Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013

I don't think I am exaggerating when I say 2013 has been the best year yet for me.  Some pretty big things happened and it wasn't all smooth sailing but everything worked out for the best and I had a blast on the way.  2013 started with lots of excitement - we decided to move, put our flat on the market and two days later it was sold and our offer had been accepted on our dream home.  If only it carried on that easy!  After much stress we finally exchanged on May 10th and spent the next two weeks making it home.  A little boy came into our lives on January 19th and turned them upside down.  I don't think it is possible to love more than we all love him.  Tate most certainly has a mind of his own (which means he pretty much only eats jam sandwiches!) but that smile and little giggle can melt even the hardest of hearts.  I had no idea something so small could be something so big and have enjoyed every minute watching him grow.  

I've done a rough 2013 in outfits below, technically January is from February but I left myself with slim pickings in January!  Both my hem lines and my hair grew in 2013 and I am pretty happy with the result.  I feel more comfortable crawling around chasing after Tate knowing my bum isn't on display to the world.  I feel that I really developed my style this year and as a result it has become a bit more grown up and cutesy at the same time if that is actually possible!  I actually managed to ditch the black opaques this year too though it was kinda enforced as it was just so damn hot.  I still prefer my opaque comfort blanket but have finally accepted that getting my legs out is not actually that bad.   I hope you agree the photography has also improved, I have ventured from the security of a bedroom to the garden and have got Gray involved in taking my snaps. 

 Jan     |     Feb     |     Mar     |     Apr

 May     |     Jun     |     Jul     |     Aug

Sep     |     Oct     |     Nov     |     Dec

Towards the end of 2013 I decided I wanted to start buying more unique independently made dresses.  Most of these are handmade in the UK which is something I am looking forward to investigating more in 2014.  If you can recommend any upstarting UK brands I should be checking out please let me know.

I have also had the most amazing time getting to know some of my blogging besties even better, you know who you are!  Thank you for your support and friendship over the last year, I can't wait to see your faces way more in 2014.  2013 didn't give me enough face time with some of you beauties though so lets make plans to rectify that in 2014, yeah.  Blogging really is the most amazing medium to meet lots of like minded lovelies, thank you to each and every one of my readers and those who take the time to comment.  Don't be a stranger, come chat to me on twitter.  I love a good natter.

Have a great time saying goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014 however you are spending New Years Eve tonight.  2014 is going to be our year, lets make sure of it!


Monday, 30 December 2013

Candid Camera

I am a sucker for a quirky print but even I have my limitations.  I spotted this beauty on asos a while back but knew it would take a pretty good discount to make it mine.  £275 is more than I am willing to spend on a dress, £150 is usually my limit and it has to be pretty special for that.  Thankfully it was reduced on asos and then a cheeky discount code also worked and took it under the £150 mark which meant it could be mine.  Result!  I had a bit of drama getting it, asos listed a medium as a 12 so I ordered a medium and a 10 arrived which fitted okay but was a bit too tight for comfort on the arms.  They thankfully sent it out again but unfortunately I ended up with another 10 so they finally sent me a large and I got the 12 I wanted in the first place.  No idea why they were listed as S/M/L when they are sized in regular UK sizes.  It was a bit more dramatic than that as after receiving the wrong size twice the correct size had sold out.  Oh the stress.

The print has little CCTV cameras all over it which has attracted a few confused comments!  I love the pink background and decided that it looks best paired with grey tights rather than black, kinder against the pink and also pulls out the grey of the print.  I love grey, not sure why I don't wear it that often anymore.  I do have a grey dress from Antipodium too, need to wear it more often! The grey tights also mean you can get a better look at my fabulous party shoes from Clarks.  I love a cute T-bar and these have a lovely retro feel to them.  They also come in navy, next on my wishlist.  Talking of beautiful Clarks shoes my favourite red heels are now in the sale, snap them up whilst you can!

Shoes: Clarks*

Even though I bought this dress before Christmas I got it for a good price so I consider it a sale purchase.  I have also bought three dresses and a skirt from Aspire, some perfume and some Cath Kidston Santa goodies to put away for next year.   Have you bought much in the sale?  What's your best purchase?  I need some inspiration!


Friday, 27 December 2013

Festive Sparkles

I really wanted to share my new Mod Dolly dress today but unfortunately the weather has other ideas!  We somehow managed to sleep through it all - during the night the wind blew down our back fence and flipped our garden table breaking a few pots in the process :(  It has died down a bit now but is still too windy to take photos.  ANNOYING!!  So in true Blue Peter style here is one I made earlier.  I managed to find this dress in Leeds Topshop, sitting all alone discarded on a rail of jumpers.  I love a bit of sparkles but wasn't keen on how low cut the dress was so decided that I could fix this with a fur stole.  I wore this when I went to see Shed Seven and got some lovely comments on instagram, lots of love for the dress!   It's so sparkly, a couple of friends were also at the gig and both managed to spot me dancing away when the lights came up and I turned into a human disco ball.

I've been feeling a bit 'meh' about the high street recently but there are still gems out there if you look hard enough.  This and my other recent purchase from Topshop have been two of my favourite going out dresses this year.  I am going to wear my pink striped one out for a meal with friends tonight.  Might be a tad overdressed but hey I just wanna wear it!

Dress: Topshop
Stole: Primark
Shoes: Clarks
Brooch: Tatty Devine

Hope you've had a lovely Christmas, we had such a good day.  Christmas dinner was thankfully a huge success and it seems Gray and I are the roast dinner dream team!  Massive yorkies and perfectly carved meat... mmm!  Will defo have to cook more roast dinners in 2014.  I was well and truly spoilt, a holiday with my family and a few little gifts from my parents, a blender, perfume and other cool gifts from my family, PJs, a Jumper and the most amazing ring from Gray along with some lovely treats from my blogger besties.  Perfect.  Mr Jangles also treated me to a voucher for 3 back massages and a three course dinner before he returned to the North Pole.  So blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.  I just hope they loved their pressies just as much! 

We are spending New Year at home this year, I really do hate going out for New Years - always such an anticlimax.  We have family and friends coming over for some food and hopefully some board game action and I am going to put on my party dress before changing into my PJs as soon as the clock strikes midnight!  What do you have planned?  Do you like to paint the town red or prefer to party at home?


Monday, 23 December 2013

Sleazy Santa

Today I have Christmas dress number three to share with you.  It's a corker though I almost didn't get this one as I had decided the Santas were a bit too sleazy!  But I loved the 50's vibe and when I saw it in real life I was sold.  Before I knew it I was in the changing room declaring my undying love. It has raised a few eyebrows at work and been the subject of a few discussions - mostly over the lack of  bodily hair grooming by the Santas.  Ooer missus!

My biggest dilemma for Christmas day is deciding which of the three dresses to wear... maybe I will do a few costume changes and wear all three.  I will be wearing my holly headband and shoe clips for sure and I will also have to wear at least one of my Christmas jumpers.  Oh the choices.  I'm off now til the New Year and it feels fabulous.  I really feel for people who have to work over Christmas, I absolutely hate it and always make sure I have enough holiday left to have a big festive break.  It's great having time off at the same time as the rest of my family, it makes it even more special for me.

Cardigan: Primark
Shoes: Clarks
Headband: Crown and Glory

Which of my Christmas dresses is your favourite?  A quick reminder of dress one and dress two.


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Spotlight on - MoZiMo

My greatest love after dresses is probably shoes.  Shoes and ankle boots to be precise.  I do love a good court shoe and am especially taken by a t-bar.  MoZiMo asked me to put together a little collection of my favourites for the festive season.  I decided to select my favourite day and night shoes and then a pretty spectacular pair that have Sarah written all over them!  Not literally although that would be amazing if they did?! (Can you get shoes with your name on them??)

I can't wear totally flat shoes so tend to go for a little heel for day wear.  I adore the brogue detailing on these patent beauties.  For the evening I have switched up the height, gone for a pointy toe and some gold detailing in the form of zips.  Cute!

I cannot resist the 40's styling of these pretty little t-bars.  Too cute!  T-bars look great with dresses and the heel is about the right height for me to get through a day at work or a day of shopping.  For the evening I have gone for a pair of heeled slipper shoes, I love the shape of the vamp and the patent detail.  They will look ace with any dress in my wardrobe and look like they know a move or two on the dance floor.


Swit-swooooooo!  How amazing is the scribble design?!  I love that they look like I left Tate alone with my shoes and a biro ;)  I find white heels difficult to pull off (sorry Essex) but the black detailing on these beauties really helps make them wearable.  Lust at first site.


*Post in collaboration with brand*

Friday, 20 December 2013

Independent Retailers: Vanity Project by Limb

In the latter part of this year I made a vow to do my bit and buy clothes and accessories that have been handmade in the UK when possible.  In doing so I have discovered many independent retailers who offer something a bit different to the generic high street.  Timeless dresses in quirky prints that will not date or go out of fashion all carefully handmade by someone you know will not have been subjected to sweat shop conditions.

Barclaycard got in touch asking if I would like to take part in their campaign by promoting my favourite independent retailer.  The hardest bit was deciding which of the amazing brands I have purchased from this year would get my vote, I decided to go for a company that made their own products rather than a reseller which helped to narrow the choice down.  In the end I went for a recent discovery, Vanity Project made by Limb.  My love affair started when I spotted the popcorn dress on a resellers website.  Once it arrived I checked out the manufacturer and found they had their own website with lots and lots of pretty dresses and knew I needed more. 

Poinsettia   |   Birds   |   Popcorn

My favourite style of their dresses is the day dress which is the style shown in the above photo, I have purchased and shared another two dresses since the popcorn dress caught my eye.  Told you they are pretty special!  As part of the campaign Barclaycard kindly gave me £50 to spend at my chosen retailer.  I put this towards my latest purchase, the day dress in an amazing peacock print.  The colours are so rich and opulent and I love the gold thread running through, really adds to the glamour. 

Shoes: Clarks

I love that you can order any of the styles shown in any of the available fabrics, so many times I've seen a fabric I love in a collection but on a dress style that wouldn't suit me so will never be mine.  Limb also have a showroom in Manchester which looks like a total treasure trove, I hope to visit at some point and have a good stroke of the fabrics!

This post is part of a Barclaycard Freedom Rewards campaign highlighting amazing independent retailers.  Spread the love this Christmas, let me know your favourite independent retailer and what makes them so ace.


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Bah Humbug

I have been lucky enough to find and share some amazing dresses with you all recently.  I feel my style and tastes has grown a lot this year, I still stay true to figure flattering shapes but have moved towards more flattering lengths, favouring dresses that fall at the knee rather than mid thigh.  I am loving the silhouette this gives me and the fact that I don't have to worry about showing my pants to the world if I need to bend over. haha.  Knee length dresses are more widely available, I really hope this continues to be the case.

I rushed straight towards this dress whilst in Topshop Oxford Circus with Rosie recently.  The stripes made me think it would be a Rosie dress but when I touched it I knew it needed to be a Sarah dress.  I trotted off to the changing rooms and came out to show Rosie with a face that had 'this is my new dress and I adore it' written all over it.  It is bloody amazing and I love it!  It's a heavy satin fabric that is so stiff it hangs beautifully, retains it's shape and doesn't crease.  I want to twirl around singing 'I feel pretty' as soon as I put it on.  I have to confess to trying it on several times just because it makes me feel so good.  Isn't that just the best feeling?!  

I am wearing it out tonight for my works Christmas party and am keeping my accessories simple so to let the dress do all the talking.  I have teamed it with a thin cropped cardigan from asos and my favourite heels from Clarks.  I had my nails done on Saturday, aren't they just adorable?!  I have seen this design all over the internet in recent months and quite fancied having it myself so booked in for a set of acrylics and gel polish and am so pleased with the end result that I think these need to be my nails on a permanent basis.  Totally kitsch and so totally me!  I have a bit of issue with regrowth which is why I haven't considered acrylics before but the beauty with this design is you won't really notice the regrowth and the colour is all on the tips, clever.

This is my perfect party dress for the Christmas season, link me to yours!

Dress: Topshop
Cardigan: asos
Shoes: Clarks
Nails: Simply Nails

This photo is for you Nicola!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Wednesday Wants

I am so, so tired today.  ROLL ON CHRISTMAS.  It hasn't stopped me wasting a few hours looking for pretties on the internet of course, loads of discount codes around at the moment to help you treat yourself to an extra pressie or two ;)

I love how simple yet striking this dress is, the shape is breathtaking.  A beautifully structured full skirt teamed with high neck and lovely long sleeves. Perfect.

 Dress: Lavish Alice

I thought this was a coat when I first laid eyes on it but nope it's a pretty unusual dress.  I love how quirky it is and the vertical stripes are so flattering.  Not sure the quilted fabric would be great on me but I cannot get over how fab it is!

 Dress: asos

I haven't been one for florals recently, they just haven't been doing it for me but something about the mix of jewel colours on this dress caught my eye.  The shape and length are perfect for me and the price makes it a total steal.  Love!!

Dress: Boohoo

What are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree?


Monday, 16 December 2013

Duck And Duffel

I am so, so excited to finally be able to share this dress with you!  It has been a long time coming, let me briefly explain...

For our second wedding anniversary Gray wanted to stick with tradition and buy me something made of cotton.  He didn't want to choose an off the peg dress that I would wear a few times, he wanted something custom made that I would cherish forever.  I had seen the Duck and Duffel Audrey dress on Emily and fallen in love with it but knew that the smock style wouldn't flatter me.  Reading that Debbie makes each dress to order I contacted her to see if she would custom make me a dress.  I wanted a mash up of Audrey and the Betty dress - the collar from Audrey but waisted like Betty with a knee length skirt.  And of course with the bow belt from Betty.  I do love a bow!  I also wanted the mini camera fabric which is what caused the delay.  Unable to find fabrics she really loves Debbie designs her own and has them printed in America, this time of the year shipping is anything but quick but it was well worth the wait. 

The dress arrived on Saturday so I saved it's debut for Sunday best.  I decided to keep it simple and opt for a thin black cropped cardigan and my cute Clarks shoe boots so not to detract from the dress.  I did accessorise with my red felt heart brooch.  Well I had to really didn't I?!  For those who do not know I made heart brooches instead of corsages for all of our wedding guests and this one was pinned to the bow on the back of my dress.  I absolutely cherish it and think it adds the perfect finishing to the collar of my wedding anniversary dress.  Sentimental fool ;)  The dress fits like a dream and the finish is outstanding, it's fully lined and totally perfect.

Cardigan: asos
Shoes: Clarks

I'm looking forward to finding out what Gray has planned for our third wedding anniversary, I'm in line for a leather treat!! Thank you so much for creating me the perfect dress Debbie, I really appreciate the work gone in to creating this one off. 


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Add A Bit of Sparkle to the Christmas Tree

Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to be sent some beautiful underwear from Simply Beach.  They got in touch recently to see if I would like something special to wear under my pretty party dresses.  They were not joking when they offered me something special!  I opted for a beautiful little sequin set from Gossard and a chic polka dot set from Wonderbra.  I went back to black this time round, it is winter after all!

The Gossard Egoboost sequin set is so beautiful yet really comfy to wear, you can't tell you are wearing sequins - no skin scratching here.  The bra has removable straps and can be worn strapless.  The deep shorts are high waisted and when teamed with the bra creates a gorgeous retro silhouette.  I may not have sequins on my Christmas Party dress but I will have them on my pants!  This set from Gossard is available in a B-DD cup.

This set is adorable!  I love the balconnet cut of the bra and the pants are super high-waisted and make me feel like a 50's siren.  They also come with removable suspender straps if stockings take your fancy.  Personally I prefer the security of tights under my full skirts, I quite often am unfortunate enough to do a Marylin and although they are pants worth sharing I would much rather keep my modesty...  The bra is available in cup sizes A-DD cup.

Since I photographed both sets I have been road testing them and have can report that both sets are as comfy as they are stylish.  I want more sets in the same cut as the Wonderbra set, they are perfect to add a bit of glamour every day.  I love the shape a balconnet bra gives, feels really glam yet really comfy.  And I adore high waisted pants as long as they don't look like you've borrowed them from your Granny!  I am saving the sequins for special occasions, I will feel even more dressed up knowing I am sparkling under my dress.  I would be very happy to find any of this wrapped up under the tree come Christmas day.  I have taken them down off the Christmas Tree now ;)


Saturday, 14 December 2013

Gingham Fancy

I kinda shared this dress last Saturday, it provided the skirt for my Christmas tree jumper.   And what a beautiful base it was!  It's another Marina from Tara Starlet, the fabric is less stiff than my checked Marina which makes it easier to wear as a day dress.  It's still a taffeta so looks really glam with heels and even works with a Christmas jumper over the top - the perfect versatile dress!  I am hoping Tara Starlet makes this style in some pretty cottons for summer.  I love wearing dresses with sleeves all year round and cotton would be perfect.  Fingers crossed. 

I am so looking forward to today, I have had a lovely lie in which was much needed.  I off to get my nails done, doing a spot of Christmas shopping with Gray before going to see Shed Seven tonight with my besties.  Perfect.  Shed Seven is our Christmas tradition, I get really sad on the years they don't do a December tour.  The atmosphere is amazing, so many happy people singing along.

 Dress: Tara Starlet
Shoes: Clarks

I've been entering lots of giveaways recently in the hope I might win something.  I never seem to win blog giveaways but have been relatively lucky with brand ones.  I have entered the giveaway for UnderU yesterday in the hope I might win and can get those slippers for Gray as an added bonus pressie.  Not that he needs any other pressies now I have a PS4 for him!  Spoilt boy!

Talking of giveaways I have chosen my winner for the box of goodies - Alex!

The joke that made me laugh the most -

Why is Christmas the cheesiest holiday?
Because of baby cheeses

HAHA! I do love cheese and it forms the perfect cheesy Christmas dress!

Send me your details please Alex :)


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