Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A River Island Christmas

River Island is a strange one. It is very rare that I go into one of their stores and see something I actually want to buy. It all seems too samey, too tight, too short and basically just not me. As for menswear, if the boy came to meet me wearing most of the stuff they sell I would probably freak out. Jeans that have a crotch settled right between your knees is just not a good look as far as I'm concerned.

You may find all this a little backwards if you have taken a look at any of my Fused fashion spreads (such as this one) because River Island feature highly. Their campaign images show really beautiful clothes, which I have realised exist but mostly only online or in the large stores. I am a bit of a shop-a-phobe, I love talking to people but hate having to fight my way towards a dress. That's why this year I will be scouring River Island's website for some of these wonderful Christmas pieces.  It's probably not a surprise that I particularly love all of the feathers.

 Baltimore Feathered Collar Dress £60.00 and Shelley Feathered Dress £70.00 with Purple Agate ring £10.00

Monday, 28 November 2011

More Temporary Secretary & Love Hearts and Crosses

I love jewellery. The quirkier the better. I hardly ever go to a high street retailer for it because they all seem to be stocked by companies that produce near identical pieces. In fact, in some cases I'm sure it's the same supplier. Most of my jewellery comes from local independent stores such as Peccadillos in Stafford, who fuel my love of precious stones.

In October I wrote about Temporary Secretary, who were suggested to me by the lovely Rose over Twitter. Now I finally own my own little piece of TempSec thanks to the boy... he had a parcel sent my house over the weekend that enclosed the TAB typewriter ring I had been lusting over.  It came complete with a wonderful little note from Sarah thanking him for his purchase. What a lovely graduation present! (I officially graduate a week on Wednesday.)

My new found love for TempSec has had me looking elsewhere online for gorgeous costume jewellery. I came across Love Hearts and Crosses on Twitter as well... but this time I wasn't thinking just of myself but of others too. I can think of one friend in particular that would love one of these pieces in their Christmas stocking. In fact, she has her very own karma circle tattooed onto her inner arm. Maybe she'll get the necklace to match.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Misty Miller Makes Me Smile

I'm currently a bit poorly and feeling a little sorry for myself. My graduation is looming and I am trying to find my first step on the career ladder at a time when there are lots more people than there are jobs. Post-Masters I am a bit at a loss and as winter is creeping up on us I spent most of today curled up under a blanket with my MacBook on my lap trying to find something to perk me up a bit. Misty Miller's music was the thing to put a smile on my face.

I first fell in love with her when I heard her acoustic version of Remember, which she filmed as part of Burberry Acoustic. She isn't new, I haven't tapped into some unknown talent or anything unfortunately, but she is spectacularly talented. Lots of her songs are on her MySpace in very good quality so you should definitely check her out. Hopefully she'll help you relax and smile a little bit too.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Nifty Notepads

I have a love of all things digital, my iPad fuels my laziness and it now hurts when I have to write with pen and paper for too long. Despite all this I still love paper. Stationery is one of the only things I actually enjoy shopping for.

Cue these nifty notepads available at Liberty. Not only are they stylish (with a rather retro feel) but they're perfectly designed to pass around the classroom (or the office). There's nothing like a paper aeroplane to tell someone to please stop throwing virtual sheep at you.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Caramel Cupcake Recipe

On Saturday it was bonfire night and that for me brings up memories of sticky toffee apples that were always disappointing when you were only left with an apple, homemade treacle toffee that my Gran could never get right and being wrapped up in lots of layers to watch fireworks in the rain. I make it sound a bit rubbish but I loved it.

This year I really wanted to dust off my great aunt's treacle toffee recipe and give it a go but knowing the mess it makes my dad convinced me not to bother for fear I would mess up our new oven. Instead, I chose caramel cupcakes from The Humminbird Bakery Cake Days book, which is where the Malteaser cupcake recipe came from.

I read a blog post today by Joy the Baker who was giving general blogging tips, in which she said: "Work hard to make it look easy…. and just be ok with the fact that it’s totally not easy." I'm not going to do that. This blog isn't me trying to be an expert, it's just me sharing things I enjoy as I find them and that includes attempting to learn to bake. That's why there are always notes alongside the original recipes saying what I did instead. I do hope you don't mind.

Caramel Cupcakes
Makes 12-16

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Ms. Fitz Does Jewellery

Ms. Fitz, who I mentioned before in my Blog Reading List back in January, has used her skills in styling and design to create her own jewellery line for SS12, with the collection entitled 'A Kind of Magic'. Whilst she launched it back in August with an online store, it continues to grow with new designs and their unique nature means they would make perfect Christmas presents. Yes, I dropped the C word in November, I'm shocked at myself.

There is a great interview with Ms. Fitz herself on The Vine, where she talks about her inspiration for the line.. My favourite designs are her knotted and woven necklaces and bracelets, which are made from hand dyed tribal print cotton sourced from Amish communities. She also features some wonderfully eccentric earrings and recently added a range of ear/nose chains.

If you love her collection as much as I do you can also tell her on Twitter and take inspiration from her blog on how to wear her pieces... get creative with your overall style or just use the pieces to add something bold and individual to your normal look.