Friday, 30 November 2012

Skin Deep

I've had a few twitter convos regarding my skin recently and after watching the BBC3 programme Dying for Good Skin the other day it's got me wanting to ask for your help in a more formal manner in the hope that any comments to this post will also help others. 

Now you might not think I have anything to worry about as my skin isn't that bad and I do know that compared to many others and to my 16 year old self my skin is alright.  The problem for me is I had 15 or so years of beautiful skin thanks to the pill and it has left me wanting what my hormones won't allow on a permanent basis.  The photos you see of me on this site show me with a full face of make up and if I have a particularly bad spot or two I either won't take photos until they clear or I will use a blemish tool to make it disappear.  Vain? Maybe.  I wish I had a real life blemish tool.

My skin is greasy, it gets clogged up easily and it is prone to break out around my chin on a regular basis.  It's not just the skin on my face, I also suffer with bad skin on my back and the top of my arms. The only thing that currently helps my skin is sunbeds.  I don't want a lecture on the side effects of regular use (I am well aware, thank you!) I figure that I don't use them too often, I hardly ever sit in the real sun and the difference they make to my skin is vast.

I want to invest in the best skincare I can and after trying quite a few different lotions and potions I am looking for your recommendations.  I know that skincare is very subjective and what works for you may not be so good for me, I am at the end of my tether and willing to try anything!

So please link me up with your skin saviours.  What do you use to keep your skin looking it's best?  What do you reach for if you need something to zap that spot fast?  What is your number one tip for beautiful skin?  


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Satchel Lover

My collection of satchels is growing nicely, I got my first satchel for my birthday earlier this year and since then have managed to add another three.  I now have two Zatchels and two Cambridge Satchels and tbh you really cannot tell the difference between them quality wise.  Both are made from the same quality leather with the same quality workmanship.  An 11" Classic Zatchel comes in at £76 and the same size classic Cambridge Satchel is £94 so for me Zatchels wins hands down unless you're after a specific colour only available at Cambridge Satchel (such as my dark red/burgundy one pictured)  Zatchels also offers the option to add a handle to any size bag whereas you can only have a handle on a 15" Cambridge Satchel.  The handle is really useful for picking it up especially if you don't bother to do up the buckles.

I have fallen head over heels for the simple satchel and thanks to their limited size I don't carry half as much crap around with me as I used to! I love the rainbow of colours available and am already planning my next purchase.  Knowing they are handmade in the UK makes the price tag easier to swallow and they really will last a lifetime. I picked my red Zatchel up from Berylune, it's great to be able to go into a store and feel the quality before you make a purchase!

As much as I love my satchel's there is one thing that does annoy me about them... the buckles.  If I buckle my bag by the time I have finally opened it I have missed that call or annoyed the queue forming behind me at the checkout.  I mostly don't do the buckles up but have found out the hard way that this is not really ideal, I ended up with a smashed iPhone screen after my bag tipped upside down and emptied it's contents into the road :(

I may have found a solution in the form of Lancelot Knight Harrow bags, instead of buckles they have a nifty quick release closure that really would be perfect for me.  Someone buy me this pretty patent one please!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday Wants

Ignore the reviews on the Topshop website slating this little gem, it's amazing!! Its the same as this mint dress I got back in the summer but just a little bit more special cos the sparkles are gold this time round!  It fits like a dream and is oh so flattering... I WANT!

 Dress: Topshop

I love the twist on this little black dress from Goddiva.  The contrast sleeves and collar totally sell it to me and for me make it stand out from the crowd.  It also comes in black/teal but I think the purple version just pips it to the post.  Swoon.

Dress: Goddiva

You might have seen my over excited tweets last week when I realised I had won a £250 voucher for asos by taking part in the yourvine challenges.  Over the moon does not even begin to cut it!  This beautiful lace number was first in my basket, it's just adorable.  It should be arriving today and I can't wait to touch it!

Dress: asos

I've been drooling over these cute Mary Jane shoes all week!  They are quite high for me but I am hoping the teeny platform would be able to work miracles and make them feel almost flat... ha.  Simple Mary Jane's are up there with T-Bars in my book, I just love them.  They have a girlie innocence about them and look fab with a skater dress.

Court Shoes: Carma @ Spartoo

What have you got your eye on this week?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

London Baby!

We had the most amazing time in London even if it was a little hectic!  Most of what we wanted to do revolved around food (no surprises there!) we even managed to find the time to fit in a bit of shopping ;)  Unfortunately the weather was not kind and left us looking like drowned rats for the majority of the weekend.  Given the choice I would choose a rain free wedding day and rainy anniversary's hands down every year though so no grumbling!!

We stayed at the Grange Hotel Tower Bridge which I highly recommend.  The room was clean and spacious and the view breathtaking (we were on the 13th floor!) We managed to book it as one of's top secret hotels... they are not that secret as there are usually a few clues to work out which hotel you are going to end up with, haha.  We went to see Loserville which again I recommend, neither of us have seen many musicals in recent years and this one broke us in gently.  Gray really wants to go and see Wicked now and I quite fancy Matilda.

We found time to eat at Bryon, Wahaca, Meat Market and Ed's Diner.  My favourite was defo Wahaca and Gray's Meat Market although he didn't really like the settings.  I've had my fill of junk for a while, think I need to live on just veggies for the rest of the week!! 

We also paid a trip to the Ice Bar, it's the UK's only permanent ice bar and is a constant -5 to -7 all year round.  It was quite novel and we enjoyed the experience but it's definitely something you only do once.  Felt lovely and toasty after stepping outside that's for sure!

We had such a good time though I would be lying if I didn't say it was great to get home and put our feet up with a nice cup of tea! I love London for a visit but could never live there, it's exhausting!!

I'm back to London next Saturday to see Viva Forever the Spice Girls musical with my girls... wonder if I can squeeze in some shopping then to?!  


Monday, 26 November 2012

Happy 1st Anniversary

One whole year since the most amazing day of my life, it feels like yesterday.  

Happy Anniversary, I love you baby xx


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunday Sweets #8 Salted Caramel Chocolate Heart Cake Bites

I made these for Gray in honour of our first anniversary :)  They bring together two of our favourite ingredients, Gray loves chocolate cake and I LOVE salted caramel... mmmmm.  I'm not personally a big fan of chocolate cake so I eat them with a generous dollop of double cream on the side.  I used this Lakeland recipe.

175g unsalted butter, softened
125g soft light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g cocoa
pinch of salt
75ml buttermilk
75ml boiling water

1 x jar M&S salted caramel sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4 
  • Cream the butter and sugars til pale and light.  Gradually add the eggs mixing well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla extract
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and salt into the mixture and mix until almost combined.  Add the buttermilk and boiling water and continue to mix until smooth.
  • Transfer the mix to your cake tins.  I choose to use the Lakeland silicone hearts mould which was really easy to use.  I filled each heart with mix and them smoothed the top with a pallet knife scraping off any excess.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of your preheated oven for about 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool.  Don't worry if you hearts rise and mis-shapen, carefully cut off the top of the cake (and eat the offcuts if you want ;) ) before you turn out.

The above photo shows how my cakes came out once cooked and the below photo shows what they end up like after being tidied up.

Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and allow to cool fully.

I chose to fill mine with this amazing salted caramel sauce from M&S.  You could use a chocolate ganache or chocolate butter cream if you prefer.  This stuff is heavenly though so I fully advise trying it!  You could also make your own salted caramel if you really wanted personally this one is so good it's not worth the effort!!

I melted a bit of the caramel in a bowl and added it to half of the cakes then sandwiched the together to make perfect bite sized bits of heaven. 


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Paper flowers

So today Gray and I are heading down to London to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, I cannot believe almost a year has passed already!  We don't really do presents as we would much rather spend the money on a weekend away and enjoy some quality time together.  I am so excited!!

To to mark the occasion I decided to purchase this set of cute school milk bottles complete with a little crate to put some of the paper flowers and felt hearts I made for our wedding day.  I was toying with the idea of making another papercut then realised we have pretty much run out of wall space!  I love how cute something so simple can look.  The milk bottles would look ace filled with pretty much anything to be honest.

I published a tutorial if you wanted to make some paper flowers of your own :) 


I Carry My Life With Me

I hardly ever use a bag that's not a satchel these days but sometimes you just need a bigger bag and this little leopard number from Brand Village is perfect for those days.  I think I could fit most of my life in this bag.  It's made from high quality PU with leather trims and has more pockets than I have fingers!  I do love a bag with lots of little pockets to organise my life in to.  That's until I cannot find my purse and frantically open all of said pockets with increasing urgency whilst going red faced at the checkout... it can't be just me who has that problem?!

Necklace: asos

Leopard Print Bag: Brand Village*

Do you mix up your day to day bags or do you use the same one until a new favourite comes along?!


Friday, 23 November 2012

Polka Dotty

I think I might just have found one of my Christmas party dresses.  It will come as no surprise that it's another Sugarhill Boutique purchase, haha.  I have added a touch of burgundy with my asos triangle necklace and Burgundy shoes.  I think I will have to hunt down some kind of funky tights to add a bit more interest, let me know if you seen any that will look fab.  I love the spots (obvs!) and the sheerness of parts of the dress.  The sweetheart 'cutout' is kinda revealing but kinda covered up at the same time which is exactly what I go for. 

Dress: Sugarhill Boutique
Necklace: asos
Court Shoes: Chie Mihara c/o Spartoo*

Have you had any luck tracking down your Christmas dresses yet?  Let me know what you've chosen, I'ld love to know!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Little Request...

Brands - I have a little request for you.

I love dresses with sleeves. Not of the bodycon variety (I am sure it's fairly obvious why I don't do bodycon!) but pretty skater dresses with sleeves.  I don't mind if the sleeves are long or 3/4 length just past my elbows please.  Now, you have started to listen and started to make lots of beautiful dresses with sleeves and for this I thank you.  I just need you to do one more thing for me. That is to add a filter to your website so I can easily find the pretties I want to spend my money on.  I am sure you will want to make it easier for me to part with my hard earned cash on your site.

Thank you asos for already thinking of this and introducing a sleeve length filter you have made my online browsing much happier (and quicker!)  I can now quickly filter to the skater dresses WITH SLEEVES and pop lots of loveliness in my basket.  Perfect.

Now I am rubbish with HTML and website building so thankfully you all have experts to turn to.  I am sure it's not that difficult for them to do and won't cost you much.

If anyone fancies treating me to a pretty new dress I will have the green sequin one above please :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wednesday Wants

Apologies in advance for this weeks wishlist, I have been baking cupcakes and a cutting cake ready for a wedding and getting my hair re-coloured so haven't had much time to add text :(  Thankfully I had already done my research (that's what I tell Gray I am doing when I spend hours online shopping... shhhh!) and found some beauts to share this week!

I love the (p)leather and lace combo of this boohoo number.  Add a bit of gold detailing and I am sold!  So pretty yet so tough at the same time, perfect!

Dress: Boohoo

I've not bought anything from NW3 before and usually steer clear of knitted dresses but this one keeps calling out to me every time I check out the new arrivals on asos!  I love the shape and the cute pom pom detailing.

Dress: NW3 @ asos

Oooh look there is a velvet dress in my wishlist, now that's a surprise!! This Miss Selfridge number is such a simple but oh so flattering shape.  I shunned green before I was a ginge but am now drawn to it! Alex will be proud!

I have had a tough time choosing a pair of shoes this week.  There are SO many I want!!  I love how beautifully ugly these loafers are.  The gold stars make them dresser in my opinion and also make me want them even more... sigh.  I have a soft spot for ugly shoes.  Apart from creepers, too ugly for even me! 

Court Shoes: Shelly's @ Spartoo


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Getting Personal

I have been feeling the love recently so I'm going to have to go and get all gushy on you guys... I can hand on heart say that blogging is one of the best things I have ever done.  I have met loads of amazing friends and hope to meet even more of you one day.  Who would have thought that my compulsive shopping habit and love of dresses would lead to something that would have such an impact on my life.  I am so proud of my little blog and so, so proud that I have managed to top 1000 followers.  A massive milestone for me and something I would have scoffed at being able to achieve. 

A special thank you has to go to the lovely Sarah who demanded told me to start blogging, thanks love - you were right I do love it!

I have featured on a couple of sites recently which has made me all glowy.  I don't do compliments well but it is so lovely to read what others enjoy about A Million Dresses.

A big fat thank you to you all for taking the time to read my little blog, I really do appreciate each and every one of you.  A special thank you for those who take the time to comment.  I find it really hard to comment on the blogs I read, I have always been more of a reader than a commenter, so to my regular commenters - I love you guys!


Monday, 19 November 2012

Across The Miles...

Celebrations this Christmas are going to be a bit subdued for me and my besties.  The noisiest cheekiest of us has moved to Korea for 18 months :(  Who is going to sing in the taxi drivers face this year?!  Who is going to join me on the shots on Christmas Eve?!  I am feeling quite sad as I type this.  It's also her 30th Birthday in December and I am gutted I won't be with her to help celebrate in style.  Nic Nac we miss you so much.

The Christmas Stocking had a dual purpose, as well as enabling a tutorial I wanted it to send to Nicola so she has a little bit of home on Christmas day.  My sister and I have bought pressies to fill it with ready to post across the sea, we've had to be very prepared this year as it's got quite a journey to make.  If you're looking to send a parcel overseas make sure you check out the Parcelforce Christmas sending dates.

Gift wrap from Sainsburys

I cannot wait for her to receive it, it's filled full of items I know she will love!  I wish I could bake her a birthday cake and have a drink or three but unfortunately this is the best I can do this year.  Skype on Christmas day it is!

I have also been an eager beaver and bought my Secret Santa pressie already!  I want to send this off now but am worried that the recipient will know it's from me straight way as I am guessing not many others are ready to send yet!  I got lucky in the Secret Santa draw, I got a friend so knew exactly what to get her and I am sure she is going to love it!  I love buying pressies, much more so than receiving them :)

*this post is in collaboration*


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday Sweets #7 Milk Chocolate Cookies

300g plain flour
215g light brown sugar
170g unsalted butter
120g granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
300g milk chocolate

  • Melt the butter and leave to cool.  Mix together the butter, vanilla and both sugars.  Add the eggs and beat well.
  • Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and gradually sift them into the mixture.  
  • Chop the chocolate and stir into the mix.

  • Once your mixture resembles dough cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 190C / Fan 170C / Gas 5
  • Roll the dough into small balls and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.  Aim to make 6 cookies per standard size baking tray.

  • Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the edges start to go golden.
  • Allow them to cool completely before removing them from the paper.

I wanted to share my new spotty tea caddies from dotcomgiftshop with you all.  They are a bargain at £5.95 for the set and have really brightened up my kitchen.  So who wants to make me a cup of tea?!


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