Posts tagged Bewitchery

ResinSparkles Pendant and Ring

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I recently came across a great little Etsy store called ResinSparkles, which is owned by the lovely Sara.  Sara creates unique pieces of jewellery out of resin and glitter, a lot of which have a fab geek-chic theme, with Dr Who, Star Wars, steampunk and comic books regularly featuring in her designs.  Sara very kindly offered to send me a couple of pieces to review, and after browsing her store the magpie in me chose a Sparkly Ring and a Steampunk Clockwork Pendant.

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Both pieces are really well made, and they are both very generous on the glitter.  They’re so eye-catching, especially in the sun, and both make a real statement.  They came packaged in cute matching gift bags too – perfect if you want to give them as a present (and trust me, the receiver would not be disappointed with their sparkly surprise).

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The pendant comes on an 18″ silver coloured chain and is nice and lightweight, so though it’s a fairly big piece, it’s incredibly comfortable to wear and hangs well.  I chose purple as it’s my favourite colour and this particular shade is stunning, but these pendants are available in a wide range of colours.  I absolutely love the steampunk theme too, as the little cogs and metal bits suspended in the resin give it an added edge.

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The ring I received has come to be known as my mermaid ring, as the layers of bright blue glitter are so pretty and remind me of a mermaid’s tail, or the surface of the sea sparkling in the sun (how romantic!).  Like the pendant, the dome of the ring is quite large so really stands out, and it sits securely on a silver coloured adjustable metal band.  I have quite slim fingers so it best fits my index or middle fingers, which is where I prefer to wear rings anyway.  These are also available in a wide range of shades, with some combining two different glitters.

Considering all of Sara’s pieces are handmade and great quality, they’re also very affordable.  The pendants are £7.50 each including the chain, and the rings are just £3.50.  So, if you’re a fan of sparkle, or know someone else who is, be sure to check out ResinSparkles on Etsy, and on Twitter.

Naomi x

*These pieces were sent to me by ResinSparkles for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

 

NOTD: GOSH ‘Frosted Plum’

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You may remember that at the beginning of January I swatched and reviewed a gorgeous glitter varnish from GOSH’s Frosted Sand collection, called ‘Frosted Purple‘. Well, it officially became one of my favourite varnishes of all time, and I couldn’t wait to add more frosted shades to my collection. In particular I was trying to get hold of ‘Frosted Plum’, but the only bottle in my local Superdrug for months was a damaged one. Then, earlier this week, I noticed that they had a few more in stock, and luckily for me all of GOSH’s varnishes were on offer for £1.99 each! Obviously I bought it straight away and applied it when I got home, so today I thought I’d share the swatches with you.

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Like its purple counterpart, ‘Frosted Plum’ is a pleasure to apply, looks opaque in just one coat (although I applied two), and dries really quickly. It’s also rather hard-wearing, and stays put for a good few days without chipping, even without a base or top coat.

The best thing about it though is the colour.  The base shade, as you’d expect, is a beautiful deep plum purple, but throughout it are flecks of gold, bronze and bright pink, which give it a brilliant depth.  It looks absolutely amazing in the sun, and even indoors it still looks impressive.  The glitter in this one is a lot more consistently sized than in ‘Frosted Purple’, and I think it looks a bit like a caviar manicure.

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I’ll stand by my previous statement that GOSH’s Frosted Sand glitters are honestly the best glitters I’ve tried, and I will continue to add to my collection!  I have my eye on a couple of their spring pastel shades, ‘Soft Blue’ and ‘Soft Green’, which are also currently £1.99 in Superdrug (reduced from £3.99).

Will you be buying any of GOSH’s frosted glitters?

Naomi x

What I Wore: Rat Face

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The weather is finally starting to get warmer, which means my winter knits are gradually being replaced with t-shirts.  I love to throw on a baggy t-shirt on a lazy sunny day, and a recent addition to my collection is this awesome rat face tee from Tam’s Treasures, which retails for £21.99.

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The Mountain Big Face White Rat T-Shirt / Primark Dark Grey Skinny Jeans / Clarks Liberty Chorus Voice Shoes

There’s a somewhat ironic trend at the minute for big face animal t-shirts, and though I perhaps wouldn’t wear the clichéd wolf or tiger, this rat tee is just my thing.  I adore rats and like to think that I’m on a little campaign to clear their name, and thanks to Tam’s I can now do so loud and proud!  Also, the rat on this shirt looks just like my first rat, Crumble, which makes it that little bit more special.

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The t-shirt is by an American brand called The Mountain, and is from their Big Face Animals Collection.  It’s made from 100% cotton so is incredibly comfortable, and is prewashed and preshrunk so it’s already nice and soft and unlikely to shrink any further.  The colour is a lot more earthy than I usually go for, but I actually quite like it, especially as it’s tie-dyed by hand with water based inks.  It goes perfectly with my Liberty Chorus Voice shoes from Clarks!  The quality of the screen print is also very good, and looks and feels like it will stay put for a good while.

And of course, here’s the obligatory photo with one of my rats, as is the norm with my rat-based fashion!  This time, the model is Mog (excuse my odd face)…

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Tam’s stocks a HUGE range of unisex t-shirts from The Mountain (over 600 designs I do believe), as well as gifts and greeting cards, so there’s something (or several) for everyone.  As the shirts are made in America the sizing runs slightly larger than that in the UK and Europe, so it’s best to order down or check the measurements before ordering.  I went for a small, which is the smallest adult size (about a 10-12), and it fits perfectly.

To browse the full range at Tam’s Treasures, click here.  Delivery is free within the UK, and if you ‘like’ their Facebook page you can get an extra 10% off!

Which design would you choose?

Naomi x

*This Big Face White Rat T-Shirt was sent to me by Tam’s Treasures for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

Degustabox March 2014

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Last month I was given the chance to receive a Degustabox to review, and as a lover of food and surprises, how could I say no?  Degustabox is a monthly subscription box which contains between 10 and 15 surprise food items, some of which are new to the market.  Each box costs £12.99 including delivery, and there’s no obligation to keep your subscription.

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So, the March box.  My box was dispatched during the last week of March, and it arrived a couple of days later.  The service I received during the delivery process was really impressive, as I was sent a couple of texts and emails to say that my box was on its way and when it would be delivered, and when it did arrive the items inside were chilled, so you don’t have to worry about anything going off in transit.

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The box itself is really quite large, and comes packed full of items – I genuinely don’t think they could’ve squashed anything more in there!  In total, I received 15 individual items, none of which are particularly high-end, but pretty much all of them were new to me, which was exciting.

Here are my thoughts on each…

Drink Me Chocolate Chai Latte (RRP £2.55) and Earl Grey Tea Latte

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I was really excited to see these in the box as I already have Drink Me’s Spiced Chai Latte and it is gorgeous.  The Chocolate Chai Latte is better though, and is my favourite thing in the whole box.  The chocolate is dark and rich and slightly bitter, and the spices give it a hint of warming sweetness.  It actually tastes exactly like Lebkuchen which are my favourite Christmas treat, so this is a definite winner for me.

I haven’t yet tried the Earl Grey Latte so I can’t comment on its flavour, but I have high hopes.  Degustabox list these as being £6.50 for a multipack which seems quite expensive, but I checked online and they appear to be 32p per sachet in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, which is pretty reasonable.

MOMA! Plain and Cranberry and Raisin Porridge (RRP £1.50 each)

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These didn’t excite me at first, especially as I’m not keen on porridge made with water, but they’re quite nice.  They’re easy to make too and perfect for a quick breakfast on the go – just mix with boiling water, replace the lid, leave for three minutes, and voila!  Instant brekkie.  The oats are mixed with milk powder so the texture is lovely and creamy, and the overall flavour is comfortingly sweet.  The cranberries and raisins in the purple pot add a warm burst of fruitiness too.  A thumbs up from me, but at £1.50 each I don’t think I’ll be eating them every day of the week.

Shaken Udder Kids Milkshake (RRP £1.89 for 3)

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These little cartons of milkshake are perfect for kids.  The packaging is appealing, they come with a chunky straw and they’re just the right size for little hands.  I usually prefer thick and creamy milkshakes and these are quite thin in consistency, but they’re actually rather yummy.  I haven’t tried the banana one yet, but the other two have a really authentic flavour, probably due to the lack of anything artificial.  The chocolate one is my favourite so far.  These came with a couple of vouchers for a free pack of three, as well as a free ‘grown up’ bottle, so I’ll definitely be cashing those in.

Schwartz Italian Creamy Herb Tagliatelle and Spanish Paella Flavour Shots (RRP £1.40 each)

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A new addition to the Schwartz family, these little pots contain a blend of herbs and spices mixed with oil, to make cooking tasty meals quick and easy.  I used the Italian Creamy Herb Tagliatelle shot earlier this week and it was so simple to use.  The packaging has a recipe printed on it, and all you have to do is fry chicken (I used Quorn) in the flavour shot before adding sliced mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, creme fraiche and rocket, and mixing with cooked tagliatelle.  The meal took about 15 minutes to make in total and was absolutely delicious.  I highly recommend these!

Organico Italian Durum Wheat Pasta (RRP £1.49) and Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce (RRP 1.99)

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I’m yet to try these Organico products, but they’re both right up my street.  Organico source organic food made with sustainable, good quality ingredients, so there are no hidden nasties to be found.  I absolutely *love* brown pasta so I’m looking forward to using this, and the sauce looks fresh and beautiful.  These are on my meal list for next week!

Mexican Dave’s Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips (RRP £1.00) and Tyrrels Sweet and Salty Popcorn (RRP £1.80 for 6)

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I’d never heard of Mexican Dave’s before, but after trying these tortilla chips I’ll definitely be looking for them again.  They’re not as nice as Doritos in my opinion, but the flavour and crunch are fantastic, and they make excellent nachos!  I had these last weekend baked with spicy salsa and cheese and they were scrumptious.  In fact, I’ll be having them again this evening!

Tyrrels’ popcorn is a satisfying combination of salty and sweet, which may sound odd but it’s amazing.  You get quite a lot of popcorn in the bag, but at less than 70 calories this popcorn is the perfect guilt-free treat.  I’d probably grab a bag as part of my lunch or as an afternoon snack.

My only quibble with the March Degustabox is that it’s a bit too savoury.  I have a sweet tooth and was hoping for some sweet treats to munch on, but the only sweet things in the box are drinks and porridge.  Oh well, maybe next month.  Other than that I’m really pleased with the box, and luckily for me everything in it is vegetarian, and all of it is yummy, so nothing will go to waste and everything will be enjoyed!  As a current saver I probably wouldn’t buy a box every month, but as an occasional treat when you fancy some food inspiration, £12.99 isn’t bad.  I definitely prefer Degustabox over the more costly yet smaller Flavourly box that I’ve tried once before.

If you want to know more about Degustabox and this month’s products, you can visit their website here.  You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.

Will you be subscribing to Degustabox?

Naomi x

*This Degustabox was sent to me by Degustabox for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

CheckoutSmart App

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As my regular readers will know, I’m always looking for new ways to save money (I am saving up for a house after all!), and I recently came across a brilliant app that lets me do just that, whilst still enjoying good food.  CheckoutSmart makes ‘your supermarket shop more rewarding’, but rather than giving you coupons, it gives you money back on branded and own brand products that you’ve already bought.

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The app basically consists of a list of offers on featured items which, if you buy them, you can then get a certain amount of money refunded to you via the app.  To get the refund, all you have to do is select the supermarket you shopped at (Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Aldi or Lidl) and the date you were there, choose the offers you want to use, and then photograph your receipt.  Once the photos have uploaded, you then submit your claim and wait for your account to be credited!  In my experience, this can take everything from a few hours to a few days.  Then, once you have at least £5 in your CheckoutSmart account, the money can then be transferred to you via PayPal or into your bank account.

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I know what you’re thinking, sounds a bit dodgy…  But no!  I’ve used this app myself several times, and it is completely safe.  I chose to have my balance transferred into my bank account, and all the app asks for is your sort code and account number, and the payment was made the following Thursday (payments are always made on Thursdays).  Each transfer does incur a fee of 5%, but that’s only 25p off of every £5, which isn’t much really.

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The variety of offers is really impressive too.  They seem to be updated almost daily, and there’s a wide range of items to choose from, with everything from fruit and veg, bread and milk, and alcohol, to chocolate and ice cream, cleaning products, and even baby items.  Admittedly, you only get a little bit back on most items – 10p here and 20p there – but trust me, it soon adds up, especially as a lot of the featured items are weekly basics.  For instance, this week you can get 20p back on 4 pints of milk, 20p back on a bag of potatoes, and 30p back on yoghurt, amongst other things!

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My favourite offers though are the freebies.  Every now and then an offer will pop up that gives you the full amount back on certain items, so once you’ve made your claim you’re essentially getting them for free!  Last week I got a big bottle of Volvic flavoured water and a little box of Cadbury chocolates, and today I got a free box of McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes.  Such a great way to treat yourself, and everyone knows free food tastes better!

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Now that I’ve started to use CheckoutSmart, I’m even going to use it to plan my weekly meals around, as a lot of the items featured could be put together to make a meal.  This week, for example, you can get 20p back on Uncle Ben’s chilli sauce, 15p on Napolina kidney beans, 20p on supermarket own brand basmati rice, and 20p back on both onions and peppers.  Veggie chilli anyone?

To grab this app for yourself and get saving, you can download it from the App Store or Google Play for free.

What do you think of CheckoutSmart?  Will you be using it?

Naomi x

The Furry Friend Tag

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It’s been quite a while since I last posted a tag post, but when I saw Claire had shared this Furry Friend Tag on her blog, I just had to do it.  After all, I never pass up the chance to talk about my beloved ratties!  Plus it means I get to add a few recent photos that I’ve been meaning to share with you all.

So, without further ado, here are my two female rats, who are now over one year old, and have lived with me for eleven months!

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1. What are your pets’ names?

My two rats are called Miggley and Mog.

2. When did you get Miggley and Mog?

I got Miggley and Mog on 27th April 2013, when they were just seven weeks old.

3. What is something that Miggley and Mog do that annoys you?

I’ve had quite a few rats in my time and out of all of them, Miggley and Mog are definitely the most adventurous.  Especially Miggley, who likes to escape onto the floor and hide under my bed!  Her antics used to annoy me a little bit, but they don’t any more.  I just think it’s cute… rats will be rats!  But what does annoy me is when she fights with Mog.  Rats love to play fight, but Miggley can get quite rough and aggressive and sometimes hurts her sister, so I have to separate them for a while :(

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4. What type of breeds are Miggley and Mog?

Miggley is a brown and white hooded rat, and Mog is a black silvered Berkshire, but she has rusted a bit over time so she now looks brown.  Both have top ears, black eyes and standard coats.

5. Has Miggley or Mog ever had a near death experience?

No, I don’t think so – and I hope it stays that way!

6. Do Miggley and Mog know any tricks?

Both of them will chase paper and string, and they also know how to run an assault course around the living room.  They even jump across the gap between the armchair and the sofa.

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7. Do Miggley and Mog like to snuggle?

Miggley prefers to run around on the bed or the floor and get up to mischief, whilst Mog will happily sit inside my sleeve or cardigan.  Both of them like to snuggle at night though, and they both sleep inside my dressing gown for a few hours before I go to bed.

8. Where did you get Miggley and Mog?

I wanted to buy from a reputable breeder but I couldn’t find one nearby, so I settled for a local independent pet shop instead.  Luckily they are both healthy and have nice temperaments, but in the future I’ll definitely look again for a breeder.  I hope to breed rats myself one day too.

9. Do Miggley and Mog get along with other rats?

Well they get along with each other, and they were housed with two other rats when I bought them, so yes.  Once I have my own house I hope to get them a couple of friends.

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10. Do Miggley and Mog get along with strangers? 

Yes!  They both love it when my family visit or there are new people in the house.  They like to show off and perform their tricks, and will always accept fuss and treats from strangers.

11. How much do Miggley and Mog weigh?

I weighed them a few days ago and Miggley weighs 345g, and Mog weighs 330g.  Mog used to weigh more than Miggley but she’s overtaken her now.  They’re both a healthy weight though.

12. Do you ever dress Miggley and Mog up?

No, never.

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13. Have Miggley and Mog ever tried to run away?

Whenever they’re on my bed they’re constantly trying to get onto the floor, especially Miggley, but I don’t think they’d ever genuinely run away.  They don’t even escape when I leave their cage door open.

14. How did you come up with their names?

My dad used to tell me made up bedtime stories when I was a child about a frog called Miggley Mog.  I have fond memories of those stories and wanted to carry on the name!

15. How much do Miggley and Mog mean to you on a scale of 1-10?

10!  Without a doubt.

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Feel free to carry on the tag if you wish!  Please let me know if you do as I’d love to read about your lovely pets.

Naomi x

Heavy Spike Bracelet from Accessories Boutique

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I was recently contacted by the lovely Julie of independent jewellery retailer Accessories Boutique, who very kindly offered me the chance to choose a piece from her online store to review.  Accessories Boutique is a veritable, virtual treasure trove of individual pieces that have been specially chosen to suit all styles, and they stock everything from necklaces and bracelets, to scarves and bags.  There are hundreds of beautiful pieces available, so much so that it took me a while to choose one, but I eventually settled on this stunning Heavy Spike Bracelet, which retails for £18.00.

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I’ve always had a thing for studs and spikes on accessories, and used to wear a lot of them during my ‘Goth’ teen years, but unlike the cheap, tacky stuff I had back then, this bracelet is classy, eye-catching, and a bit more ‘grown up’.  It consists of five rows of high-shine metal spikes, which are blunted so they won’t snag on clothes, and are securely joined at the back and strung onto robust elastic.  As its name suggests, it is also quite heavy, but not to the point that it’s uncomfortable to wear.  Everything about this bracelet, especially the weightiness, oozes quality, and it is incredibly well made.  It fits really well too as it’s slightly curved, so has an elegant shape and sits neatly against the wrist.

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This is undoubtedly a statement piece which is perfect for the current Gothic and Biker trends, and it is also very versatile.  I usually wear a lot of thin bracelets stacked on top of each other, but this is so big and bold I can get away with wearing it on its own, with whatever I’m wearing that day, and it always grabs people’s attention.  In fact, I love it so much that I plan on featuring it in a few up and coming outfit posts, so check back soon for those.

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You can get your own Heavy Spike Bracelet, and loads of other gorgeous pieces, online at Accessories Boutique, and if you spend £20 delivery is free.

Happy shopping!

Naomi x

*This Heavy Spike Bracelet was sent to me by Accessories Boutique for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

Sport Relief 3 Miles

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This morning, my fiancé and I took part in the local Sport Relief event, and ran not one, but three miles!  The Sport Relief Games aim to bring the nation together to run, swim or cycle to raise money for charity, which will be spent by Comic Relief to change the lives of people living in the UK and abroad.  My fiancé and I ran as a team, and together we managed to raise more than our fundraising target, which I’m very pleased about!

The run was hard work, and I did have to slow to a walk a few times (I blame my complete lack of training), and the weather was unpredictable to say the least (rain and hail followed by hot sun), but it was actually a lot of fun.  In fact, the course we ran was about 3.6 miles in length, so we definitely worked hard for our sponsorship!

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This was my fifth charity run and I hope to do an even longer one next time – better get training!  Did you take part in a Sport Relief event this year?

Naomi x

Thrifty Finds No.3: Topshop Leather Bag

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Yesterday was a lovely sunny day in Leicester, and it saw the start of the car boot season!  I’m a sucker for a good car boot, so I forewent my Sunday lie-in and headed to Measham car boot, with a purse full of change, to see what treasures I could find.  As I expected, it was VERY busy, and though there were hundreds of stalls I only came away with a few bits and pieces.  In fact, all I bought was some pins and a tape measure for my sewing projects, which I’m pleased about as I needed them and they were an absolute bargain, and the best bargain of all… a real leather Topshop bag, which cost the princely sum of just £1!

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Admittedly, the bag is showing a few signs of use (a couple of studs are missing and the lining has been stitched in one place), but the leather is beautifully soft and in excellent condition, and it still has plenty of wear left in it.  I love the slightly slouchy style too.  I’d been looking for a generously sized plain black leather shoulder bag for months, and this is ideal.  It’s really roomy, with a large main compartment and smaller side and internal pockets – perfect for work or a shopping trip.

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Will you be going car booting this year?  What do you hope to find?

Naomi x

David Emanuel Spot Peplum Dress

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Up until recently I would never have even considered shopping in Bonmarché.  I’d been in there a few times with my mum and grandma, but everything was just a bit too… ‘mature’ for my style.  But then I was offered the chance to choose an item from the Bonmarché website to review, and suddenly my opinion was changed.  The item I chose is this gorgeous black and white polka dot dress from the new David Emanuel collection.  David Emanuel was the designer who created Princess Diana’s internationally loved wedding dress, and since then he has dressed countless female celebrities, and has sold collections in the likes of Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

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I absolutely love polka dots so it seemed only natural to go for this dress, and I’m glad I did.  The print is bold, but the cut of the dress is very sophisticated, so you can make a statement whilst still looking chic.  The front of the dress has a mock wrap effect, and a pretty peplum detail that sits just over the hip; both of which are extremely flattering, and the fabric is soft and stretchy for ultimate comfort.

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In terms of sizing, the dress is pretty generous.  I’m usually a size 10-12 and opted for a 12 in this style, but it is slightly roomy at the back so I should probably have gone for a 10.  This particular dress is available in sizes 10 to 24, and retails for £28 in all sizes.

I perhaps wouldn’t wear this dress casually as it’s a bit too smart for kicking around town in, but it would be absolutely perfect for the office or, as Bonmarché state, an ‘elegant occasion’.  It definitely looks the business teamed with a pair of elegant black heels!

Though the majority of Bonmarché’s stock is perhaps not very ‘me’, I’ve definitely learnt that you shouldn’t dismiss a shop based on prejudgments.  Even the most unlikely of places can have some hidden gems lurking on the rails, so it’s always worth having a browse to see what you can find!

If you like the look of this dress, or want to see the rest of David Emanuel’s Bonmarché collection, click here.

Naomi x

*This David Emanuel Spot Peplum Dress was sent to me by Bonmarché for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

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