April 2013tori's tales: April 2013

26 April 2013

An apologetic tale (feat. a special little man!)

I'm going to apologise (such behaviour seems rife at this time of year!) in advance for a brief hiatus of actual, real, life-sized posts due to my current uni-work-riddled situation. This post shall be short, a haiku of posts, just to say right now I'm in limbo-land, suspended between the happiness of a trip to Birmingham this past Tuesday with two wonderful gal-pals and a future trip to the Harry Potter Studio, and the misery of stressful bouts of revision and essay-writing. Come Wednesday, aka deadline-day, I should have time to write something good and proper.

For now, I shall finish this post with a big massive Happy Birthday to my favouritist most wonderful monkey, whose gorgeous face I am getting to see on Sunday. I can't wait!!

Back when we were both a little younger :)

23 April 2013

The tale of my first bloggers meet!

Last Saturday, the 13th, I attended my first ever bloggers meet - the much-tweeted about (and on the day trending!) #NottsBBMeet. It came in two parts - a day event, during which a vast majority of the some-55 bloggers that attended visited Kiehl's to have a little chat about the brand and have a skin consultation (plus drink some bubbly and eat some cake, obviously I was right at home!) plus a jolly-good shop, and an evening meal that unfortunately I missed out on getting a space on, (but it looked like they all had a fab time, and enjoyed themselves some mighty cocktails!), all of which took place about 5 mins from my door (handy, aye?!!)
The original image can be see on Ally's post all about the day - here
New found buds Meg, Carmen, Beca, Sarah, oh and me, before the chop!
Now, I was a little worried before the meet up, not necessarily about meeting people, but about the fact that it was classed as a 'BB' - that's beauty bloggers for those not in the know! - meet and I thought I might be out of my depth, or not fit in because I wouldn't have anything to add to anyone's conversations regarding the  newest/cult/best and so on products the beauty world has to offer. However, this worry went away almost instantly, for once I had arrived and the nerves had died down and I was able to just get on with chatting, I realised that everyone was there to just enjoy their day regardless of conversation topic (and that everyone had their own nerves to contend with, as is always the way!).

Kiehl's in all it's reflection-y glory!
I decided to take part in the Kiehl's trip because I've never before had a skin consultation (gasp!) and liked the idea of hearing what someone has to say about my skin (apparently it looks good for my age, score!), as well as finding out about the products they have on offer as I knew little, if anything, about the brand. My skin, inevitably, is the oiliest of oily, so my lovely consultant-lady (I don't know the proper job-title, nor did I catch her name!) steered me in the direction of the products that would suit (which seemed to be plenty!). She ended up testing them on my face as I don't wear foundation and I wanted to get a proper idea of how things would feel on it. I have to say I could notice a difference in my skin the next morning (the testers were used on one side only too and I could feel a difference between the two!). Unfortunately, as lovely as it all was, I just can't afford anything recommended, but I was thoroughly impressed by the time and effort the lovely ladies put into the morning and really do thank them for it. Not only that but they've both emailed and written to us since, to thank us for coming, and also to offer up a sample of body lotion which I thought was a great little touch. It would be nice to revisit in the future, but it may have to be at a time when I'm not reliant on a student loan!

My constant door companion
Bubbly, OJ (I chose the former!) and some of the cakes on offer (I had the first one!)
A few of the products I was told would work best for my skin type - the cleanser, toner and moisturiser (or rather,
gel cream)
I have to say that the most wonderful thing about the day, for me, was that I got the chance to meet and chat to so many lovely ladies, some of whom lived locally, some of whom had travelled miles to be there (that's bloggers dedication for you!). I even found myself a new Nottingham buddy in the form of Meg (from Made In A Cup - read about her take on the day here). We had chatted on twitter before the meet, as was the case with a fair few of the ladies from the day, but it really was lovely to finally meet in person and have a good old chat about life and things in Nottingham/at the University. We even managed to pop off and have lunch together (egg and red onion sandwiches - if our aim was to scare others off then this sandwich choice seems quite the reliable way to do so!) before meeting back up with some new found friends for a final shopping push in the Victoria Centre.

As I know the city I was able to show a few of the girls around, or rather, show them to Cow vintage - the shop we spent the majority of our time. Ally is a brand ambassador/blogger for Cow's Sheffield branch and she sure did both the High Street and vintage proud on the day (check out what she what she wore). Carmen (she of the ever-splendid hair!) instantly found herself a fab jacket (and when I say instantly I sure as heck mean it - it literally took her all of about 5 secs to clap her eyes on it!); I was rather impressed by her awesome shopping skills!! I had hoped to recreate them myself however I sadly came away empty-handed, but I did enjoy my first proper root-around the store (I normally find it a little daunting on my own!).

Meg, Ally and Carmen enjoying a browse!
Check city?!
Just in case downstairs wasn't enough...
...the upstairs further whets your appetite!
I also popped, very briefly  into Lush to make myself known in real-life to the darling Ellie, who (as I mentioned in this post) truly is the loveliest, smiliest, happiest person I have ever come across (oh, a major congratulations must go out to her for being short-listed for Company Style Blogger Awards 'Best Teen Blog' - a much-deserved accolade, and one I'm 100% behind - get your voting fingers at the ready!) so its no wonder Lush hired her, who wouldn't want to be welcome by her adorable face?!

My biggest thanks go out to the wonderful Tattooed Tea Lady herself, Miss Sophia, and the three other gals - Sophie, Amiiee and Jess - who organised this event. Not only did it gave me the opportunity to meet other bloggers (gosh, I'm still not sure I can really call myself that!) but it also offered me my very first, proper, socialising experience in these 7 months I've been living in Nottingham with new people in the city. And that's quite something. I hadn't actually picked up on this fact until the evening before, when I realised that, yes, I do see people - I go to university which obviously offers me a great number of faces to stare and chat at on occasion -  but not once had I been out (apart from with my lovely family members who have visited on a few of occasions - one of which I shall be posting about very soon!) and spent time chatting, shopping and getting to know some new people in this city I now call 'the place that I live' (yes it's a mouthful but 'home' shall be forever reserved for that special house in Otterbourne). I am entirely grateful to have been a part of it; it felt like a new start of sorts.

Moving away from home isn't easy, even when you are a big, grown-up adult-type-person like myself. I loved living with my parents, and my brother, and having all my wonderful family members and friends close to me, close enough that I could see then whenever I wanted (ha, or as often as not being able to drive allowed me to!). Although moving away, I realise, is ultimately a good thing for me - because it set me off on a journey that has changed me somewhat, and pretty much forced me to actually take that big step/leap towards proper adulthood - it hasn't come without it's worries, and one of those has been lack of contact with people outside the world my boy and I live in. Sometimes I crave a little female companionship, or a natter that doesn't need my brain to exert itself (politics/philosophy/Roman culture anyone?!) and the bloggers meet-up fed that crave, as did the Lush Swap Shop that I attended. Both made me feel a part of this city, more than I ever have done since we moved here back in September. I've got to know Nottingham through the eyes of those who haven't visited before, or don't visit it often, and that has meant me discovering it all over again and realising how lucky I am to have it all outside my door (2 min walk to the city's shops? Yes please!). So thank you to everyone who organised and attended the meet. You've helped in ways you probably didn't even realise; you've done your bit in creating a happier Tori.

And.....that's it really. Why did that take me so long to write, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine!

18 April 2013

The tale of an evening 'Swap Shop' trip to Lush!

A teeny heads-up (I have never before used this phrase in my life, so god knows why I'm using it now!); I'm definitely not one for writing things in the order in which they occur, so if my chopping and changing between the events/situations/places/times/days etc. I talk about causes some sort of motion sickness then I can only offer my sincerest apologies and a semi-promise that I will endeavour to do things in a more orderly fashion from now on (ok, after this post).

Yesterday evening I attended Lush Nottingham's very first 'Spring Swap Shop' in aid of Emmanuel House, a local charity that offers stability to the homeless and the vulnerable through daily support services, such as the offer of daily meals, a hairdresser's, a computer room and an allotment (for more information, please follow through to their website).

The idea was as follows; drop in 5 items of clothing and receive 5 tokens in return that you could then use to 'purchase' 5 of the items brought in by your fellow swap shoppers. A pretty simple, yet fab-sounding, concept you say?! You'd be right! I dropped my items off during the day, on the way through from my physio 'session' (anyone else HATE phsyio as much as I do?!), then got back there just in time (ok, 10 minutes early, thus I proceeded to hang around outside like some sort of Lush-worker groupee) for the 6pm opening. Outside I met up with Becky, and her friend Alice, and the 3 of us trundled in the front door, ready to pay our £1 entry-fee (bargain!) and collect our tickets. Once inside we were met by Immy (she recognised me from my blog, say whuuut?!) who kindly pointed us in the right direction (I instantly clocked snacks and refreshments, result!) and we made our way down to the tables/rails that had been put up for the evening. Ellie was there, waiting and hanging stuff up ready, and was completely adorable as ever; it was so nice to see and chat to her again after our brief meeting on Saturday (yes, I've yet to post about the meet-up that happened, but don't worry, I will). I then made my way through the rails, slowly, and on multiple occasions throughout the good hour and a half I was there, on the hunt for items, and I can happily say I made it to the magic number, yay! I'm not sure I'll pull them all off but, hey, I've got to at least try!

Lush in all it's swap shop glory
A lovely jewellery stand by Little Teacup Jewellery (offering some really decently priced pieces) and my goodies!
I also popped back up to the top of the store a few times to have a little browse of the stock. After speaking to Meg on Saturday about what had happened at the Lush bloggers meet a few weeks back (I missed it due to my being at home), I was intrigued to learn more about the products in their 'Emotional Brilliance Wheel' (for any of those who don't know what this is, the website will do a better job than I at explaining it, so I suggest popping over there once you're all done here!). Although I didn't have a go at spinning the wheel in the shop, I did manage to grab a hold of (poor!) Immy and ask her to explain the products. It sounds and looks to me like a really interesting concept. They offer eyeshadows, eyeliners and lipsticks, in a really widely-varied range of quite stunning colours/shades, all of which are hidden underneath correspondingly-coloured lids on the wheel. It is spun and, when it stops, you are said to instinctively be drawn to certain colours, of which you are supposed to pick 3 - mine online were Healthy (what I wish for my life), Intuitive (what my subconscious says about me/what I want to be) and Lifted (what I aspire to be). When worn, the owner is then said to embody these 'words'. It really is quite the unique idea! Immy tried out one of the lipsticks on her hand (a rather ravishing red - I think it might have been Ambition CORRECTION!! - Immy just let me know it was Decisive that she used, how I didn't remember that when we spoke about being indecisive after, god only knows!) that, when applied straight from the tube, is an amazingly bright shade, however, it can be mixed with (I didn't ask if it would mix well with other products, but I would imagine you could have a go and see what happens!) their 'Feeing Younger' - I think this is right but please do correct me if I'm wrong! - skin tint to produce a variety of shades, allowing for great versatility of wear. It really is a most intriguing make-up line that is quite unlike anything else I have ever seen; fingers crossed I'll be able to try out something from the range in the future, that way I can offer those who haven't used it some first-hand info!

From the make up I went over to the cleansers (for around the 5th time that evening!) and (again) asked Immy for help, this time in picking one out for me. Although I've got on well with Herbalism, I wanted to have a go at something different, and ended up going for Dark Angels. Now, I am known for enjoying a face scrub, so this one sounded like it'd be right up my alley and I very much looked forward to trying it out (does this make me a very sad person indeed?). I finally got around to doing so this afternoon (yes, I've been thoroughly lazy today, as ever!). The product, despite being of a similar texture, was a lot easier to handle, for me, than Herbalism. When I added water to it in the palm of my hand, it didn't go quite so milky which meant for easier transportation from hands to face. A warning, as with Herbalism it does make quite the mess, and it's a charcoal grey colour so you do need to be careful, but after only one use I think it's safe to say the two of us will get along just fine. It's a little scrubbier than Herbalism and it took a little longer to wash off my face, but it left my skin feeling fresh and looking bright!

As well as the scrub, I managed to come away with two face-mask testers - Mask of Magnaminty and Ayesha. The former has a wide range of glorious-sounding ingredients -  peppermint oil and aduki beans to name but two of them - and is aimed at getting rid of what they call (via Adrian Mole) 'big-boy spots'. Sounds perfect for the skin I'm suffering with right now (unfortunately!). I actually had a go with this one last night, before bed and, although I've not seen a great deal of difference in the look of my skin today, it does feel a lot better than it did (less bumpy) and my goodness was my skin smooth when I washed it off last night. Never has it ever felt that way before, so it was quite the happy surprise!!

Mask of Magnaminity in all its glory - a during and after (and an apology for no make-up!)

The latter is, from what I can tell, intended as a 'pick-me-up' mask; something to get your skin ready for that special night out. It has kiwi, which I'm told is great for the skin, as it is packed with vitamin C, and lots of other jolly old goodies that are aimed at brightening and smoothing the skin. Always worth a thumbs up in my book. I'll hopefully remember to update you on this after I've tried it out!

Anyway, enough of the waffle. All-in-all a very pleasant evening was had. It worked out really well for them (and us, the attendees!) and I look forward to going to future events there. It was nice to get out of the flat for a few hours and to meet up with and chat to lots of different people and I've come away with some new additions to my wardrobe which is definitely a bonus! Oh, I must say that next Friday and Saturday (the 26/27th) is Nottingham's '48 hours of Fashion' event and Lush is involved on both days (you can see the timetable here) - I will do my best to attend as I love the idea of watching them make face masks from scratch; it'll definitely be nice to see the process and to know what exactly goes into them. I didn't go to the event when it was on in October, so it will also give me the chance to again try something new in the city on my doorstep :)

16 April 2013

A late night, pre-bed, hair tale

Today's post will be a brief one, as I'm currently feeling a bit blah about my new bloody hair and am thoroughly frustrated that this is the case. Because of it, I can't really be bothered to say much, although I will mention (before someone else does!) that I understand hair takes time to get back to blonde, or rather, the correct (read, a nice!) blonde, but nothing in either colour situations (now, and before, when I went brunette/ombre) has come out as expected. I'm not sure I'm asking too much when I say that what I would like to happen from here is for me to wake up in the morning and just be ok with it - to be able to live with the colour and be without bloody head sores. I had no idea I would even suffer from them :/ It seems a bit 'don't ask, don't tell'-y, because what if you don't know to ask?! Urgh, am I just expecting too much?!

Anyway, this is the best I can offer you right now as a before and after. Look how happy I was in the first photo, excited for the day to start!

Right, enough of this whinging, night all!

Ready for the day to start.....
.....and ready for the day to end!

14 April 2013

A 'before I forget' tale!

Cast your mind back, if you can, to Easter Monday or - as it shall henceforth be known - Tori's last official day at home for Easter (the one I almost forgot to post about!). It was a fairly relaxed one in comparison to previous day's of the visit; I got up at a normal time, bathed (lah-dee-dah), got myself ready and was dropped into Winchester to meet two friends for lunch. We ended up at Slug and Lettuce and had a good natter over our food - mine was a falafel burger, if you're asking - about their upcoming nuptials (for which I purchased THE dress), work and life in general! It's amazing how time slips by, as I hadn't seen them since Christmas, and I won't be seeing them again now until I watch them get married at Winchester Guildhall in May (so exciting!). This is what moving away from home does to a girl! We did have a lovely catch-up though, and I'm grateful to have been able to have seen the both of them. Roll on May!

The rest of the day is a bit hazy for me, which I gather means I didn't actually get up to much (in my mind I'm seeing a laptop and tea, haha!) but in the evening we had our last family meal together - complete with my roasties and Moom's apple crumble! I then rounded out the day with Broadchurch (boy did it feel rather extravagant being able to watch it on telly instead of my lappy!) and some packing (cue panic about the fact that not everything would fit in the one case I had and a worry about having to get everything on and off the tube!) Before bed, I decided to take the following picture, just to see if anyone else has one? A few ladies I know have taken trips to Disney - this specific picture was created one one of our trips to Disneyland Paris back when I was a young 'un, so I thought I'd take a pic and ask! This was my favourite hairstyle when I was younger, ha!

Tuesday morning dawned and with it the 4 home journey home. Thankfully it was a pleasant morning, and I managed to get a seat on the train, after happily having stowed my suitcase in the above-head storage thing (yay for little suitcases despite the drama they cause when it comes to packing them!) My other bag was then stowed under foot, out came my book, and I settled down for a read. London beckoned, and with it a change of station, from Waterloo to St Pancras via the Bakerloo and Victoria lines. I managed it all rather smoothly (oh yeah Tors, big yourself up about managing to get the tube!) and made it onto my connecting train in one piece. A table seat this time, and no working wifi (EastCoast, you are a pain in my arse) so out came the book again. The boy then met me at the end of the journey (looking a little tired and un-fed; I can't leave him on his own, even for a week!) and we walked back (via M&S for some soup!) to the flat together. In the afternoon we took another walk to The Park, as the sun was still shining, and spent some time sitting on a bench in one of their small and perfectly manicured gardens, chatting and enjoying being in one another's company once more.

My first 'late' sunset
The city centre graveyard that we like to wander through
Nottingham Castle, view from a different entrace to The Park

12 April 2013

The tale of an unexpectedly lovely day! (with a sneaky Ootd!)

This is just a little post all about my day, which I've rather quite enjoyed and thus felt it needed to be documented it! This morning the boy and I met up with a uni friend - lovely Jess, who is taking joint Philosophy and Classics, therefore we both have lectures with her - for a coffee and a good long chat (3 hours to be exact!). It's so nice to know another mature student in the area (her partner is also at the university, so 2 mature students!) who, like us, lives outside of the uni. It was also nice to be able to talk about the course with someone who understands what I'm going through - not that others don't, but knowing that someone else taking Philosophy has problems with it too sure helped me feel a little better about my situation - and it was also just plain gosh-darn fab to get to know another person living in Nottingham a little better. I'm hoping we can meet up next week when the boy leaves me on my lonesome for 5 days (even if it is just for some logic revision, GULP!).

In the afternoon I popped back into town to pick up a few (as is always the case) bits we missed out getting on the big shop yesterday (de-scaler at last!) and then got myself ready for an evening of baking, cooking (ha, domesticated, moi?!) and Opera-listening (La Traviata if you please). Madam's veggie toad-in-the-hole turned out rather well (even if I do bloody-well say so myself!) and, drumroll please, my sponge is like THE BEST EVER!!! So I'm sat here with a happy belly and a smiley face. What a good way to end the day :)

What we had for dinner (and afters!)

I feel like I'm spoiling you with another ootd post for this week but I guess I'd only be spoiling you if that was something you actually wanted/asked for! I thought I'd show off my 'outfit' (which, in all honestly, is just a jumper thrown over a dress!) because, well, do you think someone wants Spring to arrive? Hey, if the season won't come to me of its own accord then I'll bloody well make it, so dots and knee-highs it was! Also, I wanted to show off my new tote, illustrated by Paige that you can purchase here. It's so pretty, and eye-catching too - the lady in Tesco wanted to hear all about it and, after explaining that Paige had illustrated it, she told me that she thought how nice it must be to have such a talented friend. I very much agree!!

Oh, and speaking of talented friends, please do click below - Ella has reopened her wonderful Ruby Rae Love and it's most definitely well worth a look, if not to just dream one's bank balance was a little more amenable!

11 April 2013

The tale of the (vintage) wardrobe plan that went awry!

A year ago this month I went on a bit of an Etsy rampage and bought multiple vintage items thinking I'd kick off a brand new wardrobe/style à la some sort of 50's mooovie star. Unfortunately, said kicking-off did not happen ('no', you say, 'really? There I was thinking we had our very own Marilyn/Grace/Jayne/Diana/Elizabeth - edit as you see fit, i.e. delete all! - this here side of town'). Nope, my friends, that fantastical moment was short-lived (if really lived at all). Firstly, all of the items, bar the jacket, turned up stained without any such mention of said fact in the description (thankfully I managed to get the stains out, although not without first taking pictures and sending them to the people I bought them from with a rather strong word or two!). Not only that, but a few of the measurements differed from what was given, and as a result I ended up with some pieces that were a good clothes-size or so too big for me. Furthermore, some of the dresses turned up being a mighty load sheer-er than one ever thought possible of a material (something again not mentioned in their descriptions, nor documented in their photos) and it took me a good long while to find a 'decently priced' (read, within my poor budget) slip to go underneath them (of course, one that is far too long that I've yet to alter!) Thus, I lost my steam, my patience and my willingness to 'invest' in further pieces.

When packing up to move in September, I decided to leave a few of the ill-fitting items at home (after a completely unsuccessful selling bout on eBay) but did, however, choose to bring a few of the others along with me in the hope that I would, eventually, get some wear out of them. Today, a good few months on from banishing them to the unused left-side-of-the-wardrobe, I thought I'd let them see the light of day (they almost breathed a sigh of relief at being released from their wardrobe prison), and have another think about what to do with them. 

All the dresses were different from their descriptions, so I shan't be mentioning
the sellers! The jacket, however, was as stated - you can find the seller here!
I definitely love the blue and lilac numbers and they, thankfully, both fit me fairly well, although are in need of the slip underneath to be at least semi-decent (otherwise I may find myself pulling off some sort of Jane Russell circa 'The Outlaw' era - although, hey, emulating a 40s movie star is better than emulating no star at all!). The jacket is lovely but I have nothing to go with it so another eBay visit may be due and the cream dress is a little too big for me; I just don't have the patience, or the ability, to alter it! Sigh, one always starts with the best intentions!

Have you ever purchased vintage and, if so, how did you find the garment/transaction? I think I was just very unlucky with my choices and, as I'm not one who is handy with a needle and thread, the best thing for me to do may be to avoid certain vintage pieces from now on (the 50s dress I purchased last week was quite the exception!). I do, however, have my eye on a certain Vintage Style Me number (Rhiannon has quite the awesome taste!), so, who knows?!!

Speaking of vintage, it felt right that today's tale should come courtesy of the beautiful Marianne of Esme and the Laneway. She is, without a doubt, the owner of THE most perfect wardrobe one's eyes has ever graced, and not a day goes by where I can't help but think a) I wish I was her or b) I wish she lived near me so I can go have a proper gander! If you haven't visited before, please do go take a stroll along her blog, you eyes will thank you for it :)

9 April 2013

The tale of a lost day

Another day where all I've felt is lost.
With thoughts whirring about.
Making no sense. 
Worries about life.
And where it's leading.
And what I'll do.
I guess I might never know.
But then, maybe I was just born to dance :)
Me, on the left, with my Belle, on the right

8 April 2013

A (passion for!) fashion tale

Today, with only a short while to spare (oh, how very me of me!), I'm offering up my entry for Money Supermarket's Passion For Fashion 2 competition. The rules were to pick three outfits, each with a budget of £200, for three different categories; Casual Wear, Party Wear and Holiday Wear. I had a lot of fun putting together my outfits (a couple of which I made about 3 different collages for!) but boy did I get lost in the sheer bloody volume of clothing available on the internet (I was probably 'window-shopping' for around 24 hours total, ha!) hence it took me a good fair while to put these together. I finally made it though and am happy to have done so - have a look below and see what you think!

1) Zara Dress With Cape Sleeve
2) ASOS Coat in Mono Pattern
3) Mango Faux Croc Bowling Bag
4) Boohoo Lily Boot
5) Dorothy Perkins Beaded Art Deco Necklace

Right, so, casual wear. Not so casual, you might be thinking? Well, I disagree! This is exactly the sort of outfit I'd like to see myself rocking on a daily basis if I had the money to be able to do so! A big fan of black (could you guess?!) I fancied I needed a pop of colour to make this outfit more eye-catching, and boy does this yellow Zara number do the trick! The cape sleeves are absolutely gorgeous, and I'm envisioning a kind of 'fashion-darling' type balance of the coat over the shoulders, rather than a do-y-up jobby so you get to admire the dress in full. Monochrome makes its own statement too, I love this pattern (although it does make your eyes go a little funny if you look at it on the screen for too long!) and the necklace adds a little something extra without being too over-the-top. I do love me a good bowling bag, the faux croc style of this Mango number would make one feel quite the lady, and I can't be without my boots; this pair has a good chunky heel.

1) Pop Boutique Shift Dress
2) Mango Cropped Jacket
3) ASOS POPLAR Platforms
4) Accessorize Mari Foldover Wrist Strap Wallet
5) Barry M Glitter Nail Paint - NP297
6) Topshop Matte Door Knocker Earrings
7) New Look Winter White Sheer Tights
8) ASOS Pack of Four Chain Bracelets

Party wear. I wanted something to take me across all sorts of events - Party/club/drinks/dinner - so didn't go too overboard with this one. I think the dress is dee-vine, a shift-with-a-twist due to it's fit, and I really liked the idea of pairing it with this more masculine style blazer - perfect for evening chills, but still in keeping with the look (60's vibe-ing!). The platforms? Where do I start?! I fell in love and based everything else around them. I mean, if you can't wear these sorts of shoes to a party, where can you wear them?! The accessories are a little more low-key - grant it the bag is technically a wallet, but I never take large bags out with me, and this'll fit a comb, mirror, my phone and a few extra bits just fine - as I didn't think the dress/jacket/shoes combination needed anything too overt, just a hint of sparkle on the nails and a flash of silver at the wrist!

1) Topshop Solid and Sheer Shirtdress
2) Topshop Lime Bandeau Bikini Top 
3) Topshop Lime Ruch Bikini Pants
4) Huey2 Gladiator Jelly Sandals
5) French Connection Sandy Pop Gummy Shopper
6) ASOS Nude Round Sunglasses
7) ASOS Jewelled Bunting Necklace
8) Accessorize Super Skinny Triple Belt Pack

I have just today found out that, after putting the look together yesterday, the French Connection shopper is now on sale for £39, which alters the overall total - NEW TOTAL £169.

I think this is probably my favourite of the three. I was recently talking with Paige about neon, and how I wouldn't know how to incorporate it into my wardrobe, but lo-and-behold, I've done it! I always feel that, when I'm on holiday, I can be a little more adventurous with my choices (it's that 'nobody knows me' feeling) and neon certainly is that! I love the dress and the fact that it has sheer panelling through which you would still be able to see a hint of neon. The belts (I would use just the lime and turquoise) would be used to give the dress a little more structure. The gummy bag (gummy bag, jelly shoes, was I hungry when I put this together by any chance?!) is big enough to fit in everyday beach essentials, the necklace dresses the outfit up enough that it could take me through different 'scenarios' - to the beach, out for lunch, even for a few cocktails in the evening if I so dared - and the jelly shoes are just because!

So there we have it! I do hope you lovelies had an enjoyable weekend.

7 April 2013

A Spring tale - Ootd #2

As a few people mentioned they liked my dress yesterday after I posted a little snapshot of it on instagram, I thought it was about time I actually did my best to get around to putting together my second outfit post, featuring said dress. The photos aren't anything exciting, and my apologies as they look a little grainy, but it felt like a suitably Spring-y outfit and one I thought would (or rather, just might!) be worth talking about.

The dress is a 2012 eBay purchase (one of only a couple I kept out of a 10 or so that I purchased over a very short period!) but is originally from Primark - Atmosphere to be exact. It's a really pretty fit, with a tie waist, and (what I would call) a pleated section down the front centre of the dress, from the neck to the waistline, with slight ruching on the sleeves to add a little shape. The print, as you can see in the close-up below, is sort of a faux-floral (ha, I wonder if that term has ever existed before now?!) and the background colour of the dress is a lovely periwinkle blue, a shade I find to be most flattering. I paired it with brown tights (although they look a sheer-black in the pics!) and another eBay find - some New Look Generation 915 (I've actually only just found that fact out!) cream shoes, with a cute ribbon tie.

Mirror posing galore! Sporting a hair favourite too - messy (wet-haired!) plaits!

The accessories shots show you how the dress looks close up (albeit when I was lying down on the rug in the lounge in bright sunshine - hence the colour alteration!), my new Primark sunglasses purchase (why buy one pair when you can buy 4?!), the aforementioned shoes (with pretty scallop detailing) and my bag for the day - Primark (again!). The belt is a little big, hence all the weird folding, and I think it was from H&M although don't quote me; (surprise, surprise) my memory has failed me again when it comes to trying to recall the purchase!

Sunshiney photos!

I do hope you are enjoying some Spring-like weather, wherever you are. It's been a long time coming, and I do hope it hols out, at least for a while longer. The sun has popped his head out again today, so the boy and I are likely to be taking an afternoon stroll somewhere in the city. I'm also going to be putting together my final outfit for Money Supermarket's Passion For Fashion 2 competition, all three of which I shall be posting tomorrow (before the noon deadline!). I've really enjoyed coming up with the ideas, and hope I pull them off (of course, no expectations of winning this side, it'll just be nice to be able to say I entered - it's not something I would usually do).

4 April 2013

Tori's vintage tale!

Before I update you on my last day at home, ridiculously late as ever, I wanted to post about my happy purchase today! For weeks I've been looking, albeit not very successfully (I get more than a little frustrated with myself after only minutes of searching due to my general ineptitude in being able to find anything!) for a dress to wear to the wedding of two of my wonderful friends in May. Over the past few days I had picked up the pace of my search online (alongside help from a very sweet and patient Paige, who searched high and low for me, and put up with my fussiness on multiple occasions without any complaints - what a bloody good friend she is!) but decided that I would today venture into town to see if I could find anything in the vintage stores in Hockley (an artsy/quirky area of the city centre that’s around a 5 minute walk from our flat). After a quick detour through town, I popped in a couple of stores (I shan't name names) but their staff weren't particularly helpful, or friendly, and as a result made me feel fairly unwilling to spend my money there. Feeling a little disheartened, I thought I'd make my way home, however, changed my mind when walking past 'A Vintage Obsession' and spying a rather eye-catching collection of floral dresses hanging inside. Mustering up the enthusiasm for one final look of the day, I pushed open it's door and was promptly welcomed with a happy 'hello' from the lovely lady working there - staff of the other (nearby) stores take note! Flicking through the floral's, my eye was caught by a dress hung on a rail a little further away from me and after feasting my eyes on its prettiness from afar, I knew I had to go over and take a closer look. Finding it there, at that moment, felt rather right - the style is one I had been admiring throughout my search - and I knew I had to try it on despite it’s price being a little out of my budget. As soon as I zipped it up (pinching some skin along the way, ouch!) I fell instantly in love with the way it looked and fit. I spent a few minutes debating whether or not I should make the purchase, or try again another day (I was still unsure of the price and had also noticed a little vintage 'wear and tear' - expected, but I was thrown by it all the same) but after making my worries known to the lady, she offered me a discounted price (I think she may have had a fair amount of previous interest because she mentioned people had come away saying the dress was lovely but the waist too small, thank goodness for me!) and I almost bit her hand off with my rather enthusiastic ‘oh, go on then!’. Yay!! I am now the proud owner of a 1950's evening dress! Here's a sneaky peek...

3 April 2013

Sun shining on my 'sill

A few new bits have arrived on my window-sill this week, just in time to bathe in the suns rays; my wonderful Swan Lake book, a card bearing a lovely quote - ''to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive' (a birthday card for the boy from my parents) - and a special invitation. They are settling in quite nicely.

2 April 2013

A belated Easter tale (from Wednesday through to Sunday!)

Right, I am very much determined to get on top of everything and update you on my Easter week at home. I well and truly broke my promise to post once a day, but I hadn't realised quite how busy I was going to be, nor how long it would actually take me to write everything ( and coupled with my ridiculous tiredness everything seemed to take twice as long as usual!). Anyway, here it goes!

Wednesday I joined my Auntie on a trip to West Quay (Southampton's shopping centre) where we shopped (mainly just a browse, neither of us purchased anything for ourselves, besides drinks/food!) amongst the odd coffee, tea and cheesy jacket potato. It was a lovely, chatty affair, relaxed and most enjoyable. The only downside was finding out the sweet shop I used is no longer in town (I know, not much to be sad about, but I do love my pic n' mix!) I'm really pleased we found the time to spend a day together. We did so much chatting in the end that we tired ourselves out!
In the evening Moom, the bro and I went to the cinema to watch 'Oz The Great And Powerful'. Although easy to lose myself in, I did find that the film lacked the charm of the original it was pre-qualing - The Wizard of Oz - and was actually a little more child-friendly than I was expecting (not sure why I thought it was aimed at adults but, hey, a girl can get things wrong sometimes!). A good film but not sure I'd really recommend it, unless you have a particular love for one of the fab actors in it. Then I'd say go for it!

Thursday was a day I put aside for my catfish friend. We met when she finished her lectures at 11, after I took another stroll down a few unfamiliar Winchester paths, and we took the short walk back to hers for a cuppa before visiting our friend TA (who made quite the online purchase - it was actually a larger version of the one I've linked to but it seems there was only one so I can't show you properly!) at his student digs (I don't even care that I sound an idiot saying that, the word is staying!). Sainsbury's beckoned us, and we spent about half the amount of time picking up the things we needed for the evenings festivities of that which we spent in the bloody queue waiting to be served by possibly THE slowest employee they have to offer! Another trip back to TA's for lunch, before watching some pretty dreadful (but highly entertaining) afternoon telly and walking back to catfish's to get ourselves prepared for our Mexican feast! The evening was spent eating (enchiladas - veggie for M and I - and home-made Guacamole), meeting new people and getting our drink on! Our night out was short-lived (Winchester is a ridiculously small town that lacks a good amount of decent places to go 'clubbing') but being able to spend so much time with catfish was jolly wonderful.
Top row -  1) the graveyard on the walk through to the uni,  2) my catfish, her tiara and a dog for company,
3) someone loves these Easter bunnies!
Middle row - my first shot of Winchester on the walk from the station
Bottom row - 1) Home-made Guac!, 2) showing off my outfit for the evening (the majority of it courtesy
of my catfish due to my ridiculous memory!), 3) some new friends!
Friday beckoned, and with it a trip to Poppies Cafe with Moom, Auntie Ju and Nanny in tow! We had a lovely time, relaxing and chatting the morning away, over an assortment of drinks and sweet accompaniments (hot cross bun, strawberry and white chocolate muffin, fruit scone and Victoria sponge - guess which one was mine?!) before Moom and I spent the afternoon back at home (during which I got a little emotional, the result of which was this post!). 
Poppies offerings - tea, coffee, scone and hot cross bun on the left, sponge on the right!
In the evening I joined Dodge for a 'Looper' viewing. I'd most definitely recommend seeing it if you haven't done. It's a little unusual  and the storyline didn't go where I expected it to, but I really did enjoy watching it, and JGL was bloody splendid as ever!

Saturday was exciting because I got to meet Paige (from Paige Joanna) for the very first time! We decided to meet roughly halfway (I say that, poor Paige did have a longer train journey than I!) in Southampton and just had the best time! As we speak most days (if not every day!) the meeting itself was without any uncomfortable moments (which I think is the worry most people have when they are meeting someone for the first time) and we spent a good number of hours chatting - over coffee and whilst window-shopping. I even had my nails painted (something I never, ever do!) thanks to Paige's patience! I loved every minute of my time with her and look forward to us seeing each other again soon.

Beautiful Paige and the polished nails I received courtesy of her good nature!
In the evening I joined Moom this time to watch the final Twilight 'Breaking Dawn Part 2', as I missed seeing it when it came out (I couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to watch it at the cinema on my own for some reason). I do love the films, although I don't think this was the strongest end to the series, and I think now that they would have been better off releasing the final two  together as a longer film. Still, I'm really glad I watched it so as to round-out the series, and you can't really fault an evening with vampires and werewolves for company, can you?!

Sunday rolled around (seriously, where did the days go?!) and with it my last, brief visit, to see my catfish before she left for a visit home. After saying goodbye, Moom and I journeyed (I'm making that sound like a long trip, really, it took us less than 10mins!) into Winchester, parking in one of the back streets. We had a lovely walk into town, with the sun warming our shoulders along the way, and ended up in a cafe, where we sat down for tea and (you've guessed it!) some more sweet treats (pain au raisin - no thanks! - and red velvet por moi) and a natter, before having a little browse around the few shops that were open, before returning home. In the evening I had my final visit of the trip to see my Nan and Auntie Ju (with an impromptu viewing of Grease, you've gotta love it!). Not seeing them for another couple of months now is a hard pill to swallow, but I'm so happy I've been able to see them a good few times on this trip. It'll sustain me for a while!
Yesterday's walk into Winchester allowed me to take some beautiful pics
1) my favourite building (I'll bloody live there one day!)
2) Winchester's Cathedral
Next time I'll update you on my last full day at home and about my journey back to Nottingham today :)

I do hope you have all had a glorious Easter.