Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Coats that see me through Winter

Like most people, I love coats and jackets and living in the UK, they are an essential wardrobe item to see you through the continuous chilly to cold to downright freezing winter days. I've never spent loads on coats but after many years of wearing them, I feel I now know what style of winter coat I prefer, so maybe it's time to invest in a really good one. And for my next purchase, I will be paying more attention to the materials used, particularly the wool content. Coats with more than 40% wool will not only feel a lot warmer but will hang better.

I want 2018 to be the year I really think about what I am buying and buy less but more quality pieces. Hopefully keeping a look out for a wool or wool blend coat will be a good place to start.

The Work Coat
This black knee length coat was from H&M a few years ago. I love this coat with its asymmetrical zip and high collar, which is perfect for keeping winter winds out without having to wear a big scarf.
This is my work coat but I also like how it looks with jeans. As with most black coats, I need to regularly give this a once over with a lint remover as it does attract any little bit of fluff. The wool content of this coat is 33% but I have always found it so warm due to the high collar. The pockets are deep and there is an essential back vent to help the coat hang nicely.

The Parka
This parka got me through a trip to New York in February when it was the coldest I have ever experienced. This was from Uniqlo and is a mix between black and very dark green. There is a detachable fleece lining which covers the main body but not the arms, which I like so I can wear big jumpers and still get this parka on. 
There is also a drawstring at the waist to pull the coat in and give a bit more shape, as well as a drawstring on the hem.
The hood is a good size with a detachable fur rim.

The Puffer Jacket
This is a fairly new jacket from H&M and they come in a variety of colours. I went for black because I felt it would go with more and be less "stand out". Being a puffer jacket, it is bulky but very warm with deep pockets and popper buttons.
As you can see, the hood is huge which I really like as it acts like a big padded collar.
Now because this jacket is quite bulky (and I've got it in a small), I like to wear it on the wonk. I just pop up one of the buttons with the one above it and I really like this look.

The Aviator Jacket
I got this sherling lined aviator jacket for my birthday last year from New Look and luckily they are still very much 'in' and you can get this style in most shops. As you can see I have this in khaki green with black lining and although I can only wear a thin top underneath, that's fine as it's so warm and snuggly.

Here it is zipped up.

The "leather" Jacket
This must be my 4th or 5th pleather (pretend leather) jacket and I really just need to commit to buying myself an actual leather jacket. And it would be a biker style. Leather or pleather jackets go with everything and are a wardrobe staple. They go with jeans, dresses-both casual and smart, trousers, jumpsuits, skirts. There is nothing this style jacket won't go with. Which is why I need to get a proper one!
If you like this one, I did get it this year from Asos, it's from the brand Pimkie.

The Longline Bomber Jacket
I love a bomber jacket and have such a useful thin one from Zara which I always wear when travelling. This longline bomber was an absolute bargain from Primark earlier this year and I have worn it so much. It's lightly padded, so warm but not overheating warm.
The longline bomber is a casual, effortless jacket.

The Leopard Print Coat
I would never have bought a leopard print coat/jacket so I pinched this from my daughter who bought it last year in the Sainsbury's TU sale. I was a bit scared initially to wear it (yes I had Bet Lynch images in my head). But what I've discovered is clash it and wear it proud. Or wear it with black to down play the jacket.

I recently teamed the leopard with a gold and black sparkly dress, and I loved how it looked.
I am missing a snow/ski jacket though..


Saturday, 6 January 2018

Favourite things I did, saw and used in 2017

Doing a recap on the previous year can be a bit boring for other people to read but I thought a favourites post on things I did, places I visited and products I used might make this a slightly less self centered post! And might give you some inspo for 2018. Happy New Year to you all, thanks for the continued love and support and here's to a new year (and it's a even number so should be good hey?).

All of the products and fashion I've chosen to include in this post are items that I have discovered this year and still continue to use, so they really are tried and tested and absolute favourites.

Things I did and saw

  • Featuring in Good Housekeeping magazine in March and April as part of a Schwarzkopf advert. A real pinch me moment. I went to London for 2 days, the first day for the "before" shoot and then the next day for the "after". I cannot describe to you how nervous I was. I'm rubbish at having my photo taken, I become paranoid but for this I made sure I took everything in and just experienced and enjoyed what was a once in a life time experience.
  • In May I piggy backed on to my sister and friend's weekend away to Palma and I used the opportunity to do something I'd been toying with for ages - to go away on my own. So I flew out ahead of them and spent three days on my tod. I can tell you now my anxiety levels were off the scale at times but I did it. I learnt I am absolutely useless at directions and I need to learn that it's ok to be seen eating alone and that riding a bike hurts your precious area!
  • And then to the safety of our annual family holiday to Rhodes. I love my family, they are my best friends and the best company. Rhodes was a delight (apart from the wasps!) and I loved Lindos. A must re-visit location.
April's edition
Lindos, Rhodes
Palma, Majorca
Things I used (Fashion)

  • LK Bennett Mariel bag. My first designer bag and splurge. It's no Gucci Soho Disco or YSL Blogger bag but I love her. She's practical, a good size and whilst I now feel I can walk in to Harvey Nic's without feeling like a shoplifter, I didn't spend a ridiculous amount so that I feel I can never take her out!
  • Oliver Bonas Hot Dog jumper. A Bella Freud dupe which fits well, is warm, but not too thick and has a dog on the front. What's not to love, and I got it in the sale.
  • H&M Shift dress. I have two but it's the polka dot one I have worn to death. It was £20.00. Priceless.
  • Next wide leg jeans. Please don't ever let wide leg jeans go out of fashion. Actually I'm still wearing these even if they do. What can I say I was born in 1970, I love me a flare.
  • Primark checked blazer. 2017 was the return of the blazer. Fashion bloggers were shelling out on Stella McCartney, I bagged myself a bargain from Primark.
  • H&M sock boots. Sock boots look great with all style of jeans, especially the current trend for ankle grazers. So glad I got these.
  • Pull & Bear Coat. I didn't dwell on buying this. Saw it, took it straight to the till. Love it, still.

LK Bennett Mariel Bag

Oliver Bonas Hot Dog Jumper
H&M Dress
Next Wide Leg Jeans
Primark Blazer
H&M Sock Boots
Pull & Bear Coat
Things I used (Beauty)

  • NYX Sweet Cheeks palette. I've literally used this every day and have used every shade. Also great as eye shadows.
  • Co Lab Dry Shampoo. The best dry shampoo if you want fruity scents and no white powdery residue left behind.
  • Wet Brush. I didn't think I had knotty hair, nevertheless this brushes through my wet hair like a hot knife through butter. I've had less hair breakages and smoother hair since using this.
  • L'Oreal Elvive Clay Masque. I use this on the greasy part of my crown and by using this before washing my hair, I've been able to extend out hair wash days from every other day to every third day.
  • Kiko Hydra Pro Glow moisturiser. It gives a subtle glow and luminosity to your skin whilst packing it with Hyaluronic Acid. This is the loveliest day moisturiser I've ever used.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation. At last a foundation in the right shade for me, this mousse type texture applies and blends in seamlessly. It doesn't feel heavy or cakey and gives a nice coverage.
  • Rimmel Super Gel Nails. I've tried lots of the gel type polishes and this range from Rimmel are the only ones to give me a solid five days of chip free, glossy nails.
  • Soaper Duper. Childish packaging but the lushest smelling soap and shower gel which you can pick up with your Tesco shop. 
  • The Ordinary Peeling Solution. Scary name, actual effective results. Put this blood red liquid on for 10 minutes, rinse off. (At least) 10 years younger.
  • Naked Heat Palette. I've never spent £40 on an eye shadow palette before. I don't regret a penny. I've used it every day. The darker shades are a bit daunting, especially as the powders are so pigmented but there are so many looks to create with this palette.
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lipsticks. I'd all but given up with drying liquid lipsticks until I came across these. They apply like a dream, dry down quickly but in no way drying and last until you want to take your make up off at the end of the day, or night.
  • Tanya Burr highlighter. I love this for its versatility. I use it as a cheek highlight, brow highlight and eye shadow. Affordable and for everyone.
  • L'Oreal Paradise Mascara. Wow wee. If you want big lashes that will sweep against your glasses - buy this. Mine is a little clumpy but I quite like that.

NYX Sweet Cheek Palette
Kiko Hydra Pro Glow
Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation
Rimmel Super Gel Polishes

The Ordinary Peeling Solution
Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette
Tanya Burr Highlighter
If you want a more in depth review about anything featured in this post, just type the name of the item in to the search bar on the right of the full website version of my blog.

So that's my winners for 2017, I hope you enjoyed and I can't wait to see what delights 2018 brings.



Wednesday, 3 January 2018

New year, New (very comfortable) shoes-Meet the Ecco Scinapse

When I was recently asked if I would like to try some Ecco* shoes, I didn't hesitate in saying yes please. Of course I've heard of Ecco and associate the brand with stylish, well made and comfortable foot wear. And although I had not tried a pair of Ecco's before, I was excited to receive these stunning chilli red Ecco Scinapse high top casual boots.

A hybrid between a casual boot and a high top trainer, the chilli red shade is so in vogue and these really stand out when worn with jeans, especially dark wash denim. There are so many features I like about these shoes. 

  • The colour - which brightens up what could be a dull outfit of jeans and top
  • The comfort - these have to be up there with the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. Initially getting them on was a bit tight but these are leather shoes and they have already loosened up nicely. The shoe is spacious, without being loose and I really feel like I am walking about in slippers when I wear these. (I've even had to check now and then just in case I have inadvertently left them on). There is no rubbing, tightness or strain on my feet.
  • The look - aside from the colour, I love the look of these shoes. I prefer a high top design, mostly because I don't like cold ankles and also for a practical reason and that's that I like my ankles to be supported, which these do a treat. I love the sole and the shape of these shoes, which gives a real fashion trainer look to the boots.
The fastening is also eye catching and practical. No more laces to come undone and trip over, the fastenings are elasticated integral speed laces, which loosen so you can put the boots on and then pull to tighten and tuck in the end to keep the ends secure and in place.
Ecco Scinapse fastenings
I've worn these boots quite a few times since receiving them and the biggest test was when I went to London for the day last week and walked around Winter Wonderland and the area for the whole day. It was a freezing cold day and I was still recovering from the flu but these boots kept my feet cosy warm (and my ankles) and they were so comfortable and supportive, despite a whole day of walking and standing. I had no rubbing anywhere on my feet.

And the support is like no other trainer I've worn, even high tops. These boots envelope your foot in a gentle supportive hold. I really think I could walk and walk in these and it would be the rest of me that would give up before my feet would, in these Scinapse boots.
And whilst I am not saying that these are walking boots, if you are out for the day doing a lot of walking around the shops or visiting a city, these are perfect. What I am also going to be using these as are my "recovery boots". Let me explain - I am giving serious consideration to doing one of the new Cancer Research UK Race 4 Life Hikes this year. This would be a huge challenge for me, walking 20 odd miles and although I know I will need to get appropriate hiking shoes, after practice walks I know I will look forward to putting these light, cushioned soled and flexible Ecco boots on and it'll be like putting my slippers on. Recovery boots!
Ecco Scinapse
Ecco Scinapse
If you want to treat yourself and your feet to these durable, breathable leather high tops you can find the Ecco Scinapse here. 
Out and about


Saturday, 30 December 2017

What I Got for Christmas 2017

I did one of these posts last year and you seemed to like them. I know I love reading these types of "what I got for .." posts. I don't think they are showing off and if anything it's just like a haul post and I always get lots of inspiration and ideas for more things to buy. So I hope you like seeing what I got for Christmas from my lovely family.
Neon Light - I've wanted a neon light for a while and although I have now got a cactus wall light for my kitchen, this super cute pink flamingo neon looks perfect on my desk. It lights up via a usb cable, which plugs in to my laptop.

Orla Keily Mugs - Who doesn't love a new mug or two at Christmas. These are probably the coolest mugs I have. I also got an initial mug (which is still full of yummy chocolate) and it's going to be my new work mug.

Avocado Tea Towel - I always need/want new tea towels and as 2017 was the year I discovered my love for avocados, this one is perfect.

Drinks Bottle - I try and drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day and had been re-using old plastic water bottles but they get a bit yuck, so this drinking bottle will not only make sure I have a good amount of water in one go, it's also easier to keep clean.
Inhale Exhale Print - This is from the Honeymoon Hotel Art website, who I love and this cute A4 size print is so simple yet effective. I just need to buy at least two incorrectly sized frames before I put this up, probably in my bedroom.

Coffee Table book - I bought a coffee table for the first time ever this year and I am obsessed with it (I might do a post on it..). I asked for a gold covered book and didn't care what it was about, I just wanted the book to look gorgeous on top of my table. But I lucked out as the inside of this interiors book is even prettier and inspiring than it's cover.

Joules Tin - This pretty floral tin contains handy sized body wash, body lotion, body scrub and body butter. All smell delicious and perfect sizes for holidays.

Real Techniques Powder Bleu Eye Shadow brush - I love all RT brushes and have wanted to try the newly launched (this year) powder bleu brushes. All of this range has been developed to be used with powder products only. I cannot describe how soft the brush is. If I were able to pick up Jeff my house rabbit, it would be like brushing his super soft fur along my eye lids.
Tony Moly Face Sheet Mask - I've already used this. It's lovely, not too sloppy and easy to put on and take off.

Beauty Blender - I've used a Beauty Blender before and really like them. Although I've been preferring a brush for applying my foundation recently, I will be using the Beauty Blender to blend in..

Glossier Stretch Concealer - Everyone seems to love this concealer which is meant to move with your skin, so it doesn't settle in to fine lines. I'll do a full comparison review soon.
Nip + Fab Body Lotion - I didn't even know Nip + Fab did body products but if this is as good as their face products, I'm going to enjoy slathering this lavender scented lotion on.
Scarf  - This Grey and neon green scarf from Asos is so soft and huge. I love the two toned effect, so you get two scarves for one.
Note Book - I have enough note books to last me a life time but I always want more and this cute polka dot one is going to be my new work note book.

Instagram Famous book - This book is brilliant. It's got so many really useful tips on taking photos for Instagram, whether to hash tag, geotag and how to edit. This is such a great present for anyone that even vaguely likes Instagram or taking photos.
Rabbit Print - Not enough words to describe how incredibly cute and cool this print is. My own house rabbit always lies like this but when I've tried to take a photo, he's surrounded by his own poos!
Wasn't I lucky and the thing I love is most of these amazing gifts were not things I had asked for but they are all perfect and exactly what I would have wanted if I had seen them, so thank you family.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and have nearly got through the leftovers.


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