Saturday, 30 July 2011

Weekend Wishlist

This weekend I am mostly lusting over the H&M sale. I neeeed to get into Leeds this week! I was going to go on Friday (and bunk off work) but we had an engineer coming to look at our TV so I had to put my plans on hold. I finish work for the summer next week (hopefully), so I'm going to have a full day in Leeds, hitting all the new vintage shops I've not had a chance to explore yet, the plethora of charity shops, and of course H&M!

I really hope they still have some of these items, in my size, when I go, because a, they're dirt cheap, and b, they're gorgeous!

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

The first one looks deliciously autumnal, but the others are perfect for warm summer days. Hopefully I can stock up on some casual dresses (I swear I own like 100 dresses but a lot are a bit too fancy for work/hot summers days). What are you lusting over this weekend?

Thursday, 28 July 2011

What I Wore: TGIF (tomorrow)

T-shirt: Belle & Sebastian merchandise
Skirt: American Apparel
Shoes: walking sandals

Today I have mostly been despairing over the hideous boredom that is my job, obsessing over Taylor Swift and Veronica Mars and falling asleep in the bath. I also got sent some bleach in the post (it's not as weird as that sounds, it's a product testing thing) but it leaked and now my hands stink of chlorine. Thank goodness it's Friday tomorrow because I am about at the end of my resources here.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

My Family

Say "family" to me, I will probably show you this picture...

Which is the screensaver on my phone. Which I showed to pretty much everyone ever after I took it, cooing 'this is my family'. Literally, everyone ever. So I'm sure you've all seen it. But I love it. The monster down the front is Kofi, he is approximately 7 years old and huuuuge. He loves to cuddle, but is also more agressive than Miso, the baby girl my husband is holding - she's just a baba in this photo, she's a year old now, and not much bigger. She is a Small cat, and he is a Big cat. They adore each other (after a rocky start) and regularly curl up together for naps and clean each other. It's adorable. They are basically my children.
And that's my Hubby again! He's two years older than me but he has such a baby face he still gets ID'd for booze.We'll be married a year this October 1st <3

Having said that. I could equally show you any one of these pictures...
Family meal about 15/100 years ago. The three boys are my brothers, the girls my cousins - I'm bottom right,  a real cutie, amiright? ;)
Day trip to Scarborough with my parents.

Doing the Transpennine Real Ale Trail with my Dad, brother, Grandma and Husband.

At my eldest brother's wedding in '08 - I was bridesmaid - cried like a baby.

And from my weekend just gone at home...

Bowling with my Dad.

Constantly changing (soon I'm going to be an Auntie!), lots of different versions, but it still boils down to the same thing. Love (and, you know, the occasional argument).

Hubby & I have grand plans to start one of our own one of these days. Can't wait!

p.s urgh. this was supposed to publish tomorrow but blogger went wrong so since it's probably already in your reader, you might as well see it now.

What I wore: on a sunny summer's day

Top: Marks & Spencer
Culottes: vintage, eBay
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

As anyone in the Leeds area would know, this is not an appropriate outfit for today's weather at all, it's grey and windy and frankly, a bit cold, so I'll let you in on a secret - this picture was taken LAST week. Scandelous I know, but since my primary school has broken up for the holidays, I'm currently doing full days  at my 2nd job, where I have a very unattractive uniform (well, shirt, I wear floral shorts with it to keep it fun). So, old outfit posts it is - sorry! 

I just finished the final Hunger Games book and well, frankly I'm a little disappointed. I really loved the concept and how the story progressed, I just didn't feel it was very well written. Also, the ending didn't really satisfy me - felt a bit rushed. If anyone's interested, I'm reviewing all the books I read this year on my goodreads account.

Has anyone one else read it? Do you agree or do you think I'm being harsh? I'm not saying it's like, Twilight bad... But it could be better, no?

Monday, 25 July 2011

30 Day Journal Challenge - part 3

Here's my latest installment of journal pages - I'm a bit behind still, and have managed to completely miss a prompt out somehow, but I'll just have to complete it out of order. Here goes.

Journal Prompt 12:  Completely fill your page with line design!
This one is admittedly a little lame, but I did complete it whilst on a coach so I'm not too unimpressed with myself.

Journal Prompt 13:  Create a simple family tree. 
This one really has no excuses. I would like to apologise to everyone in my family for how badly represented they are in this - although to be fair, I look the least like myself out of everyone. But hey, at least I tried!

Journal Prompt 14:  What is your favorite quote? 
This is a line from the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels (can't remember which) and the film adaption of them. It makes me laugh.

Journal Prompt 16:  Today we are going on a little scavenger hunt!!
So I kind of ignored this prompt a bit... Well. I adapted it. I didn't really feel like ripping up dictionaries and books and turning my house upside down or drawing a chihuahua (what?!), so I just took the 'dictionary definition' part of it, and kind of used that. I chose the word 'Peace', I don't really know why, it's not a word I use a lot or feel a strong connection to, it just spoke to me I guess.

Journal Prompt 17:  Favorites!!!  
So easy. The second I read the prompt I knew what I was going to do because when it comes to my favourite thing of all time. Well, blog, meet Hubby :) - the line comes from Charlie & Lola, a children's cartoon/book series that we adore.

It was Prompt 15 I missed: 'Needs and Wants', but I'll be coming back to that. Promise.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


As I might have mentioned already, I'm a huuuge bookworm. I'm currently 2/3 of the way through the Hunger Games series. I'm totally hooked, but I'm not sure I'm loving them - if that makes any sense! I've got the third and I'm about to devour that this afternoon (after the German Grand Prix of course!), so I'll have to wait and see how it ends.

I have an account on goodreads, a website that lets you record and track what you're reading and review them when you've done, a bit like but for books. I love it because it gives you all kinds of statistics about what your reading, and I do love statistics (geek).

I thought I'd share a couple of my favourite books and authors with you, mostly modern ones here, but for the most part I'm more of a classic fiction kinda gal. They're classics for a reason right?

Go over to my page to have a more in-depth look at what I'm reading and what I've read, and loved, or hated :)

A few of my favourite books

The Harry Potter series - obviously. I don't know how to describe these books other than magical. Absolute must reads for, well, everyone. Ever. The end.

His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman - re-reading this series again at the moment. Really wonderful stories. I'm not really a 'fantasy/science fiction' fan, but these books are just slightly skewed from reality, enough to make them captivating and gloriously written. Definitely not just children's book - some of the best books are aimed at kids but don't let that fool you for a second.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams - funny and heartwarming. Really lighthearted and just a joy to read. It's not complicated, it's not sad, it's a great lift-you-out-of-the-moment read. Even better than the book though, is the radio series the first two books in this series are written from - I'd definitely recommend you hunt those out, even if you're familiar with the books.

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - a real modern classic. Again, this is technically science-fiction, but it's not really about the time travelling at all, it's about the relationships and it is absolutely heartbreaking. We sent a copy to my sister-in-law, also an avid reader, who promptly declared it 'the best book ever'. So engrossing and wonderful.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell - so long, but so worth it. Really interesting from a historical point of view (it's set during the American civil war), but it is so much more than that. Second greatest love story of all time maybe? Scarlett is a wonderful heroine, not always likeable but strong and brave and determined. She does what she has to do and I love that about her.

And some authors that you should definitely check out - I like these as much for their style as their stories, so it's hard to pick a favourite amongst their works:
Douglas Coupland
Paulo Coelho
Haruki Murakami
Sarah Dessen

Hubby just placed a houmous, avacado and salad sandwich in front of me. Heaven! Perfect for the poorly throat that's plaguing my weekend :( Hope you're all fairing better than me.

Come on Sutil!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

What I wore

Soundtrack: A Chore by Tom Vek

Dress: vintage, Asos Marketplace
Cardigan: New Look
Shoes: Irregular Choice

I got this dress last week from a seller on Asos Marketplace - great for finding really cheap vintage clothes online because you have the security of it being backed by Asos. I really really love it. It's a little longer than I wear my dresses usually, but it's gorgeous so I couldn't resist it. I'm glad I didn't :)

I finally got around to ordering a copy of Leisure Seizure by Tom Vek and it just arrived this morning in the post. I love him, so glad he made a second album even if it was an age in the making.

Off to the market and the library. Have a nice weekend y'all.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Currently obsessed with...

(Hannah Millard Photography featuring Kayla Hadlington and Stolen Thunder Jewellery)

Stolen Thunder make really lovely wooden jewellery with fun and silly slogans on. Some of the images remind me a little of Banksy. This brooch in particular. But I think they are super cute.
I don't own anything by them yet, but with a 50% sale on in their store... Well, I just might do soon.

But which to choose!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Yoga & the Mercury Music Prize

Yesterday I went to a Yoga class with my friend Laura. I've done yoga before, but not much and not recently, so it was really nice to get back into it. Hopefully I'll be able to keep going over the summer whilst the classes run and it'll tone me up a bit (my exercise DVD has fallen by the wayside a little bit, sorry Jillian). 

The class finished not long before I had to head off to work, so I just pulled on this tunic/rather short dress over my workout leggings (my mum patched up the hole!). Not a very exciting day but fun for me.

Dress: George @ Asda
Leggings: Clothing at Tesco
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: an anniversary gift from Hubby

My soundtrack today might give you some indication of who I want to win the Mercury this year. General consensus is Wild Beasts should most definitely have been on the list but I've failed to listen to that yet. The Ghostpoet album is currently streaming on The Guardian website, just listening now, but I expect it to be good because of the collabo with FOE and Entrepeneurs (both acts I adore) on F*** Tactics, so I could probably take that winning too. Who do you want to win? Do you think they missed anyone note-worthy off? Should Wild Beasts have been on the list? Discuss!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Harry Potter & My Undying Love


Where to even begin? This story has been with me my whole childhood, and I've been in love with Emma Watson/wanted to be here, since I was about 15, so it's the end of an era in a way. Not that the stories will ever really leave me (that sounds lame but it's true).

Going into this film I was really excited, hopeful that it would be as good as I wanted it to be, sad that the story was concluding, happy that I was a step closer to fufilling my dream of marathon watching all 8 films in one weekend, but also very very nervous.

I've really enjoyed all the films, especially since they hit their stride with 3 (coincidentally my favourite book), and I adored 6, an unintentional comedy masterpiece - I saw it 4 times in various cinemas, but when I saw 7 part 1, I was so so disappointed. The majority of the screentime was of the main trio, and the abscence of the outstanding supporting cast was sorely missed. I didn't enjoy the breaking of the story into two (because so little happens in the first half) but the important moments in part 1 were handled so badly. The Hermione/Harry sexy dream bit was just, awful. So cringeworthy and terrible, nothing like I'd imagined in the book (AND WHY WERE THEY NAKED?). Even the death at the end which had me sobbing in the book barely affected me at all. The tone of the film was all wrong and the moments badly misjudged. Very disappointing.

So quite a mix of emotions going in... But I need not have worried as it was pretty much perfect!

A lot of people seem quite disappointed with it, but whilst I had a few minor gripes, it was really really good. I cried like, 5 times. Mostly because Alan Rickman is an incredible actor and that whole sequence of the book had me in floods anyway, but still. I was also really impressed with the CGI and loved Neville's coming-of-age (and turning into a total badass), whilst wearing an amazing cardigan.

My favourite bits (spoiler alert) were:

  • Daniel Radcliffe's actual proper acting at the beginning in Shell Cottage (HE CAN ACT?!)
  • Neville's cardigan & general scene-stealing amazingness. His speech near the end was pretty good.
  • all scenes with Snape in - particular the memory bits
  • Emo moody Draco
  • Hermione/Ron FINALLY kissing
  • really surprisingly, the final scene. I wasn't expecting to enjoy that at all, especially with the prosthetic faces. 
  • Basically most of the film

My gripes were:

  • Not enough Snape (just the whole film being about him would've been fine by me)
  • not enough time spent of his death sequence (also, didn't happen like that in the book did it?)
  • Crabbe/Goyle being swapped out in the diadem scene (I understand the actor was kicked off the project but still)
  • the "Let's finish this the way we started it" line/delivery/action - just that whole bit was awful
  • Ginny's aged face
  • Draco's aged face (both far too funny to be serious)
  • Neville declaring his love for Luna (where did that come from?)
  • Luna's little hissy fit on the stairs, the dialogue was just clunky
  • Not including Fred's death sequence - although I don't know if I could've coped with that, we'll see when the DVD comes out
But these were mostly small things. Mostly the scenes I didn't enjoy as much as the others were the ones I didn't like much in the book (like the bit after Harry dies), but I still think they were handled well.

It had some slightly throwaway comedic lines, which on the one hand, felt a little bit forced, but on the other, broke up the tension and all the sadness quite well. 

Basically though, it was amazing. I'd easily give it a 9/10. Maybe even a 9.5.

On a somewhat related note, how amazing does my friend Jade over at A Little Lipstick look dressed up as Hermione Granger?

Ah-mazing. If I had not spent my whole childhood/life wanting to be Emma Watson, I would definitely want to be Jade Stobbs right now.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays

I broke one of my own fashion rules yesterday. I was forced to.

If you know anything about me, you'll know I don't wear trousers. Like, ever. I don't like how they make me look (shorter and wider than I am) I don't find them comfortable, I just don't like them. I have nice legs and I like to show them off. I wear skirts, dresses and occasionally shorts. It works for me, so I go with it. 

So since I don't wear trousers, and I'm not a huge huge fan of leggings, I pretty much live in tights late September through til early April. Once April's here you will not see me in a pair of tights for love nor money. Even on a cooler day. I just will not do it.

But it was so cold yesterday! And raining! And just generally a miserable sod of a day. So I bit the bullet.

Dress & Belt: Primark
Tights: unknown
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

A pretty disappointing outfit all round - it needed a wider belt for one, and the baggy-ness of the dress can be offset by a pair of skyscraper heels. And black tights? Black opaques are my nemesis! The ruiner of all things fashion. But I though it was just one of those days, you know? 

Turns out today is even worse though. Today I literally feel like going to work in my pyjamas with unwashed hair and a coat thrown over the top. Blurgh. Come back please sunshine, I need you.

Monday, 18 July 2011

"It's vintage darling"

Hello all! Hope you had as nice a weekend as I did - despite all the rain! :)

I booked this trip home with the intention of seeing my Mum, and maybe my Dad (separated), but ended up seeing the whole family (my 3 brothers, sister-in-law and accompanying future niece/nephew and my brother's girlfriend who's also my friend from uni... They met at my wedding!). It was lovely to see everyone - I got very attached to the baby bump - only 1 month to go! I can't wait to meet you little kiddo - but my family is a huge melting pot of personalities and emotional sorts, so it was pretty tiring. Glad to be home with our cats now.

Over the course of the weekend Hubby and I ate a lot of food, watched the new Harry Potter film (that might have to be a separate post I think - so good!), spent far too long travelling on coaches and went bowling!

(Me about to score a strike, obviously)

I wore vintage dresses the whole weekend and I realised most of my wardrobe could technically be classes as 'vintage' these days. Is it fashion snobbery to say that I love it? Don't get me wrong, the rest of my wardrobe mostly comes from supermarkets or cheap chains like Primark or H&M, it's not like I'm spending hundreds of pounds on clothes here, but there's something wonderful about one-of-a-kind clothing. I absolutely hate that feeling when you see someone else in the same clothes as you (especially if they're styling it better!).

My camera started to die so the outfit pictures were a bit hurried - not sure any do this dress justice. It's the mostly gorgeous pink coral colour with a fitted bodice with boning, a ruched chest and peplum waist - I was worried this overly excentuated my hips when I tried it on (I usually favour a flare from the empire line or waist), and it does, but I've grown to love that about it. I'm all curves in it :)

Dress: vintage - Mighty Baby, Leeds
Shoes : Megabowl!

As I said, my camera died so I didn't get a picture of my full outfit for HP but I wore the same dress with these Irregular Choice Scottie Dog shoes.
(Image from google)

The most gorgeous shoes ever? I think so.

Phew! Still super tired from all the travelling so an early night for me and Hubby I think.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Hair & Outfit

Following on from my experiment with curls; the day after the curls had dropped somewhat but the hair was still somewhat curly, so, still feeling adventurous, I decided to 'pin' it up. I didn't actually use any pins, possibly a mistake in the end, I just tucked it under the same elasticated headband I'd used to create the curls - it didn't hold very well, bits kept falling out, but I didn't want it to look too structured, so I left the pins out. Lots of people at work thought I'd cut all my hair off initially!

Dress & Hairband: H&M
Cardigan: New Look
Necklace: gift

At home for the weekend so excuse the short post. Normal service will resume on Monday hopefully, and I've some beautiful new vintage dresses to show you - Hubby treated me to apologise for a fight we had :) A sneaky trick to get me to forgive him, I think you'll agree, but I guess it worked so...

Friday, 15 July 2011

Eating Vegetarian/Vegan

(I know, I know, but we just got Band Hero and this is my favourite to sing)

Whilst this is primarily going to be a fashion-y type blog, what I eat is a pretty huge part of my life, so I just wanted to share a little bit about it, and what it's like eating a semi-vegan diet at home and eating out, and recommend some places to eat in the Leeds/York area. It's not going to be a preachy you-must-stop-eating-meat-and-dairy post, and I'm not going to get too graphic on the reasons why I don't, so don't worry about that.

(An example of one of my vegan lunches - so tasty)

My mother has been 'vegetarian' for going on 25/30 years (loose term, and I do understand the different labels, she eats fish, and ethically sourced meat occasionally, but she was always just a vegetarian to us growing up), and for quite a while, my brothers, father and I ate no meat, because she cooked no meat. As we grew up and learnt to cook and stuff, we introduced meat into out diets, but still not on a huge scale. I made the choice when I was about 11 to stop eating meat again, for reasons I can't remember, and that lastest a few years. Then I was a vegetarian who ate sausages... And well, it all just spiraled a bit until I was a fully fledged meat-lover again.

I left home to go to university in the autumn of 2007 and I last ate meat in January 2008 (apart from this one hamburger once, which we won't go into right now, suffice to say I didn't enjoy it). The reasons for me stopping eating meat are and were multiple. It's not just a case of 'oh-the-poor-little-animals', although animal welfare is important to me, and the meat and dairy industries having appalling levels and practices of care. The primary, totally selfish reason was that since I was now buying my own food, I couldn't afford the quality of meat that I was used to, and found it totally unappealing, so I thought, I won't bother buying this cheap, nasty stuff, I'll wait until I can afford nicer tasting, and more ethical meat. Another reason was that this was the time I met my now-husband, who was a pescetarian (ate fish) at the time - don't get me wrong, I didn't do it to impress him, but talking to him about it definitely changed my point of view somewhat.

My course at university definitely had a lot to do with it as well. When you learn about water scarcity and land management and sustainable food practices, it kind of changes your viewpoint. As I said, my primary objection to eating meat isn't the standard ethical thing, nor is it how disgustingly unhealthy/bad for your body meat and dairy products are (seriously, they turn my stomach now with how rich and greasy they are), but it's one of simple economics which I feel, with no offence to other vegetarians and vegans, is much more valid an argument. It's not about emotions or choices, it's just simple logical fact which I find very hard to argue with. I'll try and explain it super simply (not to be patronising, just to give you an overview), although it goes so much deeper than this, obviously.

There are a finite amount of natural resources on our planet, in the context of food production; water, non-renewable energy, viable land etc, an amount which is rapidly decreasing due to over consumption. And the simple fact is, it takes about 7 times as much carbon (I think it's carbon, don't quote me) to make a unit of meat products as it does a grain or a vegetable. It is an inefficient allocation of resources (can you tell I studied economics?), simple as that.

I still eat a little bit of cheese, which, yes, does still contradict my ideals/beliefs, but in cutting back completely on meat and significantly on dairy, I still believe it makes a difference. It's not really about abstaining but moderation (I would eat a little bit of meat if I wanted to, but I've lost my taste for it now, so I physically couldn't).

I'm sure that's not going to turn you all veggie, and that's fine, I don't really have a problem with people eating meat - although society as a whole definitely needs to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy, for environmental and health reasons - but I just wanted to give you some insight into my choices and reasons behind that.

I'll recommend some dining establishments in another post as this has got way too long and waffle-y! Thanks for sticking with me and feel free to comment with your thoughts.

P.S. Just to preempt a question veggies get a lot - I used to sometimes crave the saltiness of bacon, but not the texture or anything, but I think that was more a taste association because it's faded as the years have gone by. I've been a veggie now for 3 and a half years.
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