Friday, 19 December 2014

Because love doesn't come in boxes...

Hello beautiful people! I hope you're all well and enjoying the run-up to the big day - can you believe it's a week today?! This whole year has flown by and December is always so busy. As a result of this jam-packed schedule (seriously - I've been waiting for a free time to watch Elf with my brother for over a week now) I'm forever daydreaming about what what to wear for all the events and occasions going on, as well as what I want to snuggle down in after a day of Christmas shopping. I've compiled a mini wishlist of some of the items I'd love to be wearing - enjoy!

1 & 7: New Look
6: Topshop 

I love shopping in the winter because it has an abundance of the things I swoon over year round: velvet, plaid, lace and dark or jewel tones. Lately I'm being drawn to items with a high neck, such as the Topshop lace crop and the New Look floral shirt. The faux fur and velvet would feel luxurious for an evening out, whilst the hat and sweater from Fjallraven Canada look so cosy to bundle up in during this bitter cold. Finally, whilst I'm still not entirely sold on shift dresses, I'm convinced this plaid number would be pretty cute with a thick cardigan, tights and boots.

What items are you lusting over this December?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

She's a myth that I have to believe in.

Hi dolls, I hope you're well! I'm feeling chirpy having been inducted into my new job and I'm getting excited for something different and new! However, I'm not here to ramble about work, I'm here to announce the shocking revelation that I've got off my arse and taken some outfit pictures(!!) I've been pretty much living in my previous work uniform lately and most of my spending money has been going towards the seemingly never-ending task of Christmas shopping. However, this weekend I took the opportunity to style up my cute new DMs for something other than work, so here's what I wore...

Shirt - New Look (old)
Crop Top - American Apparel via Buytshirtsonline*
Jeans - Topshop
Dr Martens - Schuh

Earrings - Beauty Bizarre

Whilst I can only apologise for the distinct lack of Pilates my midriff has encountered recently, there's something fun about wearing a crop top in winter, building those layers back up around it to fend away the startling cold. For me an open checked shirt and high waisted jeans avoided too much skin being on show, but for even less body-confident days I've also been wearing this top layered under dresses and tops to keep warm. The colour is a little bit unusual, and American Apparel clothing is always so soft, stretchy and comfortable.

My shearling DMs are also rather helpful for fending away the cold. I seriously couldn't be happier with these, both in terms of comfort and style.

Finally, I accessorised with a pocket watch necklace and jewellery from my November favourites post. I'm truly enamoured with my Beauty Bizarre jewellery, and I think it finished the outfit perfectly. Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

Ahh it feels good to be back with an outfit post, now I just need some luck finding something for my Christmas party this weekend! Nothing I own is quite right... how is that always the way?! What did you think of this post - are crop tops in winter a yay or a nay for you?

Friday, 5 December 2014

There's snow on your collar, boy...

Hi dolls, I hope you're all well and enjoying that Friday feeling! Can you believe it's just 20 days until Christmas? This year has absolutely flown by and last Christmas still doesn't seem all that long ago. However, I've been keeping super busy getting in the festive spirit: buying everyone's presents, landing myself a new job and trying to tie up those loose ends for a much-needed fresh start next year. Still, 2014 isn't over yet and I always enjoy writing my monthly favourites posts to celebrate the lovely things I've come across each month. These are my November favourites, and the items that will see me through this year's celebrations - enjoy!

Handmade jewellery - Beauty Bizarre

As much as I love the high street, it is so important to support smaller, independent boutiques who offer great quality, handmade items. Beauty Bizarre are all about the custom made, the handmade, using the hashtag #DIYordie which I adore. Their items are either one-offs or very limited runs meaning designs are very exclusive if not unique - always a bonus in my eyes as I like my jewellery to be personal and not the same old thing every other person is wearing. I had a lovely customer experience when shopping with Beauty Bizarre, my jewellery arrived beautifully wrapped with a thank you note inside, and I had some extra rose stud earrings in my package which were a lovely addition. Whilst I'm generally a silver girl, the old-gold look of the earrings is really lovely and they look gorgeous alongside the bonus rose studs. Their designs range from the very pretty to the more alternative, and they cater for many modifications which sets them aside from most. Soon Beauty Bizarre will be running a competition on their Instagram which is worth keeping an eye out for - I'm really liking what I see of this brand so far and I think they're one to watch!

Shearling Dr Martens - Schuh

 I recently posted some patent burgundy shearling Dr Martens in my winter wishlist post which attracted a lot of attention in the comments. I had them all primed and photographed to feature in this favourites post, when the patent leather starting cracking and peeling in the natural creases that appear after just a week of wear. I exchanged them for a replacement when, after another week's wear, they started doing the same. As you may have gathered from my blog title, I'm a big fan of Dr Martens and have never experienced anything like this with their boots, patent or not, and at over £100 I did not want half the patent coating peeling off of my originally gorgeous Christmassy boots. As I loved the cosy shearling inside (which means they hardly need breaking in) I swapped my beloved burgundy boots for the same style in a black butter-soft leather: they're not coated so I won't have the same concerns about them cracking or peeling. The leather is neither as stiff nor as dark as my original black DM boots, and I've ordered some oxblood ribbon laces to add a touch of festive colour to these. If you own or have ordered the burgundy boots, I'm curious as to whether this has happened to anyone else: I can't be the only one with all the bad luck, can I?!

Thomas Sabo Necklace
For those of you who read my graduation post, you will be aware that I received lots of gorgeous jewellery as graduation gifts, all of which I'm sure will be lifelong favourites. However, in this post I decided to feature one item which I have not yet shared: a stunning Thomas Sabo onyx necklace which my best friends bought me as a joint graduation present. It can be worn at two different lengths, a handy design feature, and it has barely left my neck since I received it.

Gelish Manicure
I got my first ever gel nails applied for my graduation ceremony, so that my nails would not chip and annoy me throughout (I know - because during those thirty seconds onstage everyone was totally fixated on my manicure, ahem) but I have since been hooked on the gel nails' long-lasting, chip-resistant formula. I'll certainly be continuing with having gels until after new year as I love that my nails grow underneath without being damaged - I feel like I damage my nails far more using nail polish then remover constantly. At first I opted for a dark purple-black, now I've moved onto bright red glitter - it is December after all!

Jumper - Topman

Say hello to my first proper Christmas jumper (which has been used as a handy background for these festive favourites photos!) This Topman fairisle number was reduced in the Black Friday sales and I couldn't resist it - I wanted a mens Christmas jumper so that it would be baggy and cosy, and this does the job perfectly.

What were your November favourites? Have you tried any of these items, or will you be trying any?

Monday, 1 December 2014

That electric twist...

Hi dolls, and happy 1st December! This is the first year I haven't had an advent calendar, something tells me I'm getting old. However, to kick off this month's celebrations and show I've not become a total Scrooge, today I'm reviewing a nail art kit which is perfect either for a Christmas presents or for getting your own glitter on over the party season. Enjoy!

Turbo Wattage Nail Art Kit - Flashmob Cosmetics*

This set from Flashmob Cosmetics is comprised of four nail lacquers and three pots of decorative glitter. The shades are nicely selected as they all mix and match well. The purple polish is definitely the most pigmented, giving good coverage after just one coat, while the paler/more neon blue and green shades require two or three coats to build up colour. The white is more of a base coat intended to adhere glitter: I had hoped it would be more pigmented so as to be able to create nail art designs with it, but at the same time I often think white nails give off a Tippex vibe unless they're really well executed - the pearly colour of this polish is much softer and would look pretty with some snowflake inspired art over the top.

To truly test these polishes I had to dig out some old false nails as I've had gel nails on since graduation. It was quite a fun experiment, however, as it meant I had free reign to play with the polishes and mix and match combinations I wouldn't otherwise have tried.

As you can see, I got well and truly stuck into my nail art ventures. Some of them are more successful than others (put this down to impatience and/or overexcitement) - it's also tricky painting false nails loose without smudging them when picking them up/putting them down (#bloggerproblems!) However I hope these have inspired you and demonstrated the effect the Flashmob nail paints and glitters give.

I had to post a closeup of the glitters on their own, too. So pretty!

Right then - I'm off to add Christmas songs to my iPod, I've held off for too long! Are you excited now it's December? Have you started (or finished) your Christmas shopping yet?!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Well, the weather outside is frightful...

Hi dolls, happy Wednesday! Today is my day off and I thought that as the last payday before Christmas approaches I ought to put my afternoon to good use by compiling a winter wishlist. There's pieces for both house and home, read on to find out what's on my list this year (I've been a very good girl...)

1. Shearling Dr Martens - These are my new work boots, but not a lot of people know they exist so I felt obligated to spread the word. The shearling inner means these DMs are way easier to break in and everyone has complimented me on my 'Christmassy' boots. (I've put black ribbon laces in mine too, so they look quite a lot like the classic oxblood boots only they're a hell of a lot cosier.)
2. Morris Table Decoration - Please excuse my fondness for seasonally themed stuffed animals. It's a problem that will make itself apparent over the course of this wish list.
3. Ombre Lace Underwear - This is actually quite a summery-looking set, but the Cosabella ombre sets are right at the top of my lingerie wishlist as they're just so gorgeous.
4. Voyeur Nightwear Set - Ann Summers just haven't done this set justice on their website. I saw this first instore, where I cooed over the chintzy satin set, before I realised that the illustrations in the delicate, teacup print depicted all kind of carnal, voyeuristic scenarios. It's such a funny, unexpected twist on an otherwise very sweet-looking set and I know a lot of people who would love this under their tree (though it may not be one to show Grandma too closely.)
5. Robin Door Stop - Argh he's just so cute and chubby! What's not to love?!
6. Emotional Baggage Tote - I saw this amazing tote on Lyzi's Christmas wishlist and fell in love. I'm in need of a new tote to carry around and I think this is wryly perfect.
7. Kitkatkitty Slippers - Tigerbear Republic make the most amazing animal slippers, cute but slightly off-colour so they're not sickly sweet. I'm torn between the kitties and the angry foxes.
8. Fur Paw Mittens - As someone that's now twenty-three, I could have opted for the faux-fur mittens without paws on them. But that's just not as fun, is it?!

9. Hummingbird Bangle - I found this beauty from Lisa Angel while idly browsing Not On The High Street for Christmas gift inspiration. I'm a silver girl at heart but I love the way rose gold looks against silver. Simple, elegant, beautiful.
10. Velvet Swing Dress - Okay, I'm going to level with you: I've already bought this dress. It was the only thing I found that I liked on a lunchtime dash when hunting for a graduation dress, but I later realised the delicacy of the lace shoulders may not be compatible with the safety pins required to keep the robe in place. However I've decided to keep it and wear it over Christmas as it will look cute either with a big slouchy cardigan or with heels and glitter. I like it too much to return it now...
11. Emerald Necklace - After wasting so much money over the years on costume jewellery which has quickly perished I'm making more of an effort to opt for quality. This Trollbeads necklace still has drama and detail but is high quality, changeable, and most importantly - it won't disintegrate after three months.
12. Drop Earrings - Another Trollbeads affair, these make a statement and add glitz without being overpowering. I wear quite a lot of jewellery so I like pieces which mix and match well together.
13. Satin Lingerie Set - This is listed under lingerie but it would work well as pyjamas too. This is so pretty, with a real luxury look to it.
14. Monty and Mabel - Did the John Lewis advert slay anyone else? No, just me? I'm a massive child, I know, but these are totally on my Christmas list. (You'd have to have both together though, obviously...)
15. Fur Stole - Within two shifts at work, one of the new guys already knows me as 'the girl who likes fluffy stuff' which suggests I should probably calm down with the faux fur already. But nope - they're on mannequins in every shop window and I can't ignore them any more - the time has come for one of these faux fur stoles to make it's way into my stocking. One in every colour, please.
16. Desire Perfume - Dolce and Gabbana can do no wrong. That is all.

So there we have it... these are some of the items I'm craving for Christmas this year! What's on your list? If you've written a blog post please do link me to it!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Are we out of the woods yet?

Hi guys, I hope you're well! Today I have a really exciting post to share, as yesterday was my graduation day and I can finally call myself an official graduate! I had such an amazing day: my ceremony was in the morning, then we went for late lunch and a walk, then finally catching a train home where we were joined by my brothers and spent the evening chatting over a few bottles of bubbly. It was such a lovely day and I'm so excited to share my pictures with you!

Necklace -Miss Selfridge
Dress -Topshop
Boots - New Look

I'd really struggled to find a graduation dress that suited what I was looking for: at the moment I'm preferring a more structured, fitted silhouette: by no means anything bodycon but something that skims rather than sticks out like the flowing skater shapes I favoured throughout university. I had a false start with a dress that I'd had to wait a long time for which then didn't fit me nicely, then had no luck trawling the shops on my lunch breaks. In a last-minute panic I found this dress on the Topshop website and ordered it on a next-day delivery, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it fit. With a crop-top style shape over an A-line skirt it looks a bit like a co-ord. The only downside is that I hadn't realised it had cutouts on the side, which I didn't think would be ceremony-friendly (I needn't have worried given some people's outfit choices haha) but I made do with layering a lace cami underneath, and the cutouts will look pretty into Christmas party season. Mostly I wanted to go for something fairly simple and classic as I knew these photos will always be ones I look back upon!

The ceremony itself was nerve wracking as I didn't want to trip up on stage, but - hooray - I didn't, and suddenly just like that I'd graduated and it was time for photos, cheesy grins all round! Graduation was such a strange process, and I couldn't stop giggling at the sight of myself looking a bit like Severus Snape in those robes, but hey - it's all part of the process...

A lovely part of graduating, a part that you don't really think about or expect, is that you do sometimes also get presents! Here are a few things that I received upon my graduation, including these beautiful roses from my brother and his girlfriend...

Stackable Rings - Bloody Mary Metal

Personally it is important to me that my jewellery has meaning. Every day I wear almost a full set of rings: some were my mums from when she was young, another from my 18th birthday. However, one ring I wore daily on my index finger didn't really have any sentimental value and so I bought myself a graduation present that meant something to me, that I will wear every single day. These stackable rings have a very personal meaning to me: 'per ardua' is the traditional McIntyre clan motto (my surname) and means 'through adversity,' whilst 'ad astra' means 'to the stars'. These are very meaningful to me, reminding me to face adversity, take the knocks and get through the darker times with the intention and drive to every day work towards being happy, successful and the best I can be.

Daisy Ring - Trollbeads

This graduation present was a hugely welcome surprise: as you might gather from my blog title, I'm very fond of daisies, and this Trollbeads ring is one I have admired from afar for years. Trollbeads' attention to detail is flawless, I love the wavy daisy stem, which fits around the finger, and the delicate romance of the small gap in the petals. When my parents produced this for my graduation present I was just blown away, and it will remind me every day of all the hard work I put into the past three years, and what that is worth. It is so easy to become disheartened just after finishing a degree and going back to the same job title you've always had, I know a lot of graduates (particularly from creative industries) will feel the same having had to do the same. However, receiving something I've always wanted and never thought I'd have as a reward for graduating helps give a sense of validation to all that hard work. It's not all about getting a job to validate all that hard work and gained skill, it wasn't all for nothing, and I know I have to be patient as it would take a lot of luck for everything to fit into place straight away.

My boyfriend later presented me with some lovely floral presents too: a gorgeous bunch of blooms and a beautiful flower necklace. I like that he always surprises me with gifts, nipping into my favourite jewellers and consulting them. He always chooses something I love, but I can never predict what it will be, which makes it all the more exciting.

Emma also created an amazing illustration of the three of us (well, our alter egos) as a graduation present for us. How amazing is this?!

Overall I had an amazing graduation day. I'm so grateful to my friends, family and course mates who have supported me along the way. I'm so proud of everyone on my course, who are a talented and hard working bunch who deserve every success that comes their way. The student chapter of my life has finally, officially closed and I couldn't be happier to start afresh. Who knows what the future will hold?