Posts tagged Leicester
Arura Nini Heavy Knit Cardigan / Wrap London Lace Front Dress / Dr Martens Hazil Virginia Boots / Primark Tights / Sam Ryde Onyx Moon Pendant /
If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll probably know that I like my wardrobe to have a combination of cheap and cheerful, as well as luxury investment pieces, and I feel this outfit combines the two well!
This gorgeous heavy knit Nini cardigan was recently sent to me by a local luxury knitwear brand called Arura. Arura was founded in 2016, and specialises in creating diverse clothing and accessories, crafted on a limited basis in the UK and Europe.
The craftsmanship of the cardigan is fantastic, and it looks and feels so well made, as the wool is top quality with a softness and weight to it, and it’s also lined with a silky fabric. I just know this is going to be a staple piece in my wardrobe throughout autumn and winter as it’s so comfy and cosy, but I’m also getting use out of it during Spring. It makes for great outerwear on chilly days and evenings when a coat would be too much.
For this look I teamed the cardigan with a dress by Wrap London, which brand new would probably have cost around £100, but I managed to bag this one from a charity shop for just £3! As my outfits tend to consist of mostly black, I like to add interest by mixing textures or flashes of colour, and I love how the lace panel looks against the knit of the cardigan.
What would you pair the Nini cardigan with? Keep an eye out for future posts to see how else I style it!
A few weeks ago the Highcross in Leicester ran a two-day Spring Beauty Fix event, so I headed down on the Saturday to see what was going on.
I decided to get there early so I could appreciate the event before the centre got really busy, and already there was a buzz around what the Beauty Fix had to offer. There were several displays featuring this season’s fashion trends, with a colour consultant on hand to advise on the best colours to suit your style throughout Spring. I had a quick browse of the rails and spotted a cute dress covered in polka dots, which happens to be my favourite print for clothing, so I’m hoping to see more dotty items in the shops soon!
Another stand which caught my eye was the Beauty Amnesty, which invited shoppers to discard five unwanted items of make-up, in exchange for a £10 gift card to be spent on beauty items that day. A great deal considering several brands were offering discounts, and brands such as Nails Inc, Urban Decay and Hotel Chocolat were all giving beauty advice during the event!
There were also many offers to be had on the day in stores, and several freebies up for grabs. Rituals and Decleor were offering complimentary skincare consultations, and Rituals, YSL and Clinique also had free samples and items to give away.
Whilst at the event I also managed to do a bit of shopping, and whilst browsing Debenhams’ beauty offerings I spotted Ghost’s Eclipse fragrance, which I decided to treat myself to. Ghost perfumes are my all-time favourites, and Eclipse’s light floral and fruity notes will be perfect for the coming warm months. I also headed over to H&M as I wanted a new dress, and managed to get a lovely grey number, as well as some cute mouse slippers.
Overall it was a fun day, and I’m looking forward to the next event that Highcross puts on, as they’re always enjoyable.
I’d been hoping for Krispy Kreme to come to Leicester’s Highcross shopping centre ever since it was redeveloped in 2008, and I know this was a wish shared by many. And now, after years of waiting, thanks to popular demand, Leicester finally has its first kiosk! The kiosk, which is located on the ground floor of Highcross outside Tiger, launched on 14th February, with 170 people waiting in line before it even opened. Unfortunately I was unable to make it down on opening day, but I made a visit last weekend to grab myself some much coveted doughnuts!
I got there just before the kiosk opened at 10:30am, and there was already a queue forming. The kiosk is bigger than I was expecting, with a full-size cabinet full of sweet treats, hot and cold drinks available, and a fairly large seating area. I was also impressed by the staff that I met, who were all friendly and efficient.
At any one time, Krispy Kreme has around fifteen different varieties to choose from, and you can buy them singly or in threes, or you can choose one of their boxes – original glazed dozen, assorted dozen, or choose your own dozen. I got the assorted dozen, which featured twelve of Krispy Kreme’s best sellers, including my two all-time favourites – Strawberries and Kreme, and Chocolate Dreamcake.
I also spotted Krispy Kreme’s two latest limited edition offerings in the cabinet, both of which I will be going back for. The Lotus Caramelised Biscoff doughnut is filled with biscuit spread-infused Kreme, and is topped with biscuit spread icing, biscuit crumb and white chocolate shavings. The Reese’s Peanut Butter doughnut is filled with, you guessed it, Reese’s peanut butter! It’s then finished off with chocolate icing, hazelnuts, and Reese’s peanut butter drops.
Krispy Kreme is very much a welcome addition to Leicester, and I’m looking forward to visiting again soon!
On Thursday, myself and Charles attended a VIP event at the Leicester Cinema de Lux, for the launch of the new XPlus screen, with a release day screening of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.
The event started with a drinks reception in the swanky Director’s Lounge, complete with red carpet. For an hour we were showered with glasses of Prosecco, canapés and lovely little desserts. I particularly enjoyed the mini millionaire’s shortbread which was dusted with gold glitter! We also spotted a few Leicester Tigers rugby players in the crowd.
We then headed up to the XPlus screen, which I was really excited about, and I wasn’t disappointed. As soon as we entered the auditorium I was amazed to see the size of the screen. I knew it was going to be big, but it was even bigger than I expected. It’s literally floor to ceiling, wall to wall, and also slightly curved.
Everyone at the event was treated to yet more refreshments in their seats – a drink, and a bag of popcorn, along with a couple of other goodies. When everyone was settled, the manager of Cinema de Lux, and one of the main men at Dolby both gave a speech. They explained that Leicester’s XPlus screen is one of only five in the country, and is designed to give a premium, immersive cinema experience. The screen is in fact 60 feet wide by 20 feet high, and provides sharp imagery, on point brightness, and vibrant colour.
Another special aspect of the XPlus experience is the sound. The auditorium features a Dolby Atmos sound system, and is fitted with over fifty speakers, which provide 360° sound. Having speakers all over the walls and ceiling, which are controlled by sound specialists, allows for dialogue to follow the characters, and for sound effects to come in at all angles, providing sound which completely envelops the audience. Before the film the sound system was demonstrated with thunder-storm sound effects, and I was blown away. The sound of rain and thunder flooded the room from all angles, and I actually got goosebumps because it felt so real.
After the introductions we got to watch The Hunger Games. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the film that much, and I’m not sure it was the right film to show off the Dolby Atmos sound system, but the XPlus definitely improved the viewing experience.
I’m incredibly impressed by the XPlus screen, and after experiencing it once I’m sure a ‘normal’ cinema screen will now just look and sound inadequate. I can imagine the immersive sound working really well for action movies, and I bet it would make horror movies even more scary if you could hear things coming up behind you!
The last couple of months have been ridiculously busy and stressful for Charles and I, what with us both starting new jobs and moving house. This weekend was the first in many that we had time to spend on ourselves, doing whatever we wanted, so that’s exactly what we did! Seeing as Friday was pay day, we spent Saturday shopping, eating in our favourite bar, and in the evening we went to the annual bonfire and fireworks display at the local park.
A relaxed weekend called for a relaxed outfit, and as there is finally an autumn chill in the air, and I was spending most of the day (and evening) outside, it had to be warm too!
These red embroidered trousers are a new purchase of mine. They’re by a French label called Blue Rags, but I actually got them from Everything5Pounds. Most of my wardrobe is black, but I like to add a splash of colour here and there, and these trousers are the ideal shade for Autumn. They’re incredibly soft and comfortable and the detail of the embroidery is stunning. I also ordered a pair in black and I’m so glad I did as they’re a real statement piece.
My Dr Martens Lauren boots are another new purchase. They have that buckled biker look that I adore, so they match my biker jacket, but they’re not as clumpy as a lot of my other Dr Martens. I’ve been wearing these a lot over the last few weeks, casually with jeans, but also with my work dresses, and I think they look great. I walk to work so it’s essential that I have a warm, comfy, waterproof, sturdy pair of boots for the winter, and these tick all the boxes.
Over the last few months I’ve been trialling a hair treatment from a small hair care company called Old Wives Tail. Old Wives Tail specialise in luxury organic hair treatments, all of which are handmade, vegetarian and vegan, and free of gluten, parabens and sulfates. They’re also animal friendly and aim to eradicate animal testing in the beauty industry, so 10% of their profits go to charities which save animals from being tested on.
The treatment I’ve been using is the Jojoba and Clove Organic Oil Treatment, which retails for £13.99 for a 100ml jar. The treatment is described as a ‘hydrating, natural and balancing hair treatment for dull, thinning, brittle or broken hair’. My hair is quite unusual in that, though it can get quite oily at the roots, the ends get very dry and split easily, especially during colder months, and the overall look is very limp, lifeless and damaged. I opted for this particular treatment as, according to the Old Wives Tail website, ‘jojoba oil gets to work at penetrating every hair follicle to add strength, volume and texture to weak, lifeless hair’, which is just what I want.
The treatment has a very strong aroma of cloves, which hits you as soon as you open the jar, but it isn’t too overpowering as it is offset with a slight sweetness. It’s also quite a dense treatment, with a slightly waxy texture, but as it warms in your fingers it melts into a smooth oil that glides through damp hair incredibly easily.
The directions for use say to massage the product into your scalp, and to leave it on for one hour before washing out with shampoo and water, and conditioning the ends of your hair. As a ‘wash and go’ kinda girl, an hour is quite a long time to wait, so this isn’t a treatment I would use on a daily or weekly basis, but it’s great for a fortnightly or monthly pamper session at the weekend. Especially as it gives quite an intense treatment.
I’ve used the treatment a few times now and the results are brilliant. A little goes quite a long way, so though the jar is small, it will last a good while. The product massages in nicely and feels lovely and soothing on the scalp. When I first used it I was slightly worried that, being an oil, it would leave my hair feeling greasy, but it washes out well with shampoo, although I find it takes a little while to wash out completely. After blow drying and straightening my hair, the difference is really noticeable. It leaves my hair looking silkier and fuller, and the result is also long-lasting.
Unfortunately, as I’ve had an incredibly hectic couple of months, I haven’t yet managed to get any before and after photos of my hair, but I will be updating this post within the next week or two, so check back soon.
All Old Wives Tail products are available online here, and they cater for all hair types. They offer free worldwide delivery on any order too!
*This Jojoba & Clove Organic Oil Hair Treatment was sent to me by Old Wives Tail for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
When it comes to nail products, Barry M are one of my favourite brands, so when they announced a flurry of new shades for Autumn/Winter 2014, I was incredibly excited! As well as adding new colours to their Gelly, Silk, Classic and Aquarium ranges, and releasing some gorgeous Christmas glitters, Barry M have also launched the new Glitterati collection. Glitterati features six ‘blinging’ glitter paints, and they really caught my eye when I first saw them on Instagram.
So far I’ve only picked up three shades from the new selection – Rockstar and Fashion Icon from Glitterati, and the new Aquarium Glitter, Atlantis. I’ll be posting about each shade individually over the coming weeks, plus any more that I end up buying, but today’s NOTD is Fashion Icon.
Blue and purple are two of my favourite and most worn colours, so I was immediately drawn to this beautiful shade. Fashion Icon has a purple base with a blue duochrome effect, and is packed full of micro glitter, some of which is holographic. I find this shade so mesmerizing as it looks different every time I look at it. It goes from electric blue to grape purple to bright violet in one movement, whilst all the time remaining strikingly sparkly.
All of my swatches show three thin coats, with no base coat or top coat, which I think looks great, but I bet it’d look just as gorgeous layered over a deep purple shade.
I’ve also found Fashion Icon to be impressively hard-wearing. Despite spending the whole day cleaning, unpacking boxes and generally being busy, my nails look just as good as they did when I first painted them.
I can really see this wonderful shade becoming one of my all time favourite glitters, and I can’t wait to swatch Rockstar to see if it’s as stunning as this one.
Barry M’s Glitterati nail paints cost £3.99 each, and are available in store and online from Superdrug and Boots, and online from Barry M.
Earlier today I was lucky enough to attend the invitation-only press preview of the new Urban Outfitters store in Leicester, ahead of their official launch tonight. The store is located at the heart of the city in the Highcross shopping centre (right on the edge so it’s easy to find!), and spans two large floors, with womenswear downstairs, and menswear, home and gifts and fitting rooms upstairs.
As soon as I entered the store I could tell that it had a great vibe. The Urban Outfitters team have worked hard to transform what was once a fairly dark and claustrophobic space, into a far more open and vibrant one, which has the subtle industrial look that you expect from Urban Outfitters, with its bare floors and reclaimed metal and wooden interior. Vintage and alternative curios are also spread throughout the store giving it a fun and quirky edge, and hand painted contemporary art and wording adorn the walls. I even got to see some of it being done!
The store boasts a really eclectic mix of brands and styles, including own label collections such as Pins & Needles and Worland, but also well-known brands such as Converse and Levi’s, and up and coming labels like Cheap Monday and Native Rose. I spotted a great mix of edgy basics and classic designs, as well as bolder, more creative pieces (including a very spacey looking silver mini skirt!), that at the same time keep an urban, on-trend theme.
The accessories, gifts and homeware don’t come as an afterthought either. Everything is displayed so beautifully, and items of jewellery, hair accessories and nail varnishes are dotted around the shop so you can really get a feel of how to style different items throughout the store. Everything just seems to fuse together so perfectly, making for an easy and pleasant shopping experience.
I really enjoyed browsing the new store before it opened, and it was nice to meet some of the Urban Outfitters team too. I even got to choose a gift to take away with me, so I went for a beautiful black burnout floral cardigan that will be great for layering during the coming autumn and winter months. I’m sure you’ll be seeing it in an outfit post or two very soon!
As my regular readers will know, a few weeks ago I was offered a new job, which I start on 8th September. Such good news was a great excuse for me to go shopping, especially as I don’t really have many work-suitable clothes, so over the last week I’ve been buying quite a few new bits. I haven’t done a haul post in a while, so I thought now would be a good time to do one, featuring purchases from a local carboot sale, as well as the stuff I bought yesterday whilst shopping with my mum, from H&M, La Senza, and Primark. Most of what I bought is for my new job, but I’d actually wear most of it out of work too, and I also have a few non-work items. So without further ado, here is my latest collective haul!
Thrifted Papaya Polka Dot Peplum Top £1 / H&M Black Super Stretch Straight Leg Trousers £7.99 / Primark Black Suedette Flat Shoes £6
Primark Long Black Lace Shirt £10 / Primark Black Skinny Jeans £7 each (I bought two pairs, one of which I plan on customising) / Shoes as before
Primark Polka Dot Cardigan £8
Primark Stripe Long Sleeve Top £4
Thrifted Zara Flying Squirrel T Shirt 50p
La Senza Knickers £1 each
Total Spend: £54.49
I also recently placed an order on DressLink.com, but I am going to do a separate post about those purchases (possibly a YouTube video) as I want to share more details about my experience of the site.
What do you think of my new haul items?
This year I’ve been trying to add more summer basics to my wardrobe, and after browsing countless online and high street stores, House of Fraser have really come up trumps. Though House of Fraser stock a lot of premium brands, they also sell a wide range of more affordable brands, so you can add staple pieces to your wardrobe on a budget, that can be worn year in year out.
House of Fraser recently challenged me to pick some summer items to style, up to the value of £30. I thought the best way to go for this challenge would be simple and versatile – things that could be dressed up or down and paired with different things to create different looks – so I opted for this plain Jane Norman Maxi Vest Dress, and a cute little Ziba 3D Skull Bracelet.
Jane Norman Maxi Vest Dress / Ziba 3D Skull Bracelet / Primark Sandals / Alexander McQueen Cateye Sunglasses / Juno Black Patent Grab Bag
The dress is made from a light jersey fabric, so is very cool and comfortable, and the vest section is lined so you don’t have to wear a bra on hot summer days. I think the dress looks great as it is, but it also looks amazing with a sparkly cropped jacket and clutch for a glamorous evening look. This is currently discounted from £20 to £12, which is incredibly cheap for such a lovely piece.
I chose the Ziba Skull 3D Bracelet for several reasons. For one, I love skulls and covet anything with a skull on it, but this year I’ve also really started to love fine and delicate pieces of jewellery. I used to always wear big chunky items, but the beauty of bracelets like this is you can layer them together, but if it’s too hot to be wearing a thick wedge of bangles, they look elegant and lovely worn alone. This particular bracelet was £9 when I chose it, down from £12, but it’s now only £6 so is even more affordable. Also, if skulls aren’t your thing, the Ziba range has loads of other designs to choose from. I especially like their cute little owl.
In total, my House of Fraser items have a value of £32, but with the online discount they now come in at £18, which is a pretty good saving. I’ll definitely be going back to House of Fraser in the future to look for more affordable basics. Also, why not check out their current range of maxi dresses and bracelets?
*This Jane Norman Maxi Vest Dress and Ziba 3D Skull Bracelet were sent to me on behalf of House of Fraser, for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*