Monday, 31 March 2014

Treasure Map

Oh my gosh.  I thought this day was never going to arrive!! I have been day dreaming about this dress since the press release hit my inbox, all of my favourite dresses have arrived online and this beauty is now mine.  Swoon.  This dress does not disappoint, the quality is fabulous.  It is fully lined and finished with a cute stripy frill on the underskirt.  The map may not be geographically accurate (not sure my globe is either!) but I can ignore all of that and focus on those cute whales.  More whales for the #wardrobezoo.  I'm thinking it is more of a treasure map anyway, going to get hunting for the clues to the treasure.

I decided to pull the mint out of the print and team it with a mint cardigan, I am now on the hunt for a little cropped cardi in the same blue as I think that would work be even better.   I have been itching to wear these gorgeous white Naturalizer wedges from Lotus shoes, finally warm enough to get my toes out.  I am bare legged here but am thinking of getting some of those toeless tights as I feel really naked even with this length of skirt.  Anyone wear them?  Are they as odd as I am thinking they will be?! Haha.

Dress: Laura Ashley*
Cardigan: New Look
Globe: Laura Ashley

How amazing is my globe?!  I bought it from Laura Ashley last year and it lives on the shelf in our bedroom.  I can't find it online but you might still be able to pick it up in store.  It hasn't featured on the blog yet so I couldn't resist bringing it out in the garden for these photos!


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Made By Me #12

Squirrels!!  Another new animal addition to the #wardrobezoo.  I had bookmarked this fabric online after thinking it would look cute on a dress but wasn't quite sure until I saw it in the flesh at The Quilters Den in Warwick.  I needed it, it's just perfect!  The base colour is a gorgeous mauve and is covered with little squirrels, acorns, trees and love hearts.  Kitschy cute without looking childish, exactly what I go for.  I love the fabrics from Dashwood Studio, I have my eye on this mouse one from the same range and have already bought a couple of the flurry range which come in loads of colours and will make for an ace dress.  A nice variation on standard polka dot dresses.

I've been wishing for brighter days for a while now but had forgotten how annoying the sun can be when it makes an appearance, badly timed photos led to a bit of squinting from me but it was either squinting or no photos.  I will be able to go back to taking them at 6pm soon, best time for me as I can do them after work, the sun doesn't interfere and it's bright enough for the colours to come through.

Shoes: asos

Have a lovely Sunday :)


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Make Work Wonderful

Twinings Infusions have just launched a content portal on Huffington Post all around the theme 'Make Work Wonderful', it is full of articles to help brighten up your working day.  We spend the majority of our waking hours at work, work happiness is crucial to our overall well being.

The portal includes helpful tips such as five quick work mood boosters, taking a break, making a good cup of tea and having a chat with colleagues is what fires me up to tackle the task I have been putting off all day.  Tea really does solve everything!  I work in a small, close knit team who are often spread out around the country so it is good when we get the opportunity to regroup and vent our frustrations to others who understand where we are coming from over a cup of tea. 

Whilst I would never, ever risk a work romance (obviously I am now married so this isn't an option for me anyway!) there have been many office romances on our tv screens for us to get captivated with.  This article looks at 10 classics, my favourite being The Office.  I used to work with someone just like David Brent :-/

Gossiping has such bad press but there really is nothing more cathartic than catching up with friends and having a good old gossip.  The same goes for work and your team mates and this article details 10 reasons why it's good to gossip at work.  The article details several studies including one which  ''argues that “good” gossip is necessary for the good of humanity. “A lot of gossip is driven by concern for others and has positive, social effects,” said Dr Robb Willer"

How do you maintain a good work/life balance?  What do you do to make work wonderful for you and your colleagues?  Twinings Infusion will be adding more content to the portal during the course of this campaign, something I am looking forward to catching up with whilst taking a break at work.  I will be sure to email the most interesting ones to my colleagues!
Post in conjunction with brand 


Friday, 28 March 2014

Mum Knows Best

In honour of Mother's Day F&F contacted me to see how I have I have taken inspiration from my Mum style wise.  We may not dress alike, although she much prefers my new longer hemlines, but she has influenced most things in my life.  She is the reason I have an obsession with dresses and also the person who can be thanked for my shopping habit!  No point telling me off for buying another dress Mum, you made me this way!

I had a little dig through my baby album and found photo after photo of me in a little dress, mostly wearing tights and cute shoes.  Sounds familiar...  I've picked out a few to share with you.  These dresses were handmade by my Mum.  I am scared by how much I look like Tate in the middle photo.  Freaky!!  The right hand photo is a bridesmaids dress, she didn't used to do that kind of thing to me on a regular basis thankfully.

I am loving these dresses bought for me by my Mum.  You can tell it was the late 70's can't you! I was quite a cute little girl, not sure what happened there ;)

A few photos of me and my lovely Mum.  She still hasn't recovered from me dying my hair.

My Mum still loves dressing up and don't tell her I said this but she has much better legs than me.  Where did I get my hips from?! These photos were taken when we went shopping for wedding outfits.  Both outfits are from Hobbs, the pink jacket one was for my sister's wedding and I loved the bow on the back of the jacket and the other one is what she wore to my wedding.  Doesn't she look lovely.

F&F asked me to style an outfit with my Mum in mind, she would definitely approve of the cut and length of this chevron beauty.

Dress: F&F*
Cardigan: Monsoon
Shoes: asos

So Mum, I am going to make you cry at this bit.  Again me crying at absolutely something I got from you, so you can bet I am welling up whilst typing this.  I couldn't ask for a better Mum, even when we fight you are still my best friend and the person I need most in this world.  You made me the person I am today, oddities and all ;)  I cannot thank you enough for all you have done and continue to do for me.  You really are one in a million and I would be totally lost without you.  You rock Mum and I love you lots xx


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Made By Me #11

I'm having problems with the colours of my photos once I have uploaded them, I have heard it's because of Google + and it's very 'helpful' default settings.  I don't have a Google + account and don't really want one, anything I can do to fix it?  I have had a google but haven't been able to find any useful advice!  It's not happening on every post, this one is particularly bad though, maybe because of all the white?  Thinking about it the last time the colours were as bad as this the dress had a white base too.

I bought this fabric at a bargain £5 a metre at the end of last year and wasn't really sure what I was going to do with it.  It only seemed sensible to make a dress out of it, right?!  The colourings are a bit pale for my skin tone (not being helped by G+!) but I couldn't resist the cute little teacups and thought it would make the perfect dress for my cousins birthday tea party next month.

Dress: Made by me using Tea Party Cups by Timeless Treasures
Pattern: Emery by Christine Haynes
Shoes: M&S

On Sunday Char and I made the trip to the Sewing For Pleasure show at the NEC.  I wasn't sure what to expect but hoped this would mean lots of bargain fabrics.  It was partly true as I did managed to pick up some gems including this amazing Outfox the Fox fabric by Lizzy House for just £6 a metre, John Lewis are selling her current range for a whopping £16 a metre!!

I had hunted high and low for some of this foxy delight but hadn't managed to track any down online so thank you Fabrics Galore for the bargain.  I also went a bit fruit crazy picking up two different fruity delights both for £7 a metre.  I got to see some of the fabric I had my eye on in the flesh too but didn't purchase those as they were actually more expensive at the show than I can buy them for online.  It is nice to get to touch the fabrics rather than try and work out what they are like from the smallest photo on a website. 

I have a day off tomorrow so a day of sewing awaits, perfect!


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Wednesday Wants

This weeks wishlist is all about asos salon.  In it's fourth season asos salon is a collection of occasion evening wear and boy is it bloody brilliant!  Incredibly pretty dresses in amazing shapes and colours, I can't decide which is my favourite.  The print on the floral prom dress is dreamy, so delicate and perfect for any summery occasion.  I love the colour of the fluro prom dress, how amazing will that be with a tan.  I love it teamed with the silver shoes too, nice simple styling.  I love how bright and bold the jacquard dress is, the seam detailing is spot on.  I also love the colour asos have styled it with, I would never have thought it would work but it looks amazing.  Think I might just have decided on my favourite, which one is yours?

 Dress: asos

 Dress: asos

Dress: asos

What have you been lusting over this week?


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Baking With Waitrose

You'll know by now that I'm never one to turn down cake and enjoy the whole baking process so said a big fat yes when Waitrose asked if I would like to take part in their baking project and bake a cake for my Mum in honour of Mother's day.  Yep that means I had to share the resulting cake ;)  I went for the Victoria Sandwich recipe and rather than add raspberries as the recipe suggests I opted for strawberries purely because my Mum doesn't like raspberries!  Feel free to add whatever fruit you like!  The recipe also didn't include jam, an essential part of a Vicky sponge I am sure you'll agree.

250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 medium organic eggs
250g self raising flour
75ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
Double Cream
Strawberries or any berries you fancy
Strawberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 180c, gas mark 4
Grease and line 2 x 8" cake tins
Beat the sugar and eggs together until pale and fluffy
Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition
Sift in the flour and gently fold in with the milk and vanilla until just combined

Pour the mixture into the tins and level the tops.  Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until springy to the touch

Allow the cakes to stand in the tins for 5 minutes

Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool

Whilst waiting for the sponge to cool whip the cream and chop the strawberries ready for filling.

Spread a generous layer of jam over the base sponge

Add a layer of cream, top with strawberries and sandwich the sponges together.

Finish with a dusting of icing sugar

Get the kettle on and your Mum round for a cup of tea

Serve and enjoy, YUM!

This post is in collaboration with Waitrose who kindly provided me with the ingredients to make this yummy cake.  I want to try the rhubarb and ginger Bakewell tart next, have to whip up another cake for Mothers day.  I did share this one with my Mum though, isn't she a lucky girl!  There are lots of Mothers Day gift ideas here plus your chance to win.


Monday, 24 March 2014

Sunshine Yellow

I wasn't joking when I said I had caught the yellow bug this year, thankfully there is loads of choice around so I am not frantically searching finding nothing like last year.  I almost went for the blue version of this dress as I thought the yellow was a bit too bright but I am so glad I didn't, it's the perfect sunshine yellow.  I adore the full skirt and the polka dots but am not keen on how easily it creases, I should have taken these photos at the start of the day rather than after I had been sitting around in it.  I was going to play it safe and go with my white M&S shoes but they were downstairs so I popped these ones on whilst I had chance to look in the mirror and decided I liked the end result.  I might try it with my cobalt cardi next time too, not sure if that would be too much but I wanna see!

I can't wait to wear this when the sun is actually shining and when I can switch up for a thinner cardi and a pair of cute wedges.  It's the perfect feel good dress, nipping in nicely at the waist and ending with a beautifully full skirt.  I wasn't sure about the pleating along the neckline at first but I guess at least that means it doesn't gape.

Dress: Boden
Cardigan: Monsoon
Shoes: Clarks

Have a sunny week!


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Made By Me #10

This fabric choice might surprise a few of you, firstly I don't like most florals and secondly, erm orange!  Since going ginge it is a colour I have chosen to accessorise with rather than actually wear, don't want to end up looking like a walking satsuma.  I think the addition of the blue and the white background help balance the orange out and make it work for me.  And the flowers are more like drawings of flowers than actual flowers so I think it has more of a retro vibe to it than a floral one which works with me.

The fabric is a bargain at only £6.99 a metre and is 58" wide so I ended up with a lovely full skirt that I want to swish around in as I walk.  That wouldn't look weird at all now would it.  I like to match my zip to the fabric even though you can only really see the fastening but could I find an orange zip?! Nope!  I went for blue in the end and realised that it also works with my favourite Clarks shoes.

Dress: Made by me using Retro floral fabric from Minerva Crafts
Pattern: Emery by Christine Haynes
Shoes: asos

I'm currently at the Showing for Pleasure show at the NEC, fingers crossed I find lots of beautiful bargain fabric to bring home with me!


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