Thursday, 31 October 2013

OOTD; Florals in Autumn..

Hello, it's been a quite half term for me so far, however my excitement for HARRY POTTER STUDIOS next week cannot be contained!
Today's post is a little outfit I put together for 6th form, but thought I'd share it with you anyhow. I recently brought a floral dress (yes in Autumn!) from Dorothy Perkins, for an Autumn wedding I was singing for, however I've formed an attachment with its beautiful colours! 

I wore the dress with a green blazer from H&M, which really brought out the autumn colours of deep purple in the dress and one of my many pairs of brogues! The dress comes in several styles and patterns, and is so comfortable to wear. This dress was around £18, which I think was a great price considering the amount of wear I've had out of it!

What I'm Wearing: Dress - Dorothy Perkins, Blazer - H&M, Brogues - Clarks, Necklace - Top Shop, Belt - Primark.

Well that's all from me for now, might put a sneaky halloween post up later!
Lots of Love,

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Fun in the Kitchen - Halloween themed cupcake ideas...

It's officially half term holiday - hooray!
If you know me well, you'll understand why so many people would be shocked to hear I've been baking (and managed not to set the house of fire). However, with the kind assistance of my (not so) little sister and a kind gift of icing supplies, which I'll be reviewing from Baking Mad, I've taken my cooking experience a step further with some Halloween themed cupcakes!

Placing myself as head decorator, I let my sister work her magic with the cake mixture, using this recipe (part of which is below) from the Baking Mad website. It was easy to follow and definitely suitable for baking with younger children too. 
The website also had great inspiration for Halloween Baking Recipe's and designs, which were really helpful when deciding how to decorate our cupcakes. My favourite gift was the chocolate icing pen, as it had a number of different shaped funnels, which I enjoyed experimenting with. First there was a larger piping tube, which was effective in creating a base for decoration, a thin tube which added detail and a lined tube which created interesting patterns. The purple colour of colour creator particularly stood out as it worked really well in contrast with the chocolate icing. 
The Recipe we used:

150 grams - Butter
150 grams - Golden Caster Sugar
3 - Free Range Eggs
150 grams - Self Raising White Flour
0.50 tsp - Baking Powder + Lemon Zest
  1. Heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, gas 4. Line a cup cake tin with 12 paper cupcake cases.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time until smooth, adding a little flour if the mixture curdles. 
  3. Stir in the flour, baking powder and vanilla extract until smooth
  4. Place heaped dessertspoon full in each cupcake case and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and just firm to the touch. 
  5. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool

For the all important decoration, we decided to use the supplies of icing from Baking Mad, to add the Halloween touch to our cakes. This included two icing pens, that came with various sized ends for different areas of decoration, three colour creators used to add colour to icing, and almond flavouring, to add flavour to the cake.

I'm off now to demolish the lovely cupcakes that I hear calling my name. If you fancy making your own cakes, for Halloween or another occasion I definitely recommend taking a look at the Baking Mad website - I particularly like their cheesecake recipes.

 Get Baking!
Lots of Love...

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Telford Style Shows AW13..

Today's post is a review from a recent event I was kindly invited to. Telford Shopping Centre have been hosting their 40th Anniversary in the last few weeks, and what better way to celebrate than their annual AW13 fashion shows? It's great to keep updated with local events and for me attending a fashion show that hosts inspiration of this season, without needing a seat in LFW, ticks all the boxes!  The lovely Heather asked me to come along to watch a few of the shows, which were taking place right across the whole weekend and meet a few other bloggers from the local area too.

When I arrived to watch the first show, still trudging around in my 6th form uniform, I was so excited to see how the stylist has incorporated catwalk trends into an affordable (and wearable!) high street ensemble's. In the shows we saw designs from the likes of River Island, New Look, Republic, House of Fraser and not only was it a great show but also really inspiring for shoppers looking to be 'on trend' this Autumn. Soon after myself and a few other were whisked off for lunch in the House of Fraser Cafe - which was delightful! If that wasn't enough we were given a lovely goody bad with a range of samples from the Body Shop (which I'll be posting all about at a later date) and some other fab make-up brands! But that's enough of rantings about my afternoon, here's the low down on AW13 trends that really stood out during the show...
The first collection is from M&S, which surprised me, as it was so current with this seasons trends. I love the range of textures, from leather - tartan wool, that looked fab on the catwalk. The 'grey vs white' colour theme was really fitting for the winter months, and the leather jumper with speckled sleeves really caught my eye. I also had my eye on the black felt hat, worn on the model (far left) as they really touch up a casual outfit, and I convince myself they will be a necessity for winter!
This collection was a collaboration of BANK and Claire's Accessories, and was definitely pushing the high street limits with subtle but brave accessory choices, which really give the outfits an eye catching twist. For example, at London Fashion Week, bloggers went mad for 'bum bags,' and the metallic bag (left) definitely sets to keep the trend going. I also fell in love with the red bowler hat from Claire's (centre) which again gives the outfit a personal twist. And if your feeling brave, why not try 'double leather' (as in right) which looks amazing when styled right!
 The above collection from River Island really worked with clashing bright colours. Neon's were a huge hit during the summer, but more subtle shades for winter will look great with some chunky jewellery and exciting patterns. In this collection I particularly liked the dressed down option, with a yellow top with pink blazer and jeans. Although simple in its effect, it really stands out, if your planning to dress down for an cheeky evening meal. Unlike RI summer collection, this season is really focused on glamour!

On of my favourite collections was from Republic (most probably because they'd picked up on my obsession with tartan) but either the stylist had really embraced the colours and textures of brand. Both leather and denim made a hue impact and looked great in a duo. I also loved the 'sock and boot' technique, which looks great if your going for the cutie pie look. My favourite look was (centre right) the burgundy blazer and checked midi skirt, as it complemented the whole colour scheme and was simple to put together.
The New Look collection really expressed a love of everything red! I particularly loved the red dress and black and white cardigan combination! Socks are already looking to be a 'must have' with every outfit for winter, so being a little daring with the knee high or clashing colours (middle) seems a great way to work the trend in your own way. Another great accessory is the beanie hat, which really dresses down an outfit if your not a fan of felt hats.

Finally, the House of Fraser collection topped off a fab series of style shows! With a host of designer brands on offer, the outfits looked glamorous, but with a sale of up to 50% off, it's definitely affordable. My favourite outfit was the cream with black panels dress, paired with the leopard print jacket - simple but perfect for winter.

Well that's all from me, I hope you enjoyed reading my review and that it gave you some inspiration for your own perfect winter wardrobe! I'd just like to say another HUGE thankyou to Telford Shopping Centre for hosting a lovely event and a delicious lunch.

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

It's time to wrap up - Coat Wishlist..

A little update from me first. I've been on stage all week, performing in a musical production of Carousel! It's been such an exciting week, however everything has been on hold, so I now have a lengthy 'to do' list to compete with. Hopefully you'll forgive me for today's short an sweet 'wishlist' post, as I'm excited to show you some of the beautiful textures and colours of the coats currently hitting the high street!

1. Khaki Short Parka £55 - Dorothy Perkins.
If your looking for a coat which you can thrown on during a Autumn shopping trip, and want it to last right through to spring, then I'd definitely recommend a parka style coat, as they're great 'all year' jackets. I particularly liked this one, as it's got fur inside, and a hood to dodge those typical UK showers..
2. Mohair coat £120 - Asos
So pink has taken over this winter, and this over sized detective style coat has to be my personal favourite, as it will look effortless with rolled up jeans. Think modern barbie, and be daring with splashes of yellow and pink - yes I've seen it done!
3. Beige Coat £49.99 - H&M 
I love the H&M basic collections, and their range of coats never disappoint. This coat will really give your winter wardrobe a vintage twist and if you love the 'oversized' look (which is always a great excuse to wear Grandad jumpers) this coat will match up with some patterned trousers and thick boots.
4. Checked Coat £129 - Zara
Another huge trend this winter is Tartan (and not just the kilt sort). If your looking for something that looks good now, but will stay on trend next year, then this checked coat is perfect - plus the quality of Zara coats is amazing, so no frost bite for you!
5. Fluffy Swing Boyfriend Pink coat £89 - Top Shop
Finally, how could I miss out this Fluffy pink coat from Top Shop, I warned you Barbie was cool, and well for ultimate warmth there's nothing better than a fluffy coat (am I right).

Have you brought your winter coats yet? My wish list could be so much longer, but I'm still clinging to last years coat until payday!

Lots of Love,

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Stray Decor: Vintage Collection Review...

Hi! Today's post is a little introduction to a new online shop called StrayDecor. The company sell affordable passport, bus pass/Oyster card holders in a variety of lovely designs.
I've chosen a few patterns from the Vintage themed collection to show you. Since recieving the holders, I have realised that they are a necessity to every handbag. 1. because they are always handy and 2. I no longer need to worry about leaving my bus pass at home again (hallelujah)! There's over 200 different designs to choose from, and my personal favourite was the Union Jack design, as it'll be difficult to miss that pattern no matter how stuffed your handbag is! 

The Passport holder is sized; 93mm x 135mm when closed and will fit all UK/most international passports! All the products are weatherproof thanks to the plastic covers, and help you identify which passports which when travelling with friends so there's no last minute dramas.
 As for the Oyster card holders, I'm always running out of room to put bus, student and rail cards. Rather than bulk up purses, the card holders are a great idea to keep your cards handy and easy to identify! 
I particularly liked the great quality for an even better price moto, which makes Stray Decor such an appealing website. With 3 for 2 currently running on all holders, you can treat yourself on a student sized budget. One of the annoying facts of being a teenager is loosing everything and never remembering where I've left them. Well at least loosing my bus pass will be one less problem on a very long list...

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Living like Royalty, Buckingham Palace...

Hello! So apart from being swallowed up by collage work in the last week, I took the chance to join a coach load of friends on an annual visit to London! 

For the trip, I wore my super comfy new boots from Clarks! It really pays of to have a great quality pair of shoes when your walking all day, and my boots didn't let me down! As we seem to have finally lost the summer sunshine, I opted for a denim jacket with my new tartan skirt to keep me warm and some thick socks too!
 I love London (but then again, who doesn't) and this time we planned a picnic in the park, to visit a few art gallery's for my art coursework and an all important trip to Buckingham palace. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to use my camera in the palace (boo) but it was definitely worth the visit, as the state rooms are truly beautiful! It's hard not to be drawn into the golden magnificence of the palace with the decorative crystal chandeliers hanging overhead and I have to admit the audio guide background music even had me waving like a queen...
The history of the British monarchy is fascinating, and this is clearly a strong influence in the rooms open for public viewing, and the family portraits on show tell the story of generations of royals. 
I'd also recommend checking out the gardens and the all important gift shop - though I wasn't keen on the £10 pens.. When you arrive at the palace, there's lots of air port style security before your handed an audio guide, which you use through most of the rooms, it's also handy to know that if you accidentally loose your place on the audio guide each room has numbers which you can type in to refresh your guide. We were also treated to a fab view of the 'changing of the guards' along with hundreds of others hoping to see the parade. It's fab to see the guards in there swanky red uniforms and made me quite envious of their epic sense of rhythm!

As you already know my love of history is touch obsession, so I also visited the Imperial War Museum which although under construction, was fab! I'd strongly recommend the Holocaust exhibition and the Horrible History Spies area looks great too. One thing I would recommend is bringing your own food as museum cafe's are never cheap and getting the tube rather than warning as it's situated quite a way from the buzz of Westminster.

As for the rest of the day we caught a quick tube ride to Oxford Street, as every London trip requires a small dosage of shopping! We found a gem of a place to eat called 'st. Christopher's place' which was a little area just off Oxford Street which had loads of little eateries and boutique shops. I'd definitely recommend visiting during a intense shopping trip as it's not far from Oxford Street. After a gentle stroke through the designer handbags in Selfridges, we were soon back in the bus wishing we could have stayed a bit longer!

What Were Wearing:

Charlotte (left): Skirt/Boots - Top Shop, Jumper -
Miss Selfridge.
Myself (left in right photo): Jacket/Satchel - OASAP, Boots - Clarks, Skirt - Primark.
Lydia (right, in second photo down): Jeans - Primark, Military Jacket - H&M.
Sarah (middle in above photo): Playsuit - New Look, Shoes - Dorothy Perkins.

 So that's how I've been spending the weekend. If only every weekend was exciting, as my usually Saturdays consist of piles of homework and plodding around the house in pyjamas! 

Anybody else do anything interesting with their weekend? 

Lots of Love,