Friday, 17 February 2017

The Grey Jumper Update

I've never been shy to admit that I'm the kind of shopper that doesn't really go with a list as such, I buy what I fall in love with.  So when it comes to missing staples in my wardrobe like some new jeans or in fact a grey sweater - I get bored very quickly if I don't find what I want!  Queue this post where I talked about some decent grey jumpers.  I ordered two from Boden and the H&M one, neither worked. I've not taken it further as pennies were spent elsewhere (the Whistles one in the last post!) and the others were out of stock in my size.

This cashmere one wasn't one I'd blogged about from Boden but as there was only one of the other styles left, I added this to my basket to try as well.  It was a 6 and although fitted ok, I prefer to go a size up for a more relaxed fit if it's not generous but it was sold out in all other sizes (and at £63.68 for their cashmere I'm not surprised either).

I tried this one on after and I really should have done this one first as nothing compares in softness to cashmere.  It was ok.  Just ok which is not good enough.  

Then there was the H&M one.  Now as far as the cashmere went it was nice.  I liked the rib and it was a good thickness but the style.  It felt like a straight jacket on, the hem was as expected and it really didn't work on me at all.  Another one bites the dust!

So instead I found the Whistles sweater in the last post when I was in Dublin and this one from Topshop in the sale (I also blogged about it here - then bought it!).  It's 100% cotton and lightweight so perfect for Spring. 

The search will continue (i.e. when I stumble upon one!)

Friday, 10 February 2017

My Mini Break In Dublin Part 2 (The Shopping & Clothes One!)

A mini break wouldn't be any sort of break without a stop off in Duty Free right?  I was racing through it last year so didn't have a chance to stop but this time my Mum and I had plenty of time for a browse.  She reminded me that every make-up box needs a good clear out and as I'd raved about the Urban Decay Naked Basic's that actually mine was well over 2 years old.  Oops!  I hadn't realised there was a second version out and the colours were gorgeous.  So at £17.99 that was my little treat!  They go on so nicely and are really natural.  

Using the middle two shades
Naked 2 Basics £24 
So on with the birthday spends - I'd stashed it away ready for my trip!  Not one to pass a TK Maxx, I always pop in when I'm in Dublin (last time I bagged the most gorgeous Chloe sunglasses!).  I'm spending a little more on my basics now as it's really worth it in terms of fit and quality.  This James Perse t-shirt was €27.99 but really looked good on so I felt it was worthy of the price tag for such a simple garment.  

Now this one I also went and spent a little more than normal on. I blogged previously about a navy sweater from TK by Karl Lagerfeld. Unfortunately it went back as had shrunk and faded after one wash. I was gutted. My friend has a gorgeous grey sweater from Whistles that I've been coveting for a while now. When I saw the Whistles sale rail I made a pact with myself that if there was a sweater in my size, I was to get it. There literally was one in a navy, slightly larger than I would normally take which I prefer in jumpers so it was meant to be. It worked out around the £50 mark and after I bought it I frantically panicked it would be cheaper in the UK - it's not often I buy on impulse but I had no wifi to check online! It was about the same and only had an XS left so it was all ok......!

Coat; Warehouse
Jeans; Topshop
Boots; Gap
We were walking past a shop window when my sister spotted these socks - yes, I love a toasty sock and even more so when it's the thickest cashmere!  Um, yep, I pushed the boat out as they were about £12 but it's not often I have a girly week-end with my Mum and sister and as I have birthday pennies left, still, what better way to spend them but on socks and a new hat?!?!  Cute pink though and that was £8 so I couldn't resist.  

On the last day I literally ran into the Zara on the off chance there was anything left in the sale.  I saw this top for €12.99 and as my sister could return it for me, grabbed it to try on when we got back to hers (we were flying back that afternoon).  It came home with me.  Such a sucker for a cream blouse. 

As we only took hand luggage with us it was a tight squeeze on the clothing front (plus the additional buys and also a rug for my Mum - I still don't know how I got it all back!).  I decided to take my faux fur Topshop coat (purchased via eBay last year) as it really glams up an outfit but keeps everything simple underneath, warmth and comfort as there was a lot of walking!  I literally packed a few pairs of jeans, my black suede Timberland boots, thermal vests and a series of jumpers.  My coat really was the perfect edition!  Oh and I'm not subtle about my socks with ankle boots like these.  Show that extra layer, adds a little character!  

Blue jeans with grey jumper!
Black jeans with cream jumper!
Bag; Chloe

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Valentines Hints For Your Other Half

If, like my husband, your's trully heads to Tesco the week before Valentines day and buys tut - then send him a link to this blog! Last year I not so subtly suggested to my dear husband not to waste his pennies as I really did have enough heart tea towels, candle holders etc from the Mecca that is Tesco. I instead said there was a very special candle I would love (ok, yes, it was pricey but I'm worth it and the fact he didn't have to take a lunch break and could order it from the comfort of his desk was blatantly worth every penny). Queue my limited edition Valentines Diptyque candle. It was only the little one but I loved it even if he thought it was a waste of money! So here's some idea's to send your partners (and mine's!) way.

Emma Bridgewater Personalised Cocoa Mug from £22.95.  Because who doesn't love a proper heart mug - this is the exception to the rule - Tesco mugs don't come close, this one is completely acceptable (as are all other EB gifts thank you very much).

Silver & diamond heart bracelet from Links of London, £150.  Just in case your beloved fancies splashing the cash this Valentines day!
I love a heart plate.  This set of 4 is only £12.99 from TK Maxx
Personally you can't go wrong with flowers and this gorgeous bouquet can be pre-ordered now from Beards & Daisies for £44.99
A Boden heart breton top - a romantic classic!  Currently on sale for £27.65
This years Limited Edition candle for Valentines from Diptyque.  The larger one is £48 from John Lewis.  There is a smaller one at £28 but it's currently sold out with them.  

John Lewis really do have the best gift guide section (here) - I absolutely love this!  £149.99, a pricier Valentines gift but one for everyone to enjoy the benefits of too right?!!?
Possibly the most I've laughed at a film, ever!  £9.99 from HMV
I was lucky enough to be sent this Luna fragrance to sample last year and I've been waiting for the perfect time to share it on here - this seems to be the post!  Now I'm not one to go all out on perfume.  I don't wear it every day, sometimes I forget to put it on.  For me it does feel like a little bit of a luxe treat.  The packaging and bottle of this makes it even more so.  My little bottle of 'special'.  It's vintage apothecary look is gorgeous and the floral scent light enough for day where, it isn't over powering.  This is a real treat and something I wouldn't buy for myself so a perfect gift.  It's name also represents a mythical love story (read about it here) so it really is a scent for Valentines! 
Penhaligons Luna fragrance £134

Whilst browsing their website I also spotted two of my favourite scents below so I thought I'd share these too in case something more traditional is for you and easier to receive knowing you'll like that scent.

Gardenia & Orange Blossom both £97 

Monday, 30 January 2017

My Mini Break In Dublin Part 1 (The Food)

My sister lives in Dublin so last year when there was a sale on flights, Mum & I bagged a long week-end trip via Ryan Air for a whole £58 return each!  We flew Thursday evening and returned Sunday night.  It was a proper girly week-end with lots of laughs, amazing food, shopping, make-up talk and more importantly for me, no time limits or school runs to do.  It really was a wonderful trip.  My sister completely spoiled us and took us to the nicest restaurants so I thought I'd share some snaps on here in case anyone was thinking of going.  I even managed a glass of wine with one meal and Kir Royale with another (I really don't drink - especially wine or champagne but I decided it was a real treat week-end and I was going to try the whole ladies that lunch thing.  That being said, I still don't like wine!).  

First up was a 6 course tasting menu at Forest Avenue unless you know about this place you wouldn't find it as it's of the beaten track.  I was mesmerised watching the chefs at work. Growing up with a chef as a father has always left it's mark on food for my family, we are proper 'foodies'.  I have never done this kind of thing before, where literally you don't know what you get until it's served.  However you can tell them if there's anything you don't like, I specified Octopus (there was none anyway) and venison which they swapped for mackerel.  The portions were just so that we walked about not absolutely stuffed and unable to function for the day - it was utter perfection and I really would highly recommend you pay this husband and wife duo a visit.  

Due to my current home renovations my eye is always on the decor at the moment.  This caught my attention as soon as I walked through the door - how gorgeous is this!
Obligatory 'arty' shot.  These were the only two pieces of glam that day, it was warmth all the way for the rest of the outfit.
There were more 'snacks' and courses I failed to take snaps of as they were eaten far too quickly!  Clockwise from top left (and my memory!) some breads, goats cheese & mushroom pesto of sorts to start, savoury doughnuts, John Dory with spinach and I just can't remember the last but it was delicious!
It's not often that artwork captures me but this did.  It was done especially for the owners by Paul Hughes.
Best mackerel I've ever eaten.  I can't tell you the rest of what was on the plate but it was devoured in nano seconds. 
Pudding loveliness.  Literally.  
The most perfect natural mint tea and sandstone work tops which I also fell for (now on the hunt for for my kitchen!)
The head chef (& owner) came over to talk to us and bought these mini doughnuts.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I say no more. 
The next day we went to a Michelin guide restaurant called The Pigs Ear.  This time it was a 2 course meal and similar to the above, I wasn't left full to bursting which I really don't enjoy, it kind of ruins a meal for me.  I think I've set my standards quite high now, a la carte tasting menu's all the way for me.......

Goats cheese, carrots, yumminess etc etc.
Chicken, parsnips, bread and butter sauce, crispy bacon and some blackcurrants thrown in for goos measure. 
We finished the weekend with Afternoon Tea at The Shelbourne, being serenaded by a pianist of course.  The staff were all so friendly and it was a lovely way to end our 3 days together before our flight.  Naturally knowing One Direction had stayed there made me feel like I'd been in good company as well as the Elemis toiletries in the bathrooms (yes, it's the little things).

The cakes were all based around paintings done by Michael Flatley which also adorned the walls around us.  
Just to get your mouth watering....

The chandelier of all chandeliers.  
A matcha latte - it was so good and perked me up as I was feeling a little tired.  
We didn't notice these flowers when we came in for some reasons but stopped to admire them on our way out.  
So after being treated like Queens all week-end, sharing my sister's La Mer and La Prairie toiletries it's back to reality with a bang and school runs, dinners, clubs etc.  However it was a welcome break and one I won't forget in a hurry.  It really is good for us Mummy's to take a step back at times, have a long hot bath, not run around like headless chickens and talk without being interrupted.  Strangely enough after lots of make-up chat with my Mum one of the first things I did when I got to my sisters was wash all my makeup brushes - a job that I never make time for at home!

I decided to break this post up as there were so many food pictures if I added purchases and outfits into the mix you'd be reading forever and who has time for that!?!  So part duex will be up shortly!

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