Category: Fancy Footwork

Blind optimism or sheer shoe-pidity?

That’s the question behind the fact I’m still buying summer sandals. I’m clinging on to summer for as long as I can and I intend on wearing sandals for as long as I can too.

Plus the fact that our summer holiday abroad is a late one this year means I have more opportunity to wear them than usual (spot the furious justification to myself and the husband, if he’s reading!)

Plus buying in the sales now means I’ll have new-ish stuff for early doors next year and therefore technically save myself some money on new season prices (already counting down to summer 2016!)

These were just £8 in the F&F sale, reduced from £28.Tesco wedges 2

Tesco wedges

Not worth not buying really (shoe lover’s logic). And I’ve already worn them yesterday so they’re already earning their keep. I love the contrast of colours, the chunky sole and the sporty styling, plus they’re heavy enough to not look “high summer” and therefore completely acceptable to wear in September.

What I’ve really been after, for a long long time, is a pair of lace up the leg sandals. I’ve long been a fan of things that lace up the leg (when I say things, I mean shoes, obvs); they’re just fab. Not entirely sure what it is about them, but I love them. They’re interesting, unusual and quirky.

I ordered a pair from Boohoo about a month ago (amongst my other Boohoo goodies which you can see here and here) and I had high hopes for them, but alas they were too wide for my skinny calves (which are more of a pain than you would imagine) and even tied as tight as could be they still gaped. So disappointing.

Ebay is my usual turn for anything a bit different – you can usually find everything on ebay. Most of the ones I saw were about £30 plus, which I know on a cost per wear basis would pay for themselves but I am somewhat overcommitted in the financial department at the mo (ahem) so what I really needed is much cheapness. Plus a lot of them are from Chinese sellers, and I’ve been stung before with sizes coming up small, and it usually costs as much to return something to China as it does to buy a small uninhabited island in the Pacific.

But then I stumbled on these (not my legs!)

Roman lace up sandals 2

Roman lace up sandals

For less than £12 they were worth a punt and I’m glad I took the risk. They fasten with a zip up the back but the laces are adjustable so I can tighten them to fit. Deffo coming to Italy with me, although I might look a bit like I’m in fancy dress when we go to the Roman ruins!

Anyone else still firmly in a summer mindset and refusing to give in?!

Cocktails and Curry

You’d think, as Brits, we’d have known better than to make bank holiday plans that involved being outdoors – or at least have a contingency plan – but we, er, didn’t. Which is why we spent a good chunk of a very wet bank holiday Monday lounging on the sofa watching Criminal Minds.

Bank holiday

Not wanting the day to be an entire washout, not least because it’s the last bank holiday of the year, we spent at least an hour trying to decide on a cuisine and therefore a restaurant that we could eat out at in the evening. Otherwise I may well have stayed in my PJs all day and night.

We decided on Indian food – one of our favourite cuisines. We more often eat indian food at home via delivery rather than in a restaurant, but fancied the sense of occasion that eating out brings (and a reason to get dressed!)

And with there being a cocktail bar just 3 doors away from the restaurant, which had reduced priced cocktails all day, it seemed daft not to combine the two!

La Plancha in Moseley is a true gem of a bar.

La Plancha restaurant

La Plancha

Small and cosy with an extensive cocktail menu and great tapas. Like really great. So great that we almost changed our curry plans. It’s one of the only bars in Moseley that doesn’t attract the pub crawl crowd at weekends.

First I had a Myzo and husband had an Old Fashioned.

Myzo and old fashioned

Myzo is one of my most favourite cocktails, and my first choice whenever we’re in La Plancha. It’s both sweet and sour and spicy – vanilla vodka, lemon juice and elderflower cordial, shaken with chopped up chilli and then strained, garnished with a full chilli. It has a real kick to it. I can recommend, from personal experience, not eating the chilli – even if you’re dared to by your husband (very mature behaviour).

Myzo

You may end up in the bathroom with your head under the cold tap for 10 minutes, followed by the staff having to give you milk to cool your mouth.

An Old Fashioned is whisky based (bleugh) and very strong. That’s all I know!

Second drink was a Pornstar Martini for me and a Long Island Iced Tea for husband.

Pornstar martini and long island iced tea

Despite it’s trashy name, a Pornstar Martini is a really nice drink – a mix of passionfruit and vanilla vodka, with passion fruit puree and a shot of prosecco on the side (OK, that bit’s not so classy!) For some reason the barman kept topping up my prosecco shots, which was jolly nice of him! If he’d have topped up the cocktail continuously I’d definitely have stayed all night (and probably not been in work today!)

Pornstar Martini passionfruit

The Long Island Iced Tea has one of the highest booze content out there, with tequila, vodka, gin and rum. A firm favourite with both of us!

Imlees restaurant is definitely our favourite Indian restaurant in Moseley.

Imlees restaurant

It’s been refurbished fairly recently (about 18 months ago) and the interior is lovely, with lots of cream leather, wood and glass chandeliers.

Imlees interior

Imlees interior 2

The food is exceptionally good, with some great unusual menu choices. Plus it’s bring your own booze, which is always useful when there’s too much month at the end of the money.

I had chilli chicken to start – it was sweet and spicy and gooey and tasty and perfectly cooked, with a nice fresh salad garnish for a bit of crunch.

Chilli chicken

Husband had onion bhajis, which I always think are a bit of a waste of a starter selection when there are so many other good options, but I have to say these were fantastic – light and fluffy and very tasty. And, because he couldn’t decide, he also had some paneer (cheese) samosas, which you can see peeking out on the plate as well.

Onion bhajis

After the starters we were served a small lemon sorbet – a lovely refreshing palette cleanser.

No pictures of mains but they were bloomin’ lovely. I had peppery chicken which I’ve never seen on an Indian menu before; it was thick and saucy with chunks of green pepper and chicken flavoured with black pepper. Really really tasty and one I’ll definitely have again.

Husband had king prawn madras which had lots of huge juicy prawns and a bright red sauce.

The side orders were also different to the usual offerings – a naan bread with both keema and garlic (delish) and fried rice with chicken (also delish).

I wore an F&F floral teadress that I bought in last year’s sale, and my new ASOS 70s leather studded platform clogs which are currently in the sale at just £20. So much love for these!

Floral dress ASOS clogs

ASOS clogs

ASOS clogs and floral dress

I love unexpected nights out that come from nowhere and become a resounding success! And I love living somewhere that affords me so many options right on my doorstep.

And I love food. Obvs.

My final Boohoo bargains

So you’ve seen my Boohoo jewellery, and you’ve seen my Boohoo flares (swoon!) Here’s the round up of the rest of my purchases from the sale.

Boho laid back hippiness with this viscose top. The colours are vibrant without being OTT. This will definitely come to Italy with me. It needs a tight fitting bottom (oo-er) to balance out the voluminous-ness.
 Boohoo bright boho tunic top
Boohoo bright boho tunic top 2
Pointed assymetric heels. I’ve been after a pair of black shoes like this for ages but they’re either not quite pointed enough, or not quite high enough. These are perfect. And a very purse friendly £10.
Boohoo black pointed heels
Boohoo black pointed heels 2
Grey studded belt. I love the heavy buckle detail on this. £4.
Grey Boohoo belt
And finally, a totally unseasonal and, some might say, daft purchase is this coat. It’s not thick or heavy, in fact it’s not lined – it’s more like a soft felt blanket in a dressing gown shape. But I love it. It’s very glamorous and flattering and draped. Will be cool worn with all black in winter.
Boohoo mocha wrap coat 2
Boohoomocha wrap coat
Not that I want to even think about winter right now!
 

Some more sale buys

Here are some of the things I’ve been buying from various places over recent weeks, collated into what looks like a rather greedy list, when I put it all together!

Cheesecloth boho top – F&F

Tesco F&F boho blouse

This is my current favourite item. I love it! I love the tassel neck tie, I love the sleeve width and length, I love that it’s crinkly cheesecloth that you can just wash and wear. And I love that I also got 20% off the £16 price tag. With a pair of battered denim shorts it’s the ideal summer outfit.

Speaking of battered denim shorts…
Falmer mid blue denim shorts – Matalan

Matalan Falmer denim shorts

My perfect denim shorts. I find they tend to be either too snug, or too short, or too long. These are ideal; they sit on the hips, are the perfect colour blue and come pre-distressed. £14 well spent (I think I had 20% off as well).

Tan heeled sandals – Deichmann

Deichmann tan heeled sandals

These were a bargainous £8 in Deichmann’s half price sale (a shop that’s definitely worth a look at – they have some crap but the odd gem pops up). I like these with turned up tatty boyfriend jeans; the contrast between laid back and dressed up really works for me.

Boyfriend jeans and tan heels

They’re not leather, but they are mega mega comfy (in fact I’m wearing them today and they’re like slippers. If slippers had heels and peep toes)

Little Mistress midi skirt – Dorothy Perkins

Little Mistress stripe skirt

I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment when I put this skirt on. It makes me want to twirl! It was half price in the DP sale; reduced from £50 to £25. Husband said it looks like something his Mom would wear (I’ve known his Mom for 10 years, and no way!) and I don’t have anywhere to wear it but I can’t let it go. It was all packed up ready to be returned and I retrieved it last minute. Too pretty (and pretty classic too). I’m thinking black Bardot top and black heeled sandals. Luckily enough, I have both!

Black and white stripe dress – New Look

New Look stripe dress

Another one I have no occasion for. Oops. But it was only £15 and is so lovely! One of my very first blog posts was about buying bargains when you see them so you don’t have to go hunting when an occasion arises. Well so far I have a plethora of bargains and sod all places to go! So I think I’ll try dressing this one down and wearing it that way. Or just dress it right up and prance around the supermarket like a loon.

Tooled leather belt – New Look

New look tan tooled leather beltNew Look tooled leather belt

My previous tan jeans belt is getting a bit tight (or rather I’m getting a bit bigger – I’d like to say it’s because I’m wearing my jeans lower than when I bought the belt but that would be a lie). This one was reduced to £7 in the New Look sale and has small metal studs and a silver buckle (silver…hurrah…be gone gold hardware!)

Lace and feather print scarf – New Look

New look multi lace print scarf New Look multi lace print scarf

I like the colours, I like the mix of patterns, I like the £4 price tag. Done. Wore it at Download as the Sunday felt more like March than June <<insert grumble about British summertime here>>

Ah, I do love the sales!

My current favourite things

Nivea fruity shine lipbalms. These are just gorge on my lips. I reviewed them here.

Nive Fruity Shine

Selling on ebay. It’s such a pain but worth it when you make a few pennies (because that means guilt free future shopping by reinvesting the profit!)

Ebay logo

Rodizio Rico. A Brazilian churrascaria in the Mailbox in Birmingham. Basically a full on meat fest. Men with meat on skewers carve it on to your plate at your table. I took my Dad for Father’s Day. He went caveman!

Rodizio Rico

Platform sandals. Way easier to wear than you expect, because the height of the sole offsets the height of the heel. These are my most recent ones, part of a mini haul from from Matalan.

Matalan brown platform sandals

Turquoise and silver jewellery. Perfect combination, and surprisingly versatile. Looks great with a tan (which I unfortunately don’t have at the moment; thanks for nothing summer 2015). Lots featured on my Pinterest bejewelled page. This one is a recent purchase from ebay (I’m buying as well as selling!)

Silver and turquoise necklace

My Naked Flame balcony burner. A Christmas present from the husband. Fill it with burning gel and set it alight – it’s mesmerising to sit outside in the dark and watch it flicker away.

Naked Flame gel burner

What are you loving right now?

Summer workwear – a variation on a theme

I’ve been a bit predictable / unimaginative with my work outfits for the last few days. I find dresses so easy to wear in summer – one item to throw on, no colour matching, no waistbands which can be uncomfortable and hot when sitting at a desk all day. All of these dresses are from Matalan, from last year, and all of them are crepe – the easiest fabric in the world to own. Lightweight and crease free, they dry mega quickly and don’t need ironing. I’d have a whole wardrobe full of crepe clothing if I could!

Pink dress – Matalan
Snakeskin and feather sandals – not sure, maybe ebay? Love these, they have 3 ankle straps covered in purple jewel chips and small feathers, and a tiny wedge heel
Jewellery: Turquoise colour ring – Primark, turquoise colour cuff – gift, silver swirl ring – Camden (present from husband on a day out)
Tortoiseshell sunglasses – Primark
Chunky coin necklace – ebay

20150626_081703

Snakeskin feather sandals

Snakeskin feather sandals

Silver turquoise jewellery

Boho jewellery

Floral dress – Matalan
Red pointy ankle strap flats – Matalan
Multiple rings – H&M, Birmingham rag market, Primark
Round sunglasses – Primark
Freshwater pearls – Mauritius (present from husband when we got married, bought on the beach from a local fisherman)

Summer workwear

Red pointy flats

Summer floral dress

Summer workwear

Freshwater pearls

Blue dress – Matalan
Tan gladiator sandals – independent shoe shop
Brown iridescent glass beads – H&M
Turquoise colour ring – as before (Primark) / amber ring – gift from Mother-in-Law

Blue dress

H&M glass beads

Turquoise and amber jewelery

What’s everyone else wearing for summer?

Matalan strikes again!

I have blogged before about my love of Matalan and how its full of hidden gems you don’t see everywhere. It would seem they’re going up in the world, having just opened a store on Oxford Street no less. I’m not aware of them having a High Street presence anywhere, certainly not near me, as most of their stores tend to be big spaces on retail parks, so this is a departure for them. It’s very useful in increasing their London-centric custom though, because for those Londoners without a car it’s previously been inaccessible. And, although they offer free home delivery, you can only return to store if something’s not right.

Anyway, it’s been a couple of months since I bought anything from Matalan (big wow!) but I was alerted to a fabulous bag by blogger A Little Twist Of via Twitter and off I went to have a look.

This is the bag.

Matalan hello goodbye clutch bag

 

Matalan hello goodbye clutch bag

I love it. But (eek!) I’m not sure if I will get much use out of it! It’s on the large side for a clutch, I have other black clutches, and the hardware is gold. I have a real thing about gold hardware. Admittedly there isn’t much hardware on this bag, and it’s a subtle gold (rather than in your face yellow) but it’s still there. Now this only cost £9.60 with a discount (£12 full price) so it seems churlish to umm and aah BUT I’m trying really hard to think more about my purchases and only keep stuff I really really love (and will use) in order to keep my wardrobe space and my bank account more in order so I should probably return this.

I’m on the fence.

Oh, and it also comes in white, which Is also very cool, but also has gold hardware. WHHHHHYYYY? Silver goes so much better with white.

So, while I was looking for the bag, and to boost my order value for free delivery, and just because I like seeing what’s new, I had a peruse. And I found this top.

Matalan patterned back detail top Matalan patterned back detail top

Which I liked so much that I also ordered it in red.

Matalan red back detail top

When they arrived they’re slightly different fabric – the patterned one is stiffer while the red is crinkly cheesecloth. And you can’t wear a bra with them, because they’re so low at the back. But I have some of those funny little stick on cup things somewhere – the ones that you hope your partner will never ever see you in when you get undressed because they’re so ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as the idea of not buying the top. You know?

And also, in my ongoing quest for something crochet-ish with a hippy-ish festival-ish boho-ish twist (which I go on every year and haven’t yet scratched the itch) I found this lightweight tassled cream top.

Matalan crochet fringed top

And it’s lovely. It needs a layer underneath it, but that’s fine – a black thin strap vest or bandeau top will be perfect. An immediate entry into my Download packing. All good.

Finally, I ordered this kimono (mine is cream, but not on the site for some reason ). It might be slightly more bed jacket than kimono, but let’s not get caught up in the detail. It does crease, so there’s a very real chance I’ll never wear it again after the first wash (I don’t do ironing, I buy stuff that doesn’t need it!) But it’s super easy to wear with skinnies or denim shorts.

Crochet edge kimono

Having ordered multiple sizes in everything, (avoids disappointment I find) I popped back to my local Matalan to return the stuff that didn’t fit. And I spied some shoes! Low and behold I also had a voucher for 25% off in store, making them a rather palatable £15. They’re not currently on the website, but here’s a pic taken in my lounge.

Matalan brown platform sandals

They’re super comfy – the platform sole offsets the height of the heel so it’s not like walking in high heels at all.

Ooh, I do love a good mini spree! And there’s heaps more nice stuff there too. I won’t rule out another cheeky order soon.

Supermarket “style” from F&F (but sack the stylists)

I’m a fan of supermarket clothing – Tesco does some fine bits and pieces at a reasonable cost. They have great sales, and quite often full priced items will go into the sales very quickly. Delivery is free if you spend over £50, returns are also free (via Royal Mail), refunds are processed quickly and you earn Clubcard points on your purchases (which you can then spend on “free” food at restaurants like Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Zizzi).

One failing that comes to mind though is the styling. It really doesn’t make the most of the items in many cases, so it can be a case of take a risk, try it at home and maybe unearth a gem.

Following on from yesterday’s smugness around my new leopard print shoes, here are some more bargains that I bagged from the Tesco F&F sale.

Camo print half shirt dress (£12, reduced from £25)

Tesco camo dress       Tesco camo dress close up

Charcoal draped cardigan (£8, reduced from £16)

Tesco grey cardigan Tesco grey cardigan 2

Maxi shirt (£12, reduced from £18) – needless to say I will not be wearing mine like this!

Black maxi shirt

Black crochet sleeve shell top (£9 reduced from £16)

Tesco crochet blouse 2

Surely the worst styling on the whole of the site – palazzo pants that don’t touch the ground with slim heel shoes; no, no, NO! (£9 reduced from £18)

Tesco palazzo pants Tesco palazzo print

The palazzo pants and maxi shirt have 70s written all over them; dare I say that, if styled more appropriately, there’d be no need to put them in the sale…

Here’s my pick of the rest of the site – more stripes and leopard print amongst other things.

 Tesco peeptoe shoeboots

Tesco two part flats

Tesco grey fedora

I may just have to order that fedora…purely in the interests of research of course…

For the love of leopard print

It is a well known fact amongst my family and friends that I LOVE leopard print. I have coats, hats, gloves, scarves, tops, dresses, skirts and footwear; as well as ornaments, a wine glass and some fluffy dice (these were bought as an ironic gift).

Here’s the wine glass. It’s hand painted and was a birthday present from some close friends (it looks better with wine in, obvs).

20150421_183736

I can never have enough leopard print, and I’m probably most partial to it in the shoe or boot variety.

My Dad and his wife bought these for me as a birthday gift a couple of years ago (photograph borrowed from ebay). The heels look monstrously high, but the height is offset by the big platform sole and they’re surprisingly easy to walk in. They make me feel like a giant, which I love! I specifically chose a tall husband so I’d never be restricted on heel height (oh, and because of the whole love thing as well, obvs again).

Leopard boots 3

Here are my two newest additions to the leopard print family.

Via ebay from the veritable bargain basement that is China – bargain price of £7.04 including shipping!

Leopard flat 3 Leopard flats 2

20150421_18340220150421_183351

And these beauties; a bargain for leather at £28 from F&F – even more of a bargain in the sale at £17. I’ll be wearing these with turned up jeans and one of yesterday’s striped tops.

Tesco leopard shoesTesco leopard close up

20150421_183200

20150421_183222  20150421_183208

They’re not the only sale bargains from F&F…more tomorrow…

Twit of the Day award…

…goes to the order packers at H&M who, instead of packing my (admittedly very large, but mainly because of their blinkin’ bloomin’ sizing) order into multiple manageable boxes, sent me this:

20150414_080002

Which is so big, it did this:

20150414_075948

The cardboard handles broke as I tried to lift it, so I don’t know how the courier managed to lug it up the stairs without splitting it further.

Or how he’ll get it back down.

Come on H&M, where’s your common sense?!