Nov 4, 2011

My first magazine mention!

Blog feature: "Your M&S" magazine, Christmas 2011 issue

{ Your M&S magazine – Christmas 2011 issue }

To say it’s weird to see my own face in a genuine magazine on real paper and available on the actual high street in one of the UK’s biggest institutions is a massive understatement.

But if you pick up a free copy of “Your M&S” magazine, the Christmas 2011 edition available in Marks and Spencer stores right now, you will see my mug on page 47 (I’m right underneath Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – cheers design team, you really know how to make a girl feel good about herself …).

I literally couldn’t believe that this was really going to happen until I saw it for myself!

Thank you so much to M&S for mentioning my blog and also a huge thanks to Propellernet for asking me if I minded being included (erm, no!).

Come here often?

If you’re a first-time visitor HELLO! I do hope you’ll stick around :) Click to find out more about me and if you’d like to follow me you can do so via Bloglovin’, RSS or Google Friend Connect, and also find me on Twitter and Tumblr. I don’t get out much.

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Nov 1, 2011

Mango Style Night AW11

Mango Style Night

Mango AW11 fashion event

Last Thursday I attended Mango Style Night event at the huge store on London’s Oxford Street. A crowd of bloggers and Mango fans had been invited and as we all mingled there was a brief run-through of some of AW11′s biggest trends – 1960s, ladylike, streetwear and textured evening wear – which resulted in much ooh-ing, ahh-ing and “I need that!”-ing (my favourites were these amazing snake print jeans and the gorgeous red maxi dress, as worn by the model assisting with the presentation).

Blogger bonding

Some fabulous blogger friends were in attendance, including Really Ree and Prince Cassius, and I also finally got to meet Jen Little Bird and Carrie from Wish Wish Wish in person.

Prince Cassius and Jose Espinas Jnr

Blah Blah Becky and Really Ree

Of course the whole evening was complete with the obligatory champagne and canapés along with TIGI hair styling sessions – for which there was an enormous queue so I never got my turn, boo!

Mango styling challenge

I was also invited to take part in a challenge – myself and several other bloggers each selected an envelope containing an occasion which we then had to style using the AW11 collection. My styling scenario was …

Mango scenario card

I really enjoyed having a poke around the store – the new collections are genuinely gorgeous and I could easily have spent a small fortune had payday been more recent. There are lots of particularly lovely coats and the handbags gave me grabby-hands!

Mango AW11 footwear

Mango AW11 coats

I then headed to the fitting room to try on my 10 or so chosen pieces. Once I’d decided on my final outfit I had my photograph taken for judging. The winner of the styling challenge bags a trip to Barcelona for 2!!

I’ve never been to the Catalan capital although it’s been on my must-visit list for a while. I’d obviously love to win the trip but based on the few other outfits I saw being put together I won’t bother digging out my suitcase …

Mango Style Night fitting room

“Meet the parents” was actually a tougher scenario than I first thought – it’s a situation that completely depends on where you’re meeting them and how formal the occasion is. In that situation it’s always important to feel comfortable (it’s nerve-wracking enough!) but you also want to be a smart and chic version of yourself.

My “meet the parents” outfit

I decided to play it safe and go for an outfit that would be suitable for a restaurant, party or family dinner. After trying on a few combinations I finally chose a slim black skirt, polka dot blouse, androgynous coat (worn draped over my shoulders), my own black tights (which could also be removed depending on the occasion), classic black leather stilettos and a deliciously soft red leather bag. I wanted to achieve a hybrid of the ladylike and mod trends and felt this look was polished but not too try-hard! What do you think?

Mango Style Night

Wearing: Mango slim black skirtpolka dot blouseandrogynous coatblack leather stilettosred leather bag (tights my own)

To top it off everyone who attended got 20% off all purchases made on the night and I tottered tippsily home with a goody bag containing a mini bottle of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut, Teapigs peppermint tea leaves, and TIGI Catwalk hair products and style tip booklets.

Thank you so much to MANGO for inviting me to a really fun evening!

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Oct 31, 2011

Fancy dress

Joe Browns dress

Wearing: ‘Luscious Lace’ dress c/o Joe Browns, striped tights from Primark, leather stilettos from Faith (old), Vintage Bijoux locket c/o Gogo Philip, Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick in shade 1

This black lace dress (which I received last week from Joe Browns) is decidedly witchy enough to pass for Halloween attire, I think, and I love that it feels ladylike yet the sheer sleeves give it a sexy edge. I think it’s gorgeous, I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of it over the party season! I’ll also be dressing it down with brogues and a pea coat for daytime wear.

Although it’s predominantly a lacy dress the fabric contains elastane so it’s nice and stretchy, ideal for the eating I’ll be doing as always over the festive season – what, we’re supposed to bulk up over winter!

The only thing I don’t like about this dress is that the buttons on the sleeves and at the nape of the neck are really tight and fiddly. I can imagine it’ll be a bit of an impossible task if I’ve had a couple of drinks … I haven’t washed it yet (having only worn it the once) so I’ll let you know if it shrinks or bobbles, as this kind of material often does.

As you may have noticed I’ve had my hair cut! What do you think? Chris is not a fan and keeps insisting on calling me Garth :(

While I’m on the subject of hair here’s my promised follow-up to my review of Charles Worthington’s home straightening kit: I was initially impressed but that’s now turned into disappointment. The main thing I dislike about it though is that the horrible smell lasted for over a week, despite the fact that I wash my hair daily and was only supposed to linger for a couple of washes, plus my hair isn’t really much straighter or smoother anymore and it’s only been 2 weeks. Sorry CW but I wouldn’t recommend it! (I did get my new haircut at CW’s Percy Street salon though and my stylist Chloe was wonderful!)

I’ve also treated myself to some new make up including a Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick. I’d been looking for the purple shade for days but when I found it I didn’t like the way it looked on me so I went for a blue-red (another classic never hurts), which I’m also wearing in this photo. It lasts for an impressive amount of time and isn’t drying like a lot of lipsticks. I’ll definitely be trying a couple of other shades – it’s a bargain at £5.49 and cosmetics are on 3 for 2 at Superdrug at the moment!

Chris and I are attempting to make a pumpkin pie at the moment and it isn’t going well. After chopping the pumpkin we realised we’re sans blender and weighing scales and haven’t de-chilled the ready-roll pastry. After a giggle about the whole mess we’ve decided we might as well make a stab at it so it’s in the oven now and we’re about to watch “Home Alone” with our first mulled wine of the season.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Oct 30, 2011

DIY: How to carve a Halloween pumpkin

Pumpkin carving

Halloween isn’t Halloween without a pumpkin! Even if I’m not doing anything else to mark October 31st I have to make a little Jack-o’-lantern. I’ve been carving them for a few years now so thought I’d put together a step-by-step guide in case you fancy having one but don’t know how to make it!

Choose your pumpkin

Ideally you need a medium-large sized pumpkin with at least one flat-ish surface area – this makes the whole process much easier!

Draw your design

Pumpkin design

Once you’ve chosen your design sketch it onto your pumpkin. You can use a marker or felt tip if you like, I usually do but this year I couldn’t find one and gently used a biro – I actually preferred it as the waxy surface of the pumpkin means you can just rub off any mistakes!

Cut off the lid

Pumpkin lid

This importance of this part is so easily underestimated but be sure to angle the knife inwards towards the centre of the pumpkin to create a slanted edge – this gives the lid something to rest on later and stops it falling into your pumpkin later!

Pumpkin lid

Your lid should then easily pop out giving you access to the juicy insides! Now the boring part begins!

Scoop out the insides

Pumpkin scooping

Using a spoon you need to scrape out the seeds from the inside of the pumpkin. Get out as much as you can, which can be tricky as it’s quite stringy. I also use scissors to chop off any stubborn bits!

Carve your design

Pumpkin carving

Once it’s all hollowed-out you can start cutting your design into the pumpkin using a sharp, thin knife. You may find it helps to lightly trace over your sketched design then peel off the skin.

Pumpkin carving

I think the texture is most similarly compared to that of an apple so it’s quite easy to cut through. Just take your time! Once you’re done tidy up any jagged edges.

Light your pumpkin!

Pumpkin

Pop a tealight into the middle of your pumpkin then light it, being careful not to burn yourself :) DONE!

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