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LFW daily edit - footwear trends from ASOS


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ London Fashion Week, Sept 2014

It’s London Fashion Week and I for one can’t get enough of all the live video streams, Instagram photos and live catwalk updates via Twitter. Yes, I’ve been absolutely glued to the coverage and as it’s Tuesday Shoesday I thought I’d post an update on my favourite footwear trends that have been shared during the course of LFW. One of the most interesting updates has come from ASOS and I’ve been keeping an eye on their daily edits since the start of fashion week.ASOS daily edit for LFWOne of the uber-fashionable in-house stylists at ASOS, Megan Ellaby has been guest editing the “Daily Edit” platform throughout London Fashion Week and I’ve really enjoyed reading her advice and getting ideas for looking stylish at LFW. I can see why she chose these fabulous shoes as part of today’s Daily Edit – they sum up the colours and shapes for Autumn/Winter perfectly: 

LFW daily edit - footwear trends from ASOS

As you can probably tell from my other Tuesday Shoesday blog posts, I’m a big fan of the ox-blood colour trend for this season and these chunky loafers with gold chain detail are my idea of the perfect autumn shoe. Of course, mixing textures and fabrics is a key trend for Autumn/Winter 2014 and these ASOS boots and DKNY Active trainers combine different finishes in the same colourway in order to tap into the texture trend. I’m definitely on the look out for a pair of ankle boots for this winter and I’d love a low-heel just like these, so Megan’s fashion week tip just might end up in my wardrobe later on in the season!

More glamorous looks for A/W14 that I just can’t get enough of are these outfits chosen by Megan. The colours are ideal for the season and most importantly each of these looks would be the ideal accompaniment to my burgundy leather shoes! I love subtle checked patterns and the shape of this playsuit is on the more vintage side of the fashion spectrum, so I am definitely putting this on my wish list – I’m imagining it with a chunky belt and thick thermal tights for winter. The claret jumper will work with almost everything in my existing wardrobe and will help bring last years’ shirts and skirts bang up to date. My favourite of these looks is the midi skirt. Even though I’m not yet sure that I can pull off this length being only 5ft 2 I certainly want to try a midi skirt with tucked in slogan jumper to recreate this fabulous casual-glam look. I know that ASOS have a great petite section so I think I’ll browse around for a midi skirt and take the plunge!ASOS LFW 14

The shopping edits by the enviably on-trend personal stylists at ASOS will continue beyond LFW so be sure to check back on the Daily Edit page for up-to-the minute updates on what’s hot this season. Now that I’ve found it, I know I won’t be able to tear myself away – I like to think of it as ‘research’ for work rather than shopping  – haha, any excuse, eh?!

 

 

back to school shoes for autumn winter 2014


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ At the school gates…

Autumn term. It’s finally here. I wait and wait for September to arrive for two reasons; firstly, as a perpetual student I’ve always loved starting a new course each September and relishing the potential new learning experiences it can bring, and secondly, because I see it as the start of the run-up to Christmas! I’ve always found that the autumn term flies by in  flurry of fireworks, Halloween and festive events and in no time at all we’re singing Alde Lang Syne.  And I really can’t get in trouble for saying the ‘C-word’ too early because from today it’s actually only 100 sleeps til Christmas, woop!back to school shoes trend for autumn winter

The start of September sees countless children all around the country heading back through their school gates to carry on learning and I always feel slightly jealous of the teenagers who get to spend another year at high school, surrounded by their friends, learning something new every day. They might not see it quite that way at the moment (as my little sister can testify!), but I know I’d love to relive my school days and I’m sure I would get more out of it the second time round; I think I’d appreciate it more – especially compared to the ‘real world’ of work!

Not only are the little ones heading back to school, but it’s the same in colleges and sixth forms around the country, and soon university students will be moving back into their halls of residence in time for Freshers’ week. And according to the National Student Survey we’re all loving it; This year’s results showed that student satisfaction is at a 10 year high! Are all the students around the country as keen on education and as easily excitable as me? I’m not sure, but one thing’s for certain; whether we’re going to primary school, high school, sixth form, college, university, leisure learning, work or even doing the school-run… we deserve ‘back to school’ shoes!back to school shoes ideas for autumn winter 2014It’s one of the perks of going to school – that day at start of September that your parents take you to the shoe shop to have your young feet measured and to choose a new pair of school shoes. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a say in which pair you wear and I remember always choosing a Wizard of Oz style sparkly shoe, although each year I seemed to end up going to school in black leather lace-ups. Well now that I’m a grown up, I’m actually glad that my mum made these decisions for me, as it has definitely influenced my style over the years – just look at the ‘back-to-school’ shoes that I’ve chosen for myself this year – a gorgeous patent pair of lace-up shoes from Clarks.back to school shoes for autumn winter 2014

This style of shoe is called the Busby Fizz and I mainly chose them because of the deep ox-blood burgundy leather, which is sums up this season’s footwear trend perfectly. They are great all-purpose shoes so I know that I’ll be able to wear them for most occasions during the autumn term. Thankfully, I AM starting a new course this September so I get to treat myself to all the essential back-to-school kit, including a new pencil case (okay, it’s mostly full of make-up!) and I’d love to get a new satchel, but that’s another shopping trip! Okay, the course I’m studying is an online Journalism course, but that doesn’t mean that I have to go without new term shoes!

The casual lace-ups that I’ve invested in look classy with dresses, will pair up nicely with trousers or jeans, and I love wearing them with cosy coloured tights. It’s my nod to the Autumn/Winter 14 footwear trends of rich colours and interesting textures, although I’m sure that I’ll be wearing these all through the following year too. It’s a style that doesn’t date and the colour is subtle enough to remain on-trend for years to come. I’m certain that I’ll be wearing these when I start another course next year and lets hope my sister doesn’t try to pinch them when she goes off to college too!

busby fizz shoes for autumn term

eco friendly bamboo bath bridge shelf_-2


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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside ~ Thrifty & eco-friendly bathroom accessories

After finishing the storage wall in our bathroom and laying a wooden floor, this week has been all about painting more coats of whitewash on the wood (it just keeps soaking in!), and having a look around for some fab accessories to compliment the new beach-hut-esque look of the bathroom.

We started the project with good intentions to reuse what we already have (because the sink and toilet are absolutely fine) and to recycle discarded materials, and we are now starting to see how it IS possible to create a thrifty bathroom makeover that doesn’t have to cost a fortune. So far we’ve spent £11 on a huge pot of white paint, have needed to buy a few wooden batons to support the cupboard structure (about £5) and some hinges for the cabinet doors (£1.99). We already had some grab adhesive in the shed, but even factoring this into the price at £4 per tube and we are still looking at under £30 to get to this stage.

I’m especially proud of the free wood that we found in a skip and even though it looked terrible with a crusty concrete tidemark on the sides, it was quite satisfying to get to work scraping off the concrete, wire brushing off the debris and sanding the wood down to end up with a useable material that would have otherwise cost us about £100 for the same stuff. Considering we were looking at cheap stick-on vinyl flooring that would have cost £70 alone, I am rather chuffed with this!

So after a very thrifty, upcycling start, I wanted to be sure that any accessories that we brought into the bathroom were equally purse-friendly with good eco-credentials. Although it’s not the most exciting of topics, I knew we needed a new toilet because our old plastic blue one had clearly seen better days. I actually intended to keep it and make do – okay it was a bit wobbly and slightly dangerous but I’d lived with it so far… That was until I spotted a rather lovely (?!) loo seat on the John Lewis website. Of course, the first thing that caught my eye was that it was in the clearance section = bargain! The second feature was the natural woodgrain which would look great with the shelf above the toilet so I clicked through to read the description. I’m pleased to tell you that this toilet seat has excellent eco credentials! Yes, it’s made from rubberwood, which is a by-product of the latex industry. So rather than any of the tree going to waste, the wood has been used to create my loo seat!

eco friendly rubberwood toilet seat-2

Of course, after adding this to my shopping basket, I went for a little look around the website and found a couple of other items that I liked; firstly I spotted a striped guest towel that I thought would add a nautical vibe to the room. Secondly, and more importantly, I found myself needing this bath bridge. I’ve always wanted one, ever since watching the Darling Buds of May and seeing Ma & Pop Larkin having their dinner on a tray across the bath. I also thought it would be a good idea to stop my book getting wet while reading in the bath (the rack has a book stand) and it’s somewhere for me to put my glass of wine (also has a glass-holder slot, yay!). But of course, I wouldn’t get something just because I wanted it – it needed to be an earth-friendly product and luckily this one is just that. It’s made from bamboo which is a fast-growing, rapidly replenishing material, which is both lightweight and strong, so it’s an excellent alternative to wood and will fit in perfectly with my beach design. While I was there, I picked up this striped towel in seaside shades from a great range of patterned towels at John Lewis. It’s really lifted the room and links in with the colours on the photowall.

eco friendly bamboo bath bridge shelf_ eco friendly bamboo bath bridge shelf_-2

And finally, this week I picked up a striped beach hut cabinet at the carboot sale for just £1 and although I’m not sure where in the bathroom it will end up, at the moment it’s on the window sill, holding our toothbrushes and keeping them out of the reach of our cats (who love to rub against a bristly brush!). I was adamant that I didn’t want a load of cheesy seaside nick-nacks in the bathroom but at such a low price I had to give in and I actually think it’s quite classy with the dark blue stripe.

beath hut cupboard trifted from a car boot sale beath hut cupboard trifted from a car boot sale-2

I’m sure there will be more additions to come this week as the bathroom is still very much a work-in-progress so check back soon for more bathroom decorating ideas :)


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Dream a little dream… cosy sheets and cuddles

I have a little weekend ritual that I wanted to share with you today. Every Friday afternoon, I clean the bedroom; I throw the windows wide open, I air the mattress and duvet and I change the bedding. It’s become a habit over the past couple of  months since I decorated the bedroom. I take pride in the space and it’s now one of my favourite rooms in the house. My Friday afternoon preparations really get me in the mood for the weekend, and I think that my plumping of pillows and dusting of shelves is my attempt to make the bedroom as hotel-like as possible! I feel like having a clean, fresh, cosy bedroom sets the tone for the weekend; there’s no more tidying to do, just relaxing! natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-2 natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-4

Apparently I’m not alone in this weekly ritual, with a survey on NetMums showing that 40% of us change our sheets every week and another 36% change them every fortnight. Only a 5th of people leave it a month before changing the bedding and a rather icky 1% only do it once a year. That said, I’m not really changing my bedding because they are dirty and could probably leave it a little longer between washes, but I’m doing it for the reasons I mentioned above, to freshen up the room and get ready for the weekend.natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover My absolute favourite luxury is getting new bed linen and although I love my rose-design bedding (which I’ve had since hubby and I got married 11 years ago) it’s an extra special treat when I find some new sheets that coordinate well with my books-in-the-bedroom theme and I can really up the hotel-factor in the bedroom for the weekend. I love, love, love the striped sheets I got from House of Fraser  this week because they are the same crispness as proper hotel sheets and they feel both cool and cosy at the same time. The minute I shook the duvet out and tucked it around the bed, I felt the urge to dive into it and never get up again. I wanted to take a whole day off work, just to enjoy lying in bed. I think it was the noise that the sheets made that had me mesmerised; the rustle of linen that you only hear in hotels – a sound similar to walking on fresh snow. Sigh.

natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-5 natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-7I’d previously got some white sheets back in the winter when my bedroom makeover started, and I really don’t know what I was thinking. As someone who is a notorious tea-spiller, a push-over of a cat owner, and married to someone who likes to make breakfast in bed, it really wasn’t practical to have bright white sheets. Put it this way; they didn’t stay bright white for long! Before every wash I painstakingly pre-treated paw prints and I even bought ‘back to white’ miracle laundry sachets but to no avail. I’d definitely call them off white now, and although I still love the feel of them and will continue to use them, I am really pleased that I now have sheets that are clean and fresh, and that will be less likely to show tea drips and make-up smudges.

By the way, you may have spotted that I’m reading Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace, I always find his books laugh-out-loud funny and I’ve got Friends Like These lined up to read next. Have you read either of these and what do you think of them? Any opinions and recommendations of  future books of a similar comedic ilk would be gratefully received.natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-3

Okay, I admit it. I’m in bed right now as I write this blog post. I’m basically never leaving the bed again and snuggling under the new duvet is about as good as it gets on a Saturday morning. And I can see myself doing more and more of this as the days get darker and the temperature drops as we head into autumn. Time for a nap I think… natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-9 natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-8

art and photography exhibition at ipswich town hall-8


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Rust & butterflies ~ the perfect combination for an exhibition

art and photography exhibition at ipswich town hall-8

This week I went to the opening of a fabulous new exhibition at the Ipswich town hall art gallery, featuring the work of artist Mandy Christmas. The exhibition featured a stunning display of photographic works featuring countryside and coastal views along with some simply astonishing up-close shots of wildlife. Even the artist’s exhibition sign was a work of art; using a slice of a rusting old beach hut door as the backdrop for the Hunter – Gatherer exhibition title.

The beach hut door certainly set the tone for the exhibition – large-scale images focused on texture and moody colours, taking an abstract look at natural forms, shadows and decaying materials. These images contrasted rather pleasingly with a series of bright, lush, lively wildlife photography. Mandy Christmas explained how she photographed her surroundings on a series of walks – hence the Hunter-Gatherer title – and often found nature and decay living side-by-side. It was also really interesting to see a photo of the artist at work, taking a photo of a seagull – it showed that she wasn’t using a zoom lens to capture the gull’s cheeky face, but was actually crawling on the beach with the camera inches away from the bird! The artist’s patience in photographing birds, bugs and animals has clearly paid off as an entire wall of the exhibition is dedicated to her close-up wildlife images.

My dress is from House of Fraser, thermal tights from UK Tights, shoes from New Look

I was completely mesmerised by one of the artworks in particular; an image of a smouldering forest fire. This photograph stopped me in my tracks and transported me straight to the location of the fire. I worried about being in a forest that could potentially ignite and I imagined how it would feel to be surrounded by fire and cut-off in the woods. I admired the artist even more so for putting herself in possible danger in order to take the photo whereas I would have definitely been running in the opposite direction! Despite feeling uneasy while looking at the piece, I was drawn back to it time and again, and really enjoyed looking at the dusky colours and charred shapes.

art and photography exhibition at ipswich town hall-3

After a thorough look around the exhibition, hubby and I sat down with a cup of tea to take in the surroundings of the magnificent town hall building and I took some snaps. Please forgive the quality of my images; I forgot to take my camera with me and snapped these photos on my phone but I hope you get can an idea of the exhibition and the building as a whole.

I will definitely be visiting the gallery again and will be sure to report back on any other exhibitions I see over the coming months. Please get in touch if you’ve seen any fantastic artwork recently and please do recommend any galleries you think I’d be interested in – it’s always great to have new places to explore!