Its my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to…

its-my-birthday-and-ill-cry-if-i-want-to

Image from Etsy seller Sassy Baby Applique

A slight bastardisation of the Lesley Gore song lyrics, but as I’m not having a party it’s the most appropriate. And I have cried. On and off since Friday. It’s my first birthday without my Dad and I miss him. I miss his daft jokes where he pretended not to know the date or how old I was. I miss how he’d play me up and tell me I wasn’t allowed to open my presents early, even if I wasn’t going to see him on the day. And I miss him phoning me up, and the excitable tone of his voice when he used to say Happy Birthday to me.

I know it’s to be expected, with it being the first Birthday since he died, but I didn’t expect to feel this bereft. This is the worst I’ve felt since his funeral at the end of September.

I’ve had such a lovely weekend too, of live music and old friends and new friends and Christmas market and food and husband. But sometimes feeling happy can make you feel even more sad when it hits.

Anyway, not to be a complete misery guts I’ve busted out some season appropriate clothing – wearing my new velvet boots (present from me to me, via Primark) and my new sequin sleeve top (present from me to me, via Everything 5 Pounds) and I’m trying to have an ok day, even though I’m in the office. I’m also wearing red lippie because it’s fierce and my Dad’s watch so I have a little piece of him with me.

birthday-outfit

I’ve had lots of birthday messages from lots of lovely peeps and I have all my cards and pressies to open when I get home, and the lovely husband is taking me out to dinner.

You know what though? I’d give it all up for 10 more minutes with Dad.

Normal (more upbeat) service will resume soon. Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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And the bride wore…black…

I think I’ve mentioned on here that I was lucky enough to be asked by two of my amazing friends to be a bridesmaid at their wedding. Right from the off it was obvious that it wouldn’t be a conventional wedding, so I was totally unsurprised when the bride told me her dress would be black.

its-a-nice-day-for-a-black-wedding

I was also unsurprised at them selecting a gothic venue which would be a dramatic backdrop to a stunning day.

We had the most amazing time. The husband and I, along with some of the wedding party, stayed over on Saturday night, so were able to get a feel for the venue and the surroundings. Sunday, the day of the wedding, was just amazing from beginning to end. The venue, Ettington Park Hotel, has chapel ruins in the grounds which is where they hoped to marry. We’ve eagerly kept an eye on the weather forecast, hoping for the best but fearing the worst for the end of October. We needn’t have worried. It was a really mild day with a light element of mist that gave an atmospheric eeriness to proceedings. Everything went perfectly, from getting ready, through to the ceremony, through to pictures, the wedding breakfast and the party in the evening. I stumbled off to bed at 4.30am full of happiness, love and joy. It was an absolutely fantastic weekend.

I got to wear a beautiful dress, which was bought as a plain purple frock and then custom decorated with black lace.

purple-and-black-lace-bridesmaid-dress

The husband and I had strong shoe game; check out those purple suede boots! (he was one of the best men – there were three)

bridesmaid-sandals-and-best-man-purple-suede-boots

The timing, the day before Halloween, obviously lent itself to themed decorations which could, quite easily, have fallen into tacky territory. It was quite the opposite. Quirky, with little bits and bobs here and there, hand painted bottles and brightly painted pumpkins in little nooks and crannies, lots of black lace and floral decorations. Everywhere we looked there was something to marvel at, subtle spooky skeletons and bough after bough of ivy with 2 full size skeletons in bridal wear positioned in the hotel entrance.

The best thing I can do to give you an insight is to share some pics with you. Just visually stunning.

Photographs by myself, various guests and the amazing official photographer Sassy at Assassynation

Cake by Little Cherry Cake Company

Aside from the sheer beauty and fun of it all, it really was an honour and a privilege to see our dear friends get married. They’re so great together, so right for each other and so in love that not one person in the room could have questioned whether they were doing the right thing, and that’s really what it’s all about. Take away the beautiful outfits, the gorgeous backdrop and the brilliant party, and their relationship is the same now they’re married as it was before. They have a relationship built on laughter, not taking each other too seriously and mutual respect, as well as adoration, and a marriage certificate is just the icing on the cake for them. Being part of their day was such a beautiful thing and I was so touched and excited to be asked; I’ll treasure the memories of the day and their ongoing friendship forever.

Oh, and I’ll also treasure this, possibly the coolest wedding photograph ever!

purple-and-black-gothic-wedding-party-group-shotPhotograph by Sassy at Assassynation

I can’t think of anyone who’s getting married next year, and that makes me really sad. I love a good wedding!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

 

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Twit of the Day – silly swimwear buyers, sellers and designers

Being, as I am, on a holiday tip and also being, as I am, less slim than last time I went on holiday, I’ve been shopping online for bikinis. My criteria is simple – minimal tan lines and enough fabric to cover more than my pubic region. What most people would look for in a bikini, no?

ASOS seemingly has other ideas!

All those straps, you’d look ridiculous after a day of sunbathing!

Strappy bikini top

Good luck with wearing a low neck top after sunbathing in this.

Crossover bikini top

Silly bottoms.

I’m no prude but this is verging on indecent.

Strappy bikini bottoms

 

What happens when you wear a strappy top at night or a different style bikini the next day and you’ve got white bands on your arms?

Off shoulder bikini

It’s nice for clothes to be decorative and pretty rather than purely functional, but really?

I probably shouldn’t single out ASOS as I’m sure this kind of daftness is prevalent in many high street shops too.

Is it just me? Or is this just silly?

Twits!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Packing for a (non) spring city break in France

When I booked our trip to Lyon, I had visions of wandering cobbled streets in maxi dresses and sandals and sitting at riverside cafes sipping cold wine.

The weather has other ideas.

Despite being May on Sunday, Lyon seems to be suffering with same crap weather affliction as the UK. I’ve trawled multiple forecast websites to find something more favourable, but all of them seem to be suggesting cool evenings and showers.

Arse.

In a confusing state of mind though, in the past two days it’s improved slightly, with the temperatures creeping upwards. Not one to miss any opportunity to make the most of the sunshine, this now means I have to pack for two types of weather, just in case. As I don’t have two lots of luggage allowance (damn you Flybe) I’m going to have to get creative.

Love trips hate packing

I’ve come up with a list of jeans, boots, maxi dresses, tops, maxi skirts, leggings, scarves, a hat, sunglasses, hi tops, sandals, a leather jacket and a denim jacket.

That’s pretty much every eventuality covered!

Now all I need to do is persuade the husband he doesn’t need a 50% share of the luggage space…

I’ll probably be sharing some pictures via Instagram whilst I’m away (free wifi dependant, obvs) so if you want to see what I’m seeing then give me a follow.

Thanks, as always, for reading ! x

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My weekend in pictures

Hey, how was everyone’s weekend? I had quite a busy one, with two Mother’s Day celebrations, and a night out for a friend’s birthday. As a result I’m rather jaded and tired today – roll on hometime!

On Saturday afternoon we went to a pub about half an hour drive from us, called the Warwickshire Lad, with my Mother in Law for lunch. She’s not big on Mother’s Day, and doesn’t like doing anything on the day itself, so Saturday afternoon was ideal. It seemed a few people had the same idea.

The pub is both traditional and contemporary inside; lots of wooden beams and a big original fireplace mix well with sunny windows and big mirrors for a really spacious and bright feel. The menu is a mix of good solid pub grub and gastropub specials.

I went for honey glazed duck breast with rum and blackcherry sauce and new potatoes. The duck was cooked perfectly, not too pink, a bit of crispiness to the skin and succulent and juicy meat. The sauce was subtle; no over riding flavour of either rum or cherry, but it was sweet and not too thick.

Duck with rum and blackcherry sauce

The husband went for Fillet Steak Boston,. which he was incredibly excited about (steak, scallops and whisky sauce; all box tickers for him) but unfortunately it didn’t quite deliver – the steak was medium to well done, rather than medium as requested, and the sauce lacked flavour. A bit disappointing for a £20 main course.

What wasn’t disappointing was my new most bargainous dress – just £6 from the New Look sale! It has bell sleeves, which I love, and a pleasingly swishy skirt. I matched it with tan suede boots and a tan fringed bag.

Looking forward to the weather being warmer and being able to bust this out with bare legs and sandals.

On Saturday night we went to a rock bar in town. I debuted my new Collection Lasting Colour lipstick, which actually isn’t new at all – I bought it months and months ago after seeing it on Holly’s blog (Closing Winter) but haven’t got round to wearing it.

Collection Aubergine Kiss lipstick

Aubergine Kiss lipstick

It’s called Aubergine Kiss and is much darker in real life – a deep black cherry which is very vampy and gothic.

I also wore my new tassel jacket, which is frickin’ awesome, and received many compliments (as well as a description of a gothic Big Bird from Sesame Street!). It was, believe it or not, from Tesco, and reduced to just £20.

F&F tassel jacket

There’s no way I couldn’t keep it. It’s actually the same fabric as my feathery skirt from H&M, but don’t worry, I won’t be wearing them together!

Sunday morning loomed too quickly and I was feeling somewhat delicate, but had to pull myself together to celebrate Mothers Day with my own Mom. She and my sister came over, I cooked baked lamb and potatoes (so much yum) and we drank lots of wine, took lots of selfies and laughed a lot.

A most enjoyable Sunday afternoon and evening.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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How has the Zara sale passed me by?

Zara is one of those shops I never think to look at. I’m not sure why. Probably because it’s more expensive than I like to pay (cheapskate!)

Zara

A few weeks ago I was in Oxford shopping and my sister went in to Zara, so I followed her for a nosy. I was amazed at how good their sale prices are – very heavily discounted with loads of items at £9.99 or less!

I couldn’t be bothered to try anything on in store (too much hassle to derobe the layers of winter clothes) so I checked out the online sale when I got home.

I was obviously late to the party, as the sales had been on for 3-4 weeks already, so many items will have already been out of stock or limited in sizes, but I did snaffle a couple of bargains that I’m very pleased with.

Multi coloured tunic dress – £9.99

First thing the husband said when I tried this on was “that’s an eating dress”. Which it is (hurrah!) but not the reason I bought it. I spotted this in store and loved the colours, it has an oriental feel with the pattern and the kimono sleeves and I think it’s a good year round item which I could wear now with boots or in summer with sandals. It will be ideal to take on holiday to wear towards the end of a trip when all the cocktails and yummy cuisine have taken their toll on my waistline!

Ditsy print floral top – £7.99

Towards the end of last summer I bought a couple of pairs of flares that I intend to wear a lot when spring arrives, and I’ve been on the look out for tops that will work with them for that hippy 70s vibe. This one is perfect. I don’t have much yellow in my wardrobe but it will look great with blue denim, and (importantly) it won’t need ironing!

I could have bought lots more if they had my size – not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing!

I’ll definitely be first in line at sale time in future.

Are you a Zara shopper?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

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Disappointment – bad for the soul, good for the bank balance

I’ve had 3 major disappointments with online orders recently. These are things that I’ve been hankering after for ages (in some cases, years).

The timing is probably good, because between Christmas shopping and spending money on our home I’m not exactly in the best financial place. But you know when you really really want something to be great? And your mind has already run away with you about how your life is going to be better as a result? That!

The first thing is this grey fur coat.

Dorothy Oerkins grey fur coat

Now I know I said I wasn’t in the market for a new fur coat. But I was lying. I’ve been hankering after a grey one for ages; in fact this very coat is the one that prompted me to put that post together, although by the time I got round to it the grey had disappeared (hence me featuring the cream). But then it came back online; in the Dorothy Perkins half price Black Friday sale (is it just me, or do they always have discount offers on?) It was set to be my find of the season at less than £30.

Alas, it made me look like the honey monster. The shape made my posture look wrong; all round shouldered and weird, plus it was the kind of hairy fur that moults and gets everywhere.

Boo.

Second fail was this coat from New Look. Be still my inner Penny Lane (read my review of Almost Famous here). I’ve wanted a suede and shaggy fur coat like this in forever. OK, this is faux suede, but that’s ok, I’m not a fabric snob.

New Look 70s suede coat

Unfortunately it didn’t even resemble faux suede. It was more like orange cardboard. And the shaggy fur looked like it had been left to dry after being submerged in a muddy puddle. Penny Lane was not to be.

Finally, on a different tip, a hairstyler which I was sure would revolutionise my barnet (I haven’t moaned about it for a while!) I found the UK version of the one handed blowdryer from Revlon, on Amazon, and kindly told asked the husband if he would buy it for me if it was any good.

Revlon blow dryerRevlon blowdryer

Unfortunately it wasn’t. It took ages to dry and it was awkward to get right to the roots. I gave up in the and finished off with my hairdryer and straighteners. Such a shame as I was mega excited about that.

Have you had any shopping disappointments recently?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Metrosexuality gone mad

I’m all for men looking after themselves and taking care of their appearance.

Hell, I’m even down with blokes embracing their feminine side if that’s what tickles their fancy.

I like men with long hair and earrings (like my husband). I don’t mind nail varnish on a man (it works for my celebrity crushes Nikki Sixx and Steven Tyler)

But kimonos? On your average online shopping male?

ASOS male kimono 2

ASOS male kimono

ASOS male kimono 3

Meggings? (I kid you not, that’s what they’re called on the website)

ASOS meggings

Blanket capes?

ASOS cape

ASOS please! Just no!

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Lace and leather look good together…

…except the trousers aren’t real leather; they’re “pleather”.

And I’m not going to wear them with the lace top.

But that doesn’t flow off the tongue as much for a blog post title!

Anyways, I got these in the H&M sale. The trousers were £8 and the top £9.

H&M black lace top black pleather faux leather peg leg trousers

I’ve seen some “pleather joggers” on a couple of different blogs and I like them. They’re a different look to my biker skinnies, although I don’t know how I’m going to wear them. I don’t have the right ankle boots (I’ve tried them all). My pointy black stiletto courts will work, if I’m wearing them for going out. Top wise I need to play about, because of the elasticated waist. I’m wondering if I can get away with sneakers or hi-tops for a more casual daytime look, teamed with a chunky knit.

The top is kind of a replacement for another black lace top I have, which has lost it’s oomph through being worn and washed. I’ll be wearing it with black flares.

I bloody love H&M.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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The return of opaque tights

I have some strange fashion rules that I have made up in my head that I can’t bring myself to break.

One of them is wearing (or, more specifically, not wearing) opaque tights before November. It’s just a thing.

But now we’re firmly in November and the tights can come out. Hurrah! It also opens up lots of wardrobe possibilities that are closed during the cooler days of October, like skirts and boots (I tend to get in a jeans rut during the change of seasons). And some that are only possible in autumn winter, like mini dresses that would be on the verge of explicit without tights to hide ones modesty! And shorts. I’m a big fan of shorts and tights in winter.

Today I have gone for a black and cream spotty jersey dress from F&F (2 years ago), with my trusty ASOS stompy boots (these were such a good buy, I’ve worn them loads already).

Me in spotty dress and leather jacket

Spotty dress opaque tights ASOS ankle boots

My legs feel cosy and protected, it’s nice!

My favourite opaques are from Primark; they’re good quality, wash well and come in a variety of deniers up to 150 (I think). I need to stock up as I do at the beginning of each tight wearing season. Even though I’m only 5’6″ I always buy tall, because there’s nothing worse than a saggy crotch that you have to keep hoisting up!

Here’s some of the outfits I’ll be wearing now that the tights are back in town.

Beanie leather jacket nude tulle skirt opaque tights ankle boots

Fine kinit jumper tweed shorts black opaque tights black ankle boots

Grey jumper berry leather skirt opaque tights ankle boots

Leather jacket grey top tartan mini skirt opaque tights ankle boots

Nude boho dress opaque tights

Leather jacket chunky scarf burgundy mini skirt opaque tights ankle boots

Mini skirt black opaque tights

Printed tee red mini skirt opaque tights

(images from pinterest)

Thanks, as always, for reading!

 

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