Wednesday

Hats Off To You, Whistles.

So apparently we've not only had the driest September on record; we're about to have the mildest October too. While most people rejoice at this I find myself accepting this with a slightly heavy heart. My poor wardrobe is practically bursting at the hinges with beautiful, boardering on delectable, Autumn/Winter wonders and they are just not able to come out and play yet.

Most people have an affection for a time of year and link this to when their clothes are going to look most fabulous. Mine is Autumn. I love the cold weather allowing me to layer up in beautiful knits, leathers, scarves and all manner of brilliant overcoats. My personal favourite is my bargain Aquascutum but we'll come back to him one day.

However, the lack of colder weather hasn't stopped me craving beautiful things in preparation for it so this week I took advantage of a ridiculously good offer from Grazia and Whistles. 25% off at Whistles *if you bought last week's copy of Grazia. (*don't fret if you didn't get it - the offer is now online with the code you need etc. and on until 06.10.14)


I knew what I wanted as soon as I heard about the offer. Something I've ooh-ed and aah-ed over. Something I've almost-nearly-pratically purchased about five times already. Something that's completely useless for the weather as it stands now but when it does get cold (and it'd better) I will be ready and, probably, just a little-over excited to don this beauty from them.

Ladies and gentlemen...The Winter Hat.

 
Grey and I are currently in the midsts of a heady love affair and have been for some years now. I don't see it ending anytime soon either.

It's just a brilliant colour/tone/shade - whatever you class it as, I love it! And I know it's not as if I don't already own an array of wool hats but I don't have a grey one. So, you see, it was a complete necessity.



Just look at those fibres!

It would appear that several hundred other Whisltes fans had the same idea as me as, unfortunately, this colour is now sold out online but it is available in Navy and Black and the and the Grey is still available in selected stores. (I got mine from the Manchester City Centre store - you can find your closest store here.)
 
A funny thing has happened recently in my office and suddenly hats have started making an appearance on lots of people. We work in fashion so what we can wear into the office is pretty flexible which is brilliant. And a couple of weeks ago we had about 72 hours of genuine Autumn so the first thing I did was whip this old faithful out.

I don't even remember where I got it from - H&M maybe... Who knows. But it's done it's job, and very well. I'm not retiring any of my existing hats - merely adding to the tribe.
So, to badly mis-quote Bridget's Jones' Diary: "Come the f*ck on, Autumn!"

Tuesday

New Chapters.

Wow.

Well, hello again. It's been a while. But I needed a proper break; not a brief week or two, riddled with the guilty 'I need to blog' feeling. A full no-guilt-focus-on-work-and-personal-life-and-stop-doing-so-much break.

In fact, such was the magnitude of the break that it appears I decided I needed to pile more onto my personal life plate so... OH and I bought a house!

It's in our beloved town of Chorlton which isn't the cheapest place to buy so we knew we were never going to get a bargain but our friends and our much-loved lifestyle are based there and the thought of moving away from it was too much of a wrench for us so we sucked it up and bought up.

It's a 3 bedroom Victorian terrace which I know is most peoples idea of hell ("A terrace?! how small and, er, quaint!") but it's actually my idea of a dream home so I am beyond thrilled with it. Or rather...what it will be.

Right now it's a phenominal mess of a building site but it hasn't dampened our spirits. We are going at it full steam ahead and have 1 month from now to move in. Our evenings and weekends are taken over and we've become almost complete social recluses but we don't care. We need to put hours, days, weeks and months into our bricks and mortar so that's what we're doing.

Here are some pics of the house as it was when we bought it. I'll label them as what they are/will be:


Living Room

Dining room/bar

Kitchen

Our Bedroom

My Dressing Room

Yard
And the day we got the keys:



And here are a few pictures of it last week. I'll try to do it in the same order but if I don't succeed I'll label these too:


Living Room

Dining Room / Kitchen / Bar

Kitchen (knocked through to Dining Room)

Our Bedroom (mid-fireplace restoration)

My Dressing Room

I know - it's not nice. And it's not pretty. But it will be and we won't rest until we have it matching the vision in our minds. This was last week - we now have a lot of plastering done and even some initial paint work:


Our Bedroom

Our Bedroom

My Dressing Room

Stairs and Landing Plastering
As you can see, in our bedroom we've decided to restore the old fireplace which I cannot wait for. We've not taken a small amount on; we've had the house just over a month now and the progress we've made has been nothing short of back-breaking but we're seeing results every day. This weekend the french doors go in the back of the dining room to lead out to the yard and the floors upstairs are my project to sand and re-stain and varnish.

Pinterest is currently being an enormous help - if you want to see some of my inspiration pins follow me. I'm 2dyeiv - just click to see my boards and follow me.

So - that's where I've been. But I have been asked so many times about the build and the interior decoration side of things that it's given me the oomph I needed to get back on here and share it with you.

I hope you like it and will continue to follow my progress as we move forward with this gargantuan project.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday

Don't Push Me Push A...Sleeve.

It was in the middle of a phone conversation this morning - describing my latest, beautful summer trench coat from VILA - that I realised it. Something that has come as second nature to me* actually isn't 2nd nature to many people at all but is such a great, basic fashion tip that I had to share it.

*(the 'me' I'm referring to is the 'me' that is surrounded by beautiful fashions most days of the week. Of course, as far as I'm concerned, there are many versions of 'me'.)

Ladies (and gents) get shoving those sleeves up.


It instantly updates an outfit; turning even the plainest of plain tops into an edgier version of itself. Not to mention the beautiful platform it creates upon which your various wrist accessories are free to shine to their maximum potential.


Over the past few weeks, as the weather's heated up and my sleeves have been pushed up, I have been inundated with compliments about my watch. It's not a new accessory. I have worn it day-in-day-out for about 5 years now but the fact people are suddenly noticing it, my rings, my nail colour etc shows that a simple tweak to an outfit can create a whole new focal point on your silhouette. And it's a goody.


And that's that really. No long, in depth post from me today. A helpful hint is all.
 
Me today.
 

Now...shove off!

Thursday

Sk8er Gurl

Skaters. Trainers. Pumps. Espandrilles.

We can no longer deny it. Flats have flooded the highstreet and are having their fashion 'moment' this Spring/Summer.

Usually this would perplex me - a 'heels' girl through and through. Espadrilles remind me of uncomfortable childhood shoes worn on holidays where sand got in between your toes and rubbed. Pumps put me in mind of awkward primary school gym classes where the boys and girls kept as far apart as physically possible, each group thoroughly disgusted by the opposite sex. And while I have enjoyed the trainer trend of late at an average price of £80 for a new pair of Airmax/Free Run/Flex it's a bit too much like hard work for my bank account to get into all that.

But skaters. Now skaters are something I can very much get on board with. And boy, have I?

I started small with a cheap and cheerful pair from H&M in leopard print canvas. At £12.99 I thought they were a simple enough way to dabble in this trend and see if it was for me. Within hours I was hooked. I put them on Instagram and got at least 10 'likes' before I could even click off the app.

So loved, were they, that when a friend went to buy them online and they'd sold out I was enlisted to go and get her a pair from my local store and post them to her. (I did, of course - share the joy!)

Amazingly a few pairs are back in stock but move quickly if you want some - only sizes 5,6 and 6.5 left....HERE.

 

After this my appetite was whetted and I had to have more. Cue ASOS.



When my mother saw these she was a little taken-aback. I asked for her feedback. Bracing myself (I could feel the confusion radiating from her) she said, "Well, you certainly can't wear a skirt with them. You'll see straight up it!" Good thing I'm more of a trousers and shirt girl then, eh?

These were a pinch more than the H&M pair at £20 but I still think this is very reasonable. I've barely had them off my feet and they are giving me a lot of joy every time I wear them. Plus they're the perfect dancing shoes; last night I went to see Janelle MonaĆ© in concert and wanted to dress up but with comfortable shoes that would see me in good stead for a boogy. These fit the bill perfectly. Some glitzy earrings, a bejewelled top and Red Stripe in hand (it was a gig after all) I felt a million dollars. Get yours HERE.

And now we come to my latest pair...

These bad boys have been on my wish list from pretty much the day they were released online. They sold out almost instantaneously but I am a believer in replenishing so kept checking back, almost daily at times, and today my determination was rewarded.

Let me introduce my baby blues from Topshop - another £20 wonder purchase. (OH, if you're reading this then...um...sorry?) 


I am over the (blue) moon to have them in my life - they are so pretty. The Topshop website reviews say they come up a bit small but the 6 (39) fit me perfectly. In fact, if anything, in comparison, the ASOS space shoes were a bit more snug than these at first but have now broken in beautifully. These Topshop perfections are available HERE.

Here's to a summer full of sunshine and skaters.

How about you? Got yours yet?

Tuesday

Met Blah-la 2014

Well, well... I have to say, for the first time ever, I am disappointed. Disappointed in, of all things, the women who attended last night's Met Gala.

Year upon year I wake up excited to trawl the plethora of websites featuring the red carpet pictures and all the fairytale gowns I can only dream of wearing. I even receive texts from friends - "Today's the day!", "Gowns! Gowns! Gowns!", "Time to get motivated to only eat dust for a year!" and the like.


I like to settle in with a cup of tea and fruit and be ready for a good mooch but today my tea was cold before I felt anything resembling envy towards anyone.

At first I thought it was perhaps that I had happened upon a couple of sites that just weren't featuring the best dressed ladies but after a few (hundred) clicks it became clear that, for the first year ever, the hype had taken over the outfits. And by this I mean so many of the guests were more motivated to out-do each other in the outlandish stakes that they appeared to have completely missed the point of dressing well.

Out of the many, many dresses I looked at there has only really been one that I would forgo chocolate for a year for and that was Leighton Meester's eye-wateringly beautiful Emilio Pucci floor length thriller.



I would have loved to have lusted after many more but was unable to so instead have decided to abuse your retinas with some of the horrors mine have had to endure this very day.

Enjoy!








 
I mean....C'MOOOON!

Thursday

Candlest(u)ck On You

A few weeks ago I was browsing through my *favourite* daily email - Emerald Street - and they featured some candlesticks from Oliver Bonas that can really only be described as spectacular.

I'm not usually one for candlesticks but I put on my consumer head and asked myself the age old question I always do when I purchase anything for my home, "If I saw this in someone else's house would I want to steal it?" and with these 'sticks the answer was undeniable - those bad boys would be in my handbag before you could say 'matches.' I jest, of course, I'm not a kleptomaniac - but you get the point; if I think I would covet something  then I generally have to have it.

Neon has been popping up in interior design blogs/magazines/online image boards for a long time now but things like this can take their time to trickle onto the high street which is frustrating but makes sense in a commercial way, I guess.

There are so many exciting ways to introduce the neon trend to your home - some more permanent than others. Here are a few examples I've found floating around The Net recently that have inspired me.









    
What I like about this selection is that they demonstrate two levels of commitment to this trend - full commitment, and half-assed commitment. I most definitely fall in the latter of these two which is where my wonderful 'sticks come into play so beautifully.

Here they are on the OB website:


Available here



Available here



And here they are all over my house as I try and decide where they will live (for now - I'm nothing if not a fan of the 're-jig' after a few weeks of the same set-up.) At approx £16 a pop they aren't exactly a throw-away decision foray but they are a cheerful addition to come home to and have certai UK enhanced my week.






They have ended up on the mantelpiece with white candles in them but I have come up against a real issue with them. I can't use them - they have to be purely ornamental. Why?
Because there is nowhere for the hot wax to drip except onto the neon paintwork and I've a feeling that once cooled, picking the wax will destroy the paint underneath it.

So - I end with a tip. If you do buy these lovely, lovely things (and you should) be aware they are for looking at only!

Oh, and a quick garden update - it's coming along nicely.