Saturday, 30 November 2013

If it doubt layer it out

Now that temperatures have officially dropped and there has been a slight smattering of the white stuff, it definitely time to layer up. As I work outside, I think I'm well qualified to point out the benefits of layering up. I could have easily passed for the Michelin mans wife in my last few weeks of working night shifts outside. I wore no less than 5 layers up top, and 3 down below!!

There is definitely no denying that layers work, especially thin multiple layers. There are plenty of warm and stylish layers available that don't make you look like your going mountain climbing. Uniqlo's heat tech range always gets rave reviews. I don't have any pieces of this myself, but I definitely want to check them out. 

All Uniqlo Heattech pieces
But if you don't want to buy dedicated thermal layers, a skin tight vest, a shirt and a jumper is aways a good combo for some guaranteed heat, without looking too bulky. This has been my go to look recently and my denim shirt in particular has been getting some serious wear. 

H&M cashmere scarf
F&F cable knit jumper
H&M denim shirt
Next Maternity trousers
Zara boots
Next jumper
H&M shirt
Zara jeans
Mango ankle boots (currently 30%off too)
A denim shirt can be hard to style sometimes as some of them can be quite stiff, if your wearing a thin or tight fitting jumper it can look all sorts of weird. So a chambray shirt is always a good alternative, as it's denim colour ensures it goes with everything, but they are usually a lot softer than a traditional denim shirt. 

F&F jumper
H&M chambray shirt
Zara jeans
Zara boots
Now I'm off to stuff myself with some Ben & Jerry's, and I may even allow myself a wee glass of Shloer if I'm feeling a little crazy - the joys of pregnancy eh?!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Sorted for the 'season'!

I placed a mahoosive ASOS order a while back. I was after two dresses - one for a wedding/NYE and a Christmas party/Christmas day dress. Glad to report ASOS came up trumps, they rarely let me down these days. With free postage and returns it's definitely cheaper than heading off shopping (not that I would ever get a chance to do that anyway!).

Dress Number one was an absolute steal at only £23, although its back up to £28 now, and comes in four different colours. I have never been big into stretchy body con style dresses, but this dress may have just changed my mind. It's tight enough to pull you in like the spanx effect, but stretchy enough to accommodate a growing bump, and a days gorging at a wedding. 

Said wedding was on Saturday past, an amazing day organised in only 7 weeks might I add! The River Island shoes also deserve a gold star too. It was their first outing and I never once wanted to take them off. I can see these being a permanent fixture on my feet over the festive season, and believe me I'm not a massive lover of heels. 

ASOS dress
River Island Shoes
Now dress number two hasn't has an official outing as yet, because a) I haven't had my work Christmas party yet, and b) I've sent it back to get a smaller size. But I wanted to share in case it catches your eye too.  

It's 100% silk, has long sleeves, pockets, more than a hint of yellow, you can wear it with tights or not, it's currently half price at £80, and most important at the the minute, it has plenty of room for a bump - in a nutshell my perfect dress!! 
As I've said, I've sent this back for an exchange to my normal size, I sized up thinking I'd need the room for the bump but I think my normal size will be fine, so I would say this dress is big fitting. So here's hoping the smaller size fits or I'm back to square one.

Whistles dress
Asos shoes

Whistles dress
Asos shoes
Included in my order were these beautiful shoes, in both navy and yellow. I couldn't resist both, as navy and yellow shoes are notoriously hard to find. Unfortunately, thanks to my boney narrow feet they hurt me so much at the vamp, I just couldn't hold onto them. They were £45, but are now down to £33.50 and £31.50. I'm so tempted to order them again, but I know they would absolutely kill me!
ASOS £33.50

ASOS £31.50
In other news I'm still waiting my Isabel Marant pour H&M items. I've seen a lot of bloggers wearing theirs, and I'm getting so impatient now. But I suppose I should be used to the waiting game by now, living in Northern Ireland!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

So I caved.......

Sorry for the hiatus at the mo, been working crazy hours and as usual blogging comes a paltry second place to sleep. But....... I have had time for a bit of shopping recently. After firmly deciding I wasn't going to be sucked into the Isabel Marant pour H&M collaboration once I seen the ridiculous prices of some of the pieces, I caved.

To be fair I didn't even look online until the day after the collaboration was launched. I had my 20 week scan on Thursday (all looking good btw, we even got a wee cheeky wave!), and a bitter sweet leaving party to attend, and suddenly having the latest Marant piece didn't seem as important. But after waking at silly o'clock thanks to my recent night shifts, I found myself having a sneak peak just in case something was available. 

First I decided to be sensible and just got the feather print grey linen t-shirt, then I decided to go in for the kill again. After my recently abysmal record with coats I thought I'd give the grey wool coat a whirl. I have been on a grey coat hunt for months now, so it would have been silly not to have had a look at this one. So here's hoping the coat hunt can end now, because to be honest I'm boring myself and probably you too with it! 


One of the aforementioned coat disasters was this River Island leather biker jacket, I got it for £75 with a discount code, and it was price that nearly sucked me in at the end. But the leather quality was awful compared to my oasis leather jacket and it looked fake to me, so back it went!        

River Island biker jacket
H&M denim shirt
H&M skinny combats
Nike hi-tops

Todays look: I've been a bit obsessed with black and white lately, and I am so in love with this  jumper. It's really heavy and I actually went out today like this, and didn't even need a coat. For mid November that's almost unheard of - it goes to show that layering does actually work. My new mango boots also made their debut today, and I have to say I'm chuffed to bits with them. 


H&M denim shirt 
Next jumper
Zara jeans

    Would love to hear if you were as weak as me, and picked up any Marant pieces yourself.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Once you HAC you never go back!

I'm not a massive make-up and beauty fan. To me make up is just one of life's essentials to ensure small children are not left bawling their eyes out in my wake! From time to time I add a few beauty bloggers to my Bloglovin account, but after a few weeks I usually end up deleting them, due to the amount of unread posts I have.

Try as I might, I just cannot muster up the same excitement for make-up as I can for fashion, but there has been one beauty blog that I have remained loyal to over the years. The name of that wonder blog is Maskcara. It's written by a wife and mum of a little boy (so I can definitely relate), who is a complete genius on everything beauty, and sometimes even hair related. 

Cara is a make-up artist and photographer, which is a match made in heaven for a beauty blogger of course. Her witty and self depreciating writing style means the whole beauty thing never gets too heavy for me, and there are always a few laughs along the way. She has recently won Allure Beauty blogger of the year and is set to launch her own makeup range this month. 

A lot of Cara's posts and videos have stuck with me over the years, but her knowledge on eyebrows and HAC (that's highlighting and contouring for all you beauty novices like me) is amazing.

But it's the HAC-ing posts that I really wanted to share. I decided to give this a go a few months back and safe to say I'm hooked. I'm not going to get too deep into it, as Cara describes it waaaayy better than I ever could. But the defining principles are that you shade and highlight different areas of your face to make the best of your features. She has very recently done individual posts on HAC-ing for different face shapes, check it out here. Or check out her step by step video here.
Cara demonstrating the HAC effect.
Here's my HAC kit, it's nothing too fancy but I think it does the job for me.

  • Boujoirs Healthy Mix Serum
  • Soap and Glory Hocus Focus
  • Benefit Girl Meets Pearl hightlighter
  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer (you definitely need a matt bronzer for HAC)
  • Rimmel Blusher (really need a new blusher)
  • Models Own angled brush
  • Lily Lolo Brush
Before I go I wanted to share my new darker hair with you. It's not too drastic but definitely feels more me. It's just a home dye kit I applied straight over my ombre. The ends are still slightly lighter, so it has an ever so subtle ombre effect in direct sunlight.

Hope you enjoy having a read through Cara's blog, as I've picked up loads of little tips over the years. Oh and be sure to check out her makeovers, they are simply jaw dropping!!


Sunday, 3 November 2013

My bump, some black and a discount code

I cannot get enough of black at the minute. I've never had a big thing for black before, or found the attraction with animal print, yet I find myself drawn to them so much recently. I can't put my finger on why, so I'll just put it down to hormones - my get out clause for everything at the mo!!

Today's effort: 
Next blouse
H&M scarf
Dorothy Perkins skirt
ASOS boots
I got this window pane check top from the Next sale recently (no longer available), I also got a jumper in this pattern but couldn't resist this blouse as well. The skirt is an uber stretchy one from Dorothy Perkins. I'm looking forward to wearing this and the navy and grey ones I bought recently, as they're so comfy for a growing bump, yet you still feel dressed up in them.

Oh and for all the bump doubters (I'm looking at you Avenue 57 ladies!), here it is in all its glory. It can be hard to see in front on photos, but as you can see from a side profile it's definitely there. I'm hitting the half way mark this week, and apart from the tiredness and the bean having what feels like late night raves in there, I've had a pretty easy ride since 12 weeks when my sickness thankfully left - long may it continue!

I've made quite a few black purchases this weekend. I've been after a pair of black suede pointy pumps for ages now, and nearly bought a few different pairs, but ended up with a complete bargain.

Mango £79.99

Zara £59.99

Whistles £135

River Island £45

I couldn't pass up these River Island ones, as they are far cheaper than the rest and are still 100% suede. Then my blogger buddy Avril from School Gate Style shared a 25% discount code. That made these £33.75 -more than £100 cheaper than the Whistles ones I nearly bought last month *smug bargain grin*. The code is GRAZIAOCT13 valid until tomorrow evening (04/11/13).


I had been eyeing up this leather biker jacket on the River Island website yesterday too. I have a waterfall one but don't wear it as much as I thought I would, it's quite dressy, and I really regret not getting a biker one at the time. At full price it was £100, which to be honest isn't bad for a real leather jacket, but at £75 with the discount, I really didn't have to think twice.

Some more damage was also done on the Mango website. I had no luck at all with the Ash Spiral or Jalouse sizing, but at least I scratched the itch. I thought these were a great option at less than half the price, essentially making my leather jacket free - because that's how it works in my head!!

So how do you like my purchases, and am I the only morbid person drawn to black all of a sudden?