Monday, 29 September 2014

The Quilted Skirt

Denim Shirt: Topshop
Quilted Tile Print Skirt: Topshop
Kendra Fringed Shoes: Topshop
Tortoiseshell Sunglasses: Tom Ford

You know it's Autumn when there's enough russet toned leaves on the ground to gleefully kick, tell me I'm not the only one over ten that does this? I don't know of one gal who doesn't adore the third season of the year, who wouldn't want to get on board with snuggly knits, chunky scarves and gingerbread flavoured beverages? I've been incredibly lax on the blog front this past week but that's because I've been one busy bee spending three days of my working week in Italy, it's tougher than it sounds, I promise. Since returning from warmer climes I also made a trip to Manchester for a blog event and a night out with a couple of girlfriends - we had the best time and it was the perfect way to round off such a hectic week plus my Manchester living pal is the most superb host. 

These shots were taken on Sunday where it seems like the sun decided to have it's final hoorah of the year, fingers crossed it isn't so. This tile print quilted skirt is my latest purchase and is fast becoming a fave - it's just one of those pieces that I was instantly drawn to, ya'll know how I feel about a patterned bottom half. I love mixing textures as the leaves start to turn and quilting is such an easy way to add a little somethin' somethin' into your wardrobe. As the weather gets cooler I can imagine this looking perf with a high neck sweater and a pair of grey knee high boots, anyone know where I can find a pair that aren't £400? To keep things cas and weekend appropriate I teamed my skirt with an old friend in the shape of my denim shirt and added my most worn shoes of the Summer, the Kendras. Sure they were seriously bitchy when I first bought them #blisteralert but now they're an absolute dream and go with almost everything. Topshop you never let me down.

This week is looking like a jam packed goodie with me heading back to Manchester for a blog event at fancy Manchester House, getting a barnet trim and root touch up and making a trip to the cinema to see the much anticipated Gone Girl, too excited.

What does this week hold for you? Are you a fan of my quilted skirt? 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Lifestyle: The Story Of Our Home

2013 was a special year, after months and months of saving Craig and I bought our first house, dating back to 1825 our cottage is something a bit special (if I do say so myself). It used to be a bakery and after that it was turned into three individual cottages before it became the house we own today.

Walking in for the first time as home owners was the most daunting thing and I think we both thought what have we done, we knew we had a project on our hands as the last owner had let things go but I don't think we realised quite how much work there'd be. Just over a year on and I think we're finally getting somewhere, the upstairs is almost complete and the downstairs, well it's looking better.

Welcome to The Cottage...

There's no set style in our home, it's a case of what we like goes - eclectic I think they call it. I adore fresh flowers in my Rob Ryan vase, who wouldn't want to bring the outside in?

You'll have to excuse our almost complete surround but I just had to share our new log burner with you. Craig lovingly crafted our hearth, tiled it and made our fireplace, he's a handy one. Anyone who knows me well knows just how much I love candles, my current burner is Jo Malones Blackberry and Bay, just beaut.

I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to photo frames, so long as it's eye catching it's a winner in my books. An awesome housewarming gift was our Scrabble inspired art (thanks Lauren, Matt and Freddie) and can you believe that sepia photograph used to be our house? My how things have changed.

A new addition to our soon to be painted shelves is this ceramic ridge vase from Country Baskets*. I can't fault its original shape and I thoroughly enjoy the subtle fawn meets grey shade. This vase wouldn't look out of place in the home department of M&S or Next yet it costs less than £5 (no joke). 

While our sofas aren't the ones we want forever (thanks ma and pa for the loan) our selection of cushions and cosy throw help to make them a little more us. No your eyes don't deceive you, that is a bear in our living room, Bernie was a birthday present for my twenty fifth and while some might find it crazy he certainly makes a reliable foot stool/emergency seat. 

One amazing feature of our home is our double French doors going from the living room into the garden. Craig is rather green fingered as has single handedly transformed our green space into something pretty and sorta self sufficient - we grow our own apples, rhubarb and berries (two types) don't you know and don't get me started on our selection of herbs.

Working in the tile industry it'd be criminal to still have the bathroom we had when we first moved in, I'm talking apricot walls and a grotty lockable first aid cabinet - I think you'll agree this one is a huge improvement and our bath is my absolute fave.

Just like my wardrobe our home is filled with a high low mix, some pieces have been investments while others have been purse friendly. In our guest bedroom is Ikea bedding, a Primark and a Selfridges cushion plus our wooden Buddha which we picked up on a holiday to Kos, where we vowed to put it in our first home together. The chandelier light fitting below was picked up from Dunelm Mill for just £20.

My dressing table from Feather & Black is one of my favourite pieces in our bedroom although I can assure you it's not always this tidy.

While our home doesn't look exactly as we'd like it to yet (it doesn't help that I'm one messy individual to live with and hoard everything) our renovations are one true labour of love and both C and I have plenty of ideas as to how the finished product will be. Most importantly it'll be cosy, inviting and us, exactly what a home should be.

Have you enjoyed having a glimpse of our home? What's the story behind your home?

Read more inspirational home stories or submit your own here.*

*Vase kindly sent to me by Country Baskets. 
Content sponsored by Hillarys Blinds, all thoughts and opinions my own.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Another Space NK GWP

If there are three words that whip me in to an unconsidered spending frenzy it's gift with purchase. There's something about the notion of rewarding you for spending more than you should have that I'm strangely down with, even if it does make my credit card weep. Space NK are the queens of such GWPs and I'm sure by now you know the drill, spend £150 on an event day and you walk away with a huge bag of goodies, I mean who wouldn't want a mini By Terry Baume de Rose? 

With my moisturiser almost on its last pump and my Nars creamy concealer having seen better days it didn't take long for me to have two items sitting in my virtual basket, may as well repurchase when there's an offer on right? My next addition was one I've eyed up forever, say hello to the And God Created The Woman palette, another team Nars purchase. Perfect for travel this just larger-than-a-debit-card sized palette has everything you need to create that smouldering brown smokey eye including the much hyped smudge proof eyeshadow base (cannot wait to give this a bash) and the wide contour shadow brush. To complete the Nars trio I just had to get my mitts on Mandore, a limited edition shade from their Satin Lip Pencil range - I blame Suzie the enabler for this purchase, if she didn't look so babin' in this berry hue this pencil would never have entered my beauty brain.

If you're a regular around these parts you'll know my skin has been a real beyatch a lately getting seriously above its station thinking it's ok to bring me a spot or five with zero notice #cheeky. The beautiful and nearly almost blemish free Anna forever raves about Oskias skincare offerings so with this in mind I had to try the much loved Renaissance Cleansing Gel. Formulated with zero nasties this baby has got my name written all over it, expect a review coming your way soon.

Do you crumble at the sight of a gift with purchase? Have you ever tried any of my buys?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Wedding Guest

Nude & Blue Lace Dress: Oasis c/o Debenhams
Nude Simple Strap Sandals: Dune
Embellished Box Clutch: River Island
2014 has newly been named the year of the wedding, those church bells haven't stopped chiming this year with the boyf and I attending a grand total of three I do's, definitely a sign we're getting older eek! With a few weddings already in the bag this year I think it's fair to say I've got this dressing for a seriously special occasion business down. For me wedding day dressing is all about the dress (or a super chic jumpsuit) this Three Floor inspired pick came from Oasis for a purse friendly price of £20 (no lie). I adore the mash up of cobalt blue, nude and lace (naturally) which means minimum jewellery is needed, lazy girl dressing at its best. Throw in the fact that the 3/4 sleeves equal no cover up required and how the super flattering cut gives the illusion of a tiny waist and this dress is a real all rounder. Kudos Oasis.

With accessories kept to a minimum, less is more at important events I decided on a pair of simple nude sandals with a block heel, perfect for all day wear and Irish jiving! Completing the ensemble is a pretty embellished box clutch which I'm dubbing the wedding bag, well when else can you get away with just cash, a lipstick and your iPhone? See it in action at my other friends wedding here. No wedding would be complete without my beau who doesn't half look dapper, note the choice of tie to compliment my dress #hesagoodegg. To say it was a Autumnal day the weather (and setting) couldn't have been better for Matt and Ashleighs nuptials and I'm sure you'll all agree my bud looks beautiful, plus how dreamy are those bridesmaid dresses? Our snaps were taken at Ansty Hall in Coventry, the wedding reception venue which was like a scene from Animals in Farthing Wood (nineties child reference) with squirrels and rabbits darting around. Perfect.

Have you found yourself at lots of weddings this year? What's your go to event look?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Snapshots, Sardinian Style

After eleven days of pure relaxation I'm back from Sardinia incredibly care free and ready to get back to life, and most importantly blogging. I genuinely can't remember the last time I went on holiday without any wifi and must say it was surprisingly refreshing to just switch off and really chill out without constantly checking Twitter, Instagram or my emails. 

Although it's been a shock to the system coming home (where's that 30 degree sunshine gone?) it's been lovely to have a three day weekend with the boyf, squeezing a wedding, a whole load of errands and a trip to the cinema in before things go back to normal tomorrow. Scary stuff.

Mint & Lilac Dress: ASOS Africa, Nude Studded Clutch: Oasis, Rose Gold Sandals: Faith c/o Debenhams, Friendship Bracelet: Links of London

Stripy Dress: Topshop, Bejewelled Sandals: Steve Madden, Rose Gold Necklace: & Other Stories, Red Lip: Nars Red Square

Blue Adrianne Dress: Whistles, Nude Studded Clutch: Oasis, Bejewelled Sandals: Steve Madden

If you ever fancy a trip to an Italian isle I'd whole heartedly recommend Sardinia, it's absolutely beautiful, as I'm sure you can see and has a real mix of unspoilt, more local spots as it does tourist destinations. We stayed in an awesome town house in a small village called Villaputzu which is around an hours drive from Cagliari airport. Just looking at these pictures is making me wish for 4 euro prosecco (yes really), heaps of gelato and giggles with loved ones. 

Ciao for now Sardinia, now let's get planning that Autumn wardrobe...

Have you ever holidayed in Italy? Which of my holiday outfits is your fave?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

New In: The H&M Leopard Print Coat

I'm a huge advocate of picking up pieces from the high street as soon as you clock them and I certainly put this down to my days working in fashion retail - nobody wants to fall in fashion lust only to find out your new love interest has well and truly upped sticks and left the shop. I picked up this leopard print coat in H&M back when Craig and I made a trip to York, at the time it was high Summer but now things are getting a little bit cooler I'm feeling pretty darn pleased.

Leopard print has always been a wardrobe staple of mine, in my eyes it's practically a neutral and up there with skinny jeans and a leather jacket. Just a touch of leopard in your life can add that nonchalant, cool girl vibe to an outfit and I for one dig that look. I love how H&Ms take on leopard print is a little more grown up than your typical faux fur leopard coat (not that I don't own one of those too) and I find the double breasted style brings that added smartness to an otherwise playful jacket. At £34.99 it's an absolute steal in the coat realm and definitely a great addition to my outerwear collection. Oh Autumn Winter, how I've missed your layering ways.

Would you ever buy a leopard print coat? How would you style it up?

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Guest Post: Evening Skincare Essentials

When I started thinking about a guest blogger to take over Cagney and Lace for the day while I sun myself in Sardinia in case you didn't know, there was only one gal I had in mind. Alice is the ultimate babe, not only is she absolutely beaut but she's got a pretty awesome blog on her hands too. If you don't already follow her you're missing out.

Finding the right skincare routine can often be a mighty task. Before I started my own blog, I found reading others a super helpful way of finding reviews of products I'd not tried before without having to part with my own cash. Now I write a blog, I'm lucky enough to be sent products to try which means I've been able to give a range of products a thorough testing and have found some great products that work perfectly to keep my skin happy.

To kick off I use a face wash and my current favourite is the Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel. I like to leave this in my shower so that I can kill two (or three) birds with one stone and wash my face, body and hair at the same time. This face wash suits men and women of all ages with combination to oily skin who are looking to eliminate impurities and excess sebum whilst reducing shine and deeply cleansing their pores. This foams up beautifully and as it has a soap-free formula it's gentle enough to be used daily, and doesn't leave my skin with a horrible tight feeling - just bright and clean.

Once my face has had a deep cleanse, I like to give it another once over with my Bioderma Crealine H20 Micellar Water. I simply pour some of this on a few cotton pads and sweep over my face which is good to pick up any excess mascara that's been missed. I find it lovely and refreshing (so use morning and night) as it sweeps all the impurities from the day off my face. If I'm having a lazier day and don't manage a deep cleanse, I'll start with this step and make sure I do it thoroughly.

For my night-time moisturiser, I've been treating myself to some real luxury, with the Dr Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics Face Night Cream. I was sent this a month or so ago and have been totally and utterly addicted to it. It's been described as a 'cell spa while you sleep' and is an intensely moisturising formula that harnesses the healing power of Purslane (a succulent) to reduce redness as well as Skullcap extract (a flowering plant from the mint family) which stimulate your skins natural collagen production. I love this as it has a silky soft consistency that soaks in quickly and when I wake up in the morning my skin feels amazing. It's bright, plump, clearer and super soft. Best of all, I find my makeup sits better on my skin the day after I've used it, so it almost works like an overnight primer for me. Whilst £140 is a seriously high budget moisturiser, if you have the disposable cash to spend on treating yourself - this has the highest of marks from me.

Finally I have to deal with any imperfections on my skin and typically turn to the Origins Super Spot Remover as this is the best product I've found to date for eliminating any blemishes I have. I just rub a tiny amount of this directly onto my blemishes and leave it to dry over night. My spots are always visibly reduced when I wake up the next morning and the best part about this is that a little of the product goes a long way. It may seem expensive for what it is, but as you only use a tiny amount of this at a time it'll last you months and months.

What are your evening skincare essentials?

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