really.
Blue Mera Bikini from Joules £31.95
My husband has just approached me with the iPad pointing out that Crew do have some good deals in their sale, mainly for men. But as I know my next door neighbour Paul will be reading this and he loves Crew, this is included just for him!
Hampton Shirt from Crew £16

I know a lot of men shun short sleeved shirts but I don't really know why, especially since you can sort of turn up the sleeves anyway which I think looks quite appealing. This one's a good deal at £16 and would last for ages, great with combat shorts. Hubby has actually just ordered this Marwell Checked shirt (£20) as he thinks it will look good with jeans, though I'm not sure he will ever wear this in the hot summer months.
Marwell checked shirt £20
I'm trying to get him away from polo shirts as sometimes it's just time for a change, so I recently introduced him to striped breton style tops. I bought him some nice ones from TK Maxx a few months ago which he's worn loads, so he's ordered this nice stripey Newquay tee which I personally think he'll wear loads.
Crew Newquay Tee £18
While he was ordering, I may have accidentally ordered myself a dress and top - whoops!
What do you think?
Crew Jersey Dress £35
The reviews weren't great for this one, but I think that's because people don't realise Crew's sizes are ridiculously large, anyway, I've ordered it in a size 8 so hopefully it wll be ok. I also ordered this top.
Crew Kayse top £18
I think I'll either find it shapeless and send it back, or love it and wear it with everything. I see myself wearing this with the structured shorts I bought in M&S a few years ago and have never, ever worn.

Phew! That's it for now, please let us know about any thrifty buys you've seen online!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Summer Dresses!

Every summer I have the same obsession, where can I buy the perfect Summer dress? For the past few years I've oscillated between lots of cheap cotton dresses from places like H&M and Primark, and then the next year really quite pricey items from places like Baukjen, Hobbs and Whistles. I've never really hit upon the perfect dress to be honest, as usually what I like to see online is quite different to what I actually want to put on when it's a hot summery day. Funny isn't it?

Luckily, I was sent a lovely summer dress to try by the lovely people at Bonprix, it's this lovely full length evening gown priced £39.99. I asked for it in this lovel bluey green colour, as I once did some sort of style/colour match and blue and dark pink came out as "my colours" apparently. Hmm.

Bonprix dress £39.99
What I like about it, and the reason I chose it, is because it can be worn in lots of different ways which I'll show you in a minute. Although it's sold as an evening gown, I personally think it can be dressed up with heels and accessories or even worn with sandals down at the beach, it's definitely "throw on".

Bonprix Summer Dress £39.99
Cross over at the front style.
Cross over back

Erm, non cross over back

The colour is lovely and really vibrant without being over the top. I'm really pleased with it and think I'll definitely wear it on holiday. It would be especially great on a cruise in the evenings as I've heard that people get quite dressed up on cruises, with some sparkly heels and a nice clutch it would be perfect.

I was also lucky enough to be sent a really nice necklace from Damart that went really well with the dress.
Round Disc Necklace from Damart, £13
The necklace is really nice and great with summer dresses, I think it would also look great with jeans and a white shirt. The colour really catches the light and it's really stylish. There are various other jewellery options on offer that are well worth a look as well. Damart is just round the corner from my house and I'd always wondered what it was, well now I know!

Happy days, roll on summer holidays!

The dress was gifted to my by Bonprix, and the necklace by Damart, but all thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

My Outfit For Kate...

I've been looking enviously at pictures of Kate Middleton in her later stages of pregnancy. Not because I want to have another baby, no siree NEVER, but more because she looks so damn stylish whereas I looked a horrid mess. Part of that was due to me having a very unflattering short haircut, big mistake as it made my bottom half look even bigger. But it was also partly due to my unwillingness to spend money on maternity clothes, I just saw it as a big waste of money. What I foolishly did instead was to buy lots of cheap horrid unflattering pieces where I would have been better off spending more on less stuff, if that makes sense. 

I am a little bit obsessed by Kate's style, so thought it would be nice if I had a go at creating her an outfit myself! This is my favourite maternity outfit of Kates so far, it's so pretty and flattering.

It's sort of grecian looking? Having said that, it's not the sort of thing you could wear every day and if you want value for money then really you want something you can dress up for the evening but comfortably wear to work/through the day as well. It's worth spending a bit more on core pieces (don't make the mistake I did!) that will last and last.

I was a bit obsessed by Tiffany Rose when I was pregnant, and love this colour block maternity dress which is priced at £99. It's a good piece to invest in as it will go with anything and will last the entire length of your pregnancy. It's also comfortable yet smart and stylish too. I think this would really suit Kate as she does look sort of Grecian anyway with her bouncy hair and all.
Colour Block Maternity Dress, Tiffany Rose £99
I love the clutch bag on the picture, but for really lovely and special clutch bags it has to be Reiss, this one is currently on sale at £125 which might sound like a lot, but it's really lovely (and anyway this outfit is designed for Kate!)

Reiss Clutch Bag £125
In terms of accessories for Kate, I'm a bit obsessed with Anathema Designs at the moment, and this necklace at £120 and earrings at £60 are a wise investment.
Anathema Designs Necklace £120
Now shoes are often a problem for pregnant women because of foot swellings, so it's best for Kate to play safe especially if it's for the evening. I like these flatish "day to night" shoes from Dune as they can literally be worn with anything, and bring out the colour in the gold necklace too. 

Dune Shoes what a bargain at £17!
This jacket would also serve you well, not only with this outfit but with many more too. The lovely thing about cropped jackets is that you don't need to worry about the covering your bump and you can also wear them in pregnancy and beyond. I like this silk kimono jacket from Tiffany Rose for that very reason.
Silk Kimono Jacket from Tiffany Rose for £68, currently on sale

I'm a bit unsure about whether the clutch bag and jewellery go together but I love them so much I don't care! 
So what do you think of my "Kate ready" outfit? Do you think she would like it or isn't it colour co-ordinating enough? What do you think of Kate's style?

This is a guest collaboration.

Monday, 8 July 2013

RIP Social Skills, last seen circa 2004

There are some days when I literally don't know whether I'm coming and going. I've definitely reached that stage in my life when I regularly enter a room and have no idea what I went in there for. I guess because I've so much on my mind there isn't much room for extras. I'm constantly stopping and starting with what I'm doing and I have the attention span of a gnat. I've never been good at concentrating on things for very long but more recently it seems to be getting worse. Another thing that's definitely been getting worse, especially over the past five years are my social skills, something that I used to pride myself on. There was a time when I could literally talk to anyone and make friends with them, now I never seem to know what to say. I guess as we get older our interest diversify and I just can't be bothered making small talk anymore. I definitely appear ruder now than I used to, and I don't care what people think of me as much, and I'm not saying that's a good thing.

I think part of it is that because I am so busy these days, I don't have close friends who can say, "Heather that was out of order, you acted like an idiot". Instead what seems to happen is that I just don't get invited to places, or included in things that maybe once upon a time I would have been. I've never been particularly bothered about having close friends because it's always come easy to me. Lately it hasn't and it's really starting to get to me.

Then I thought, do you know what, maybe I am a bit rude and a bit abrupt, but that's part of me and always has been, and people have liked me well enough in the past. I do think it's worth keeping yourself in check, but there are some things about oneself that we can never fundamentally change. I do wonder though, if the use of social media is seriously impairing not only our attention span but also our ability to interact well with others. I know I never pick the phone up anymore to ring people, as a teenager I was forever on the phone.

I may not be in the "in crowd" these days, but is that really a crowd I want to be in anyway? I'll go to the beat of my own drum like I always have, even if quite often I'm playing  my drum alone.


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