Posts tagged Bewitchery
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!
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.
Will you be going car booting this year? What do you hope to find?
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.
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.
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.
*This David Emanuel Spot Peplum Dress was sent to me by Bonmarché for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
For me, blogging is so much more than just sitting down with my laptop and reeling something off in a few minutes. It involves planning, making notes when the moment strikes, drafting, taking and editing photos, organising my time, and of course, writing and publishing the final post! Over time I’ve noticed that I’ve hoarded quite a lot of stationery to aid these stages, so I thought I’d share with you my stationery essentials for the process of blogging.
As a writer, and an Academic Support Worker, I always carry notebooks and copious amounts of pens with me at all times, as I need them for my work. But I have special notebooks that are dedicated to just blogging. I carry a little one with me in my handbag so I can make notes when I’m inspired whilst out and about, and I use a bigger one at home to roughly draft post ideas, make lists of upcoming posts, and doodle nail art designs etc.
I use sticky notes a lot when I need to remind myself of something, such as sending invoices or replying to PR emails. My notebooks and bedside table are covered in them!
I love to have a highlighter or two handy so I can highlight important points in press releases. It just makes getting all the relevant information into a post that little bit easier!
After 3 years my laptop is well and truly on its way out, so just to be safe I like to back up my blog posts and photos on a USB stick. That way they’re portable too, so I can organise posts on someone else’s computer or laptop if needs be.
Not an essential, but I like to be organised, so I use these to keep press releases neatly together!
After all this planning and prepping, I like to settle down on the sofa with my laptop and a cheeky chocolate treat, and type away whilst I have something good on TV in the background.
What are your stationery must haves for blogging?
*This stationery was sent to me on behalf of Viking Direct for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I’ve been wanting Illamasqua’s Speckled nail polishes ever since they were released, but at £14.50 each I just couldn’t justify buying them. Then, whilst queueing in Primark at the weekend, I spotted this Spotty nail polish, which is a dupe of Illamasqua’s Speckle – their discontinued speckled lilac shade. And the best part? Primark’s Spotty was discounted from £2 to just £1!
The polish has a creme base, and is crammed full of black glitter and micro glitter, which in the right light has a beautiful holographic sheen. The overall finish reminds me of a Cadbury Mini Egg, which is perfect for Spring and the run up to Easter! The polish has a smooth consistency and applies evenly, giving opaque coverage in two coats, but it takes a while to dry. Not ideal, but not really a problem if you’re not in a rush.
My only issue with the polish is that, when I first used it, lots of little air bubbles got trapped underneath (as you can see above), so it looked and felt a bit lumpy. It could’ve been due to the base coat I used though, so next time I’ll give it a miss to see if it makes a difference.
In terms of staying power, I wore this for three days before removing it, and by that point it had barely chipped at all. I imagine it would last for almost a week before starting to look scruffy.
Overall, this is a lovely, pretty polish, and I’m so pleased I finally have a speckled polish in my collection. I just wish I’d picked up the other shades too!
What do you think of my bargain find?
I’m not usually one for wearing skirts, but for some reason today felt like a skirt day, so I decided to wear one out for lunch with family at my favourite country pub. I recently picked up this lace midi skirt on sale at Primark for just £3 (yes, £3!) It’s lined with a silky teal fabric which contrasts beautifully with the black lace, and it’s so pretty and intricate it only really needs a basic top to go with it!
For a slightly Victorianesque Gothic look, I finished the outfit with my lace up Dr Martens Regina brogue heeled boots, and my stunning Raven Alchemy necklace. Alchemy are a company close to my heart as they’re based in my hometown, and I own quite a few of their pieces, but this is one of my favourites as it’s based on my favourite Edgar Allan Poe poem, ‘The Raven’. Of course I also had to add my trusty Juno patent grab bag, which I reviewed here last week.
What do you think of this look?
When I was a teenager, my footwear of choice was always Converse. I had bright ones, plain ones, printed ones, even tie dye ones, but for some unknown reason I stopped wearing them a few years ago, and moved on to boots and heels. But all that changed when I spotted this pair of beauties on the John Lewis website…
This particular pair of Hi-Tops are a new style, and are made of soft black suede, so they’re a bit warmer and a bit thicker, but just as comfortable and casual as their canvas counterparts. They also feel really soft and luxurious to the touch. What first drew me to them was the all over polka dot print as I’m crazy about polka dots, and I love the combination of large and small silver dots. The grey laces are also a nice touch, as they blend in better than the usual glaringly white laces.
I’ve worn these almost every day this week, and I’ve had a lot of fun styling them in different ways. One day I wore them with jeans and a jumper, another day with a skater dress and leggings, and yesterday with a somewhat smarter dress, and they looked great with everything. That’s the beauty of Converse… They’re just so versatile!
I’ve well and truly fallen back in love with Converse All Stars, and I’m looking forward to wearing my polka dot pretties all Spring long. I have a new black mini skirt that I can’t wait to pair them with! You can find these and many other Converse styles online at John Lewis.
*These Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Printed Suede Hi-Top Trainers were paid for using vouchers that were sent to me. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
A couple of weeks ago I noticed on Twitter that canvas printing company CanvasDesign were looking for bloggers to review one of their canvases. I immediately got in touch as I’m hoping to move in with my fiancé soon, and am currently looking for nice things to hang on our walls, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity! CanvasDesign were happy to send me a canvas, and I knew exactly what I wanted it to have on it… My favourite photo of my fiancé and I taken at our recent Masters graduation.
CanvasDesign asked me to send them a high quality image (around 500KB), so I did, and within 48 hours the canvas was on my doorstep. I have to admit, I was VERY surprised when I received the canvas as the packaging was HUGE, which I wasn’t expecting, and I was lucky enough to be sent a massive 30″ x 20″ canvas. And it is beautiful.
The quality of the canvas is very high as it is made from 100% cotton, and it comes on a solid, sturdy pine frame. The back is also nicely finished, and looks incredibly neat and professional, and the image hasn’t suffered at all from being enlarged. Rather, it looks clear and vibrant.
A portrait canvas of this size usually costs just £29.99, which is ridiculously cheap, especially considering the cost of graduation photography prints! It was well over £50 for a standard pack at my graduation, which I couldn’t afford, so I’m so pleased that I now have this memento of the day. So, if you have a relatively good camera, and a friend or relative who’s good at photography (my dad took this picture), using CanvasDesign would be a great way to save money on photos of special events. Imagine how lovely a wedding, anniversary or new baby photo would look on a canvas like this!
Overall, I am so, so happy with my canvas. I can’t get over how big it is, the quality is amazing, the service was spot on, and I even got a free hanging kit with my order. I love my canvas, and it’s going to take pride of place in my new home, but for now it’s hanging in my bedroom and it looks fab.
To check out CanvasDesign’s full range of canvas sizes and services, click here. You can also get 15% off all orders using the code ‘BLOG15′!
* This personalised canvas was sent to me by CanvasDesign for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Last Friday was my birthday, and I was lucky enough to receive lots of lovely gifts from my friends and family – some that I’d asked for, and some that were a complete surprise! So, as promised in my birthday outfit post, here is a little haul post for those who are interested.
My mum got especially crafty for my birthday this year. She actually crocheted the blanket you can see in the photos above, as an extra special gift, and she even made my birthday card by hand. With a heart and rose theme as it was Valentine’s Day! Look how beautiful it is…
Oh and I’m also waiting on an amazing necklace from my dad that I plan on styling in an outfit post asap, so keep an eye out for that.
Thanks everyone for my gorgeous presents
Yesterday was my birthday, and my fiancé and I went out for a lovely birthday/Valentine’s lunch at one of my favourite bars. It might have been freezing cold and chucking it down with rain, but I was determined to wear the beautiful black jersey maxi dress that my mum gave me as a gift, so I layered it up with tights, my Primark faux leather biker jacket, and my Fraas stars & skull wrap.
This wrap is my go-to piece to add a splash of colour to any outfit, and the great thing is it’s reversible, so you can alter the shade to suit your mood. The combination of pink, orange and purple is really pretty, and the stars and skull pattern is right up my street. It’s made of high quality wool too so it’s beautifully soft and warm; perfect for this time of year.
Wet weather also calls for trusty boots and a waterproof bag, so I wore my Grace Denise floral Dr Martens to colour match the scarf, and this stunning Juno patent grab bag from Where Shall I Wander. I used to only ever use shoulder bags, but lately I’ve really started to appreciate classic, structured handbags like this one (although it does come with a detachable shoulder strap). I absolutely adore the contrast of gold on shiny black, and for patent it’s pretty classy looking.
Another thing I love about the bag is how it fastens. It zips along the top but also partly down the sides, so no water can get in whatsoever, but when it’s unzipped it expands so it’s really roomy, with one main compartment and three little pockets. I use it to carry my camera around with me as I don’t have to worry about it getting wet.
If you want to see what I got for my birthday, check back soon for a little haul post!
*The Fraas Tonal Stars & Skull Wrap and Juno Black Patent Grab Bag were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Over the last year or two a throwback trend has been creeping back onto the fashion scene, and it looks like it’s here to stay! Whether it’s a pair of retro-style hi tops, or a more modern pair of sleek running shoes, trainers have been popping up all over the place lately, and they’re no longer just for wearing to the gym.
Spotted in fashion magazines around the world, it’s now the in thing to be teaming a pair of eye-catching trainers with not only casual daytime looks, but also chic and smart outfits that wouldn’t look amiss at work, or in a fancy restaurant. Trainers are definitely becoming more versatile, and are set to be a big trend in 2014. My 1990s inner child is really rather pleased, I must say!
I’ve recently been browsing the net for trainers to see what’s out there, and there are a LOT of styles, colours and even patterns to choose from. Here are just a few of my favourites…
Clockwise from Top Left:
Nike Air Pegasus+ 30 Running Shoes / Lacoste Marcel Mid Purple Hi Top Trainers / Adidas Supernova Solution 3W adiwear Running Shoes / Vans Sk8-Hi Suede Inca Trainers / Puma Suede / Converse All Star Two Fold Hi III Trainers / Nike Zoom Vomero+ 8 Running Shoes / Nike Air Pegasus+ 29 Running Shoes
My star pick of this bunch has to be the Nike Air Pegasus+ 30 Running Shoes from Millet Sports. I love their stylish shape, and the colour is just beautiful. Imagine how cute they’d look with a classic black skater dress and some colour matching jewellery!
Will you be investing in any trainers this year?
*This post is a collaboration.*