Archive for September, 2010

Chocolate + Manicure = Bliss

Never mind my 18th birthday (spent at the Ballroom in Dunfermline… oh dear. Kill me please!), the biggest benchmark in my life so far has been buying my first ever flat with the ever calm and patient Olly.  No more panicking over staining the carpet or too many pinholes in the walls… This place is mine to do whatever I want to it!!!

So far, that’s boiled down to 2 things: turfing the back garden… and getting a biscuit jar.  To me, a biscuit jar is welcoming and homely. To accompany cups of tea and to offer to guests while trying to distract them from the fact that there are mountains of boxes still to be unpacked.

The main problem with having a biscuit jar is the fact that it means you have to have biscuits. I’m not really one for denying myself something when the mood takes me, and the mood for a biscuit strikes a whole lot more often when you actually have biscuits in the house.  Right now, it’s chocolate and caramel digestives.

So, if I have this much love for a plain old chocolate biscuit, imagine how I jumped at the chance to attend the launch for the new offering from Cadbury, the Dairy Milk Bliss bar!!

The Bliss bar is a lighter chocolate bar consisting of the classic Dairy Milk chocolate shell, filled with a soft vanilla mousse. Sweet but not too sweet. If I didn’t loathe the word ‘moreish’, I might just describe the Bliss bar as such.

And if that wasn’t good enough, Cadbury’s has teamed up with one of my favourite nail varnish brands (it’s true! Check back to my post re: egg trays and nail varnish…) Nails Inc. to produce 2 new limited edition colours – Vanilla Bliss and Cocoa Bliss.

Vanilla Bliss is a very pale, cream shade, with a subtle gold shimmer. A striking nude which is both romantic and classy.  As much as I’ve tried, I don’t generally suit nude tones, but this works for me.

Cocoa Bliss is a shade that I know will be staple colour for me this winter. Its deep chocolate tone is very on-trend this season and is the perfect way to add a touch of glamour to your outfit.

And adding the cherry to the chocolatey, nail varnishy cake, I got a complimentary manicure to test the shades and a Bliss bar to get me through the bus journey home!!

…now I just have to wait till National Chocolate Week when the Bliss bar is launched so I can buy another one.  Damn munchies.

Vanilla Bliss and Cocoa Bliss by Nails Inc. are available from 13th October 2010.

RRP: £11.

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Which of these say ‘First Aid Kit’?

Studious? And tartan… I’m Scottish, I can’t not like tartan.

Some wee monsters?

Angry, square Hello Kitty?

Which is most comforting in the face of medical emergency? Or when you’re looking for hangover Ibuprofen?

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It might be huge, spiky and completely out of control, but look how pretty the roses from our rose bush are:

Instead of the traditional rose style blooms, it produces very wide ‘David Austin’ style flowers.  I only know that name because a friend had his teacup roses in her bridal bouquet last year.

Such a shame we had to butcher the bush instead of pruning it… it was just too big.

Apparently it’ll reflower in a year or two (otherwise I’ll never google ‘rose pruning’ again).

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Bag Lady

Don’t you hate it when you have money to spend but you can’t find anything that you want to buy? Admittedly it doesn’t happen to me very often…the ‘having money’ bit, there’s always something I want to buy.

Right now, I think I need a new bag. I’m a bit bored of my current handbag. It’s too small (but looks like it should be big enough), too fiddly, and the strap is too long (I had to tie it in a knot). I have to carry a whole seperate bag for all the stuff that I can’t fit in the first bag. Dull.

So consider the Rosa from Oasis.  Sienna coloured leather, with plaited leather straps and a large rose embelishment. Big enough to fit my purse, book and makeup bag, but pretty enough to take to afternoon tea…

Or…The tapestry day bag from Miss Selfridge.  Pretty with a vintage Granny vibe but practical in an ‘can actually use it!’ way.  But I made a decision a while back to only buy leather day bags and turfed out all of my faux leather tat. Maybe the rule doesn’t count if the bag isn’t actually trying to look like leather?


The Sequins Reeds clutch from French Connection. It’s not practical, it’s not very big, it’s not even actually a day bag. But it’s so cute!! Frilly and sparkly. It comes in black too, but it’s not quite as sweet. This one makes me think of sheep.

I could never buy it though, I’d ruin it irreparably in less that 30 minutes and then be angry for days. Just not worth it.

So there you have it. Three bags but no money. Eurgh.

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Chuck check.

Yes yes, I’m obviously trying to channel my inner Blair Waldorf with this little cap-sleeved, checked mini dress.

Worn with yellow tights, a string of pearls and two-tone heeled brogues, all I’d need is a Serena. Or a Chuck.

River Island

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OMFG it’s GG!

How happy am I that Gossip Girl season 4 has started?

I’ve been absolutely hooked since the first episode ever when Serena burst back into town, eating yoghurt at lunch.

It’s not just the fact that they are 17, gorgeous, and absolutely loaded (it really doesn’t! The OC had all that, and I didn’t bat an eyelid). It’s the clothes. The bloody clothes! If only I’d grown up with more than a Bay Trading in my town… (and if only I’d never gotten a perm..)

S&B. It is absolutely impossible to pick a favourite.

Please can we be friends? Pleeeeeease?! Because I think we have the same size feet and I’d really like to borrow your monotone, heeled loafers.

For crying out loud, I’m really going to have to start thinking about my hair more.  But it might take more that a squirt of Elnett to help me when it comes to this little look… I do have similar shoes though.

I also have a bike with a basket and I kind of thought that my bike experiences would be like this… riding on sunny days in the Hamptons, little sundress, not a hair out of place…

Scraped knees weren’t really part of the deal.

Eurgh… they’ll never let me in the gang now!

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Conundrum solved?!

I think I’ve discovered why I go through phases of having nothing to wear while simultaneously having a wardrobe that’s bursting at the seams (and that’s after hogging half of Olly’s wardobe too…). It’s appears to be caused by my silly, fickle mind and results in buying duplicates.

Buying the same thing in 3 colours seems like a great idea when you’ve found something that you love and want to wear it all the time. It’s not such a great idea when you’ve decided that you’re totally bored of the shape of the heel and you can’t bear to look at it/them.

You can tell the the cream pair is the oldest (and the only that I paid full price for). Look how I’ve managed to destroy the straps.

The red pair were bought in the Christmas sale.  I debated if I needed 2 pairs of shoes in different colours but was pushed into it by mum who was bored of waiting for me, and wanted to go to Starbucks.

The third pair were a little ebay bargain and cost less than 1/5 of the price of the cream shoes.

And this is just the tip of the bulk buying iceberg.

Shoes from Topshop

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x 3

I love Ebay. I used to like it more when the post office would actually put things through my letter box as opposed to making me pick everything up at the sorting office, but that’s not really Ebay’s fault.

Check out this wee bargain… yellow leather, triple strapped Mary Jane’s with a 2 inch kitten heel.

Admittedly, the triple buckle is a little fiddly, but I find that you can get away with leaving buckle closed and still manage to get the shoes on with ease. And I’ve had practise since I’ve got these same shoes in both red and cream patent.

The heel is just high enough to give you the feeling of some extra glamour in the day time, but low enough to be practical. Living in London means lots of walking, so it helps to be wearing shoes that don’t make you want to kill yourself after 10 minutes.

Carrying pumps in your bag also helps with the killing yourself thing, but I don’t need to with these.

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Who buys ballet pumps when it’s (almost) autumn? You’re pretty much guaranteed cold ankles, wet feet or, if you’re really unlucky, a broken arm (True story*. Slippy soles on wet floors….although if you’re going to turn up at A&E dressed as a pumpkin on Hallow’een, you may as well be wearing the best brand of pumps in the business.)

But when you’ve got a credit note that is close to expiry, you’ve got to just bite the bullet and buy something. Luckily, shopping for French Soles is much more enjoyable than doing food shopping when you’re stuffed.

Despite looking like they’re so delicate that they’d dissolve at the first sign of rain, French Soles are surprisingly sturdy.

Leather upper with a gorgeous gold leather insole means that they are surprisingly hard wearing.  My old red pumps with gold ribbon have been worn half to death, but only need a tiny bit of shoe polish to bring them back to life.

Ballet Pumps make a good staple item, but with a huge variety of cuts, colours and trims (both matching and contrasting), French Soles guarantee that flats don’t mean dull.  And admittedly pale pink isn’t the most sensible colour for autumn, but what is? Maybe I’ll keep them in their box until Spring?

And unlike a lot of pumps which have a bow which is only used for show, the bows on French Soles are a (tiny) bit more practical as they are threaded around the whole opening of the pump and can be used to tighten the shoe ever so slightly if needed.

The one problem with French Soles (apart from the occassionally treacherously slippy soles that caused me fall on the road and pop 2 buttons from my coat… in front of people!! Oh the shame…) is that they size their shoes on the small side meaning that instead of a size 6 (and I really do prefer to be a size 5) I’ve actually got to buy a size 7!! But I can get over it.


*Not my arm. Phew!

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A helping hand.

Over a week after the lawn was laid, the turf is still green and taking root! (Apart from the wee patch that the fox peed on. See how he likes the anti-fox gel that we put down…)

I’m pleased to be able to say that I actually helped, as opposed to merely supervising.

This is an action shot of the one piece that I laid.  I think the key to successful helping is to do the bare minimum.

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