The Cord Pinafore

Hello and Happy Halloween! I thought today would be an apt day to post up this outfit as the colours are very in keeping with the occasion.

Yes, I have added yet another pinafore dress to my collection (and may have also discovered one that I had forgotten about too)…I’m pretty obsessed with them to be honest- so easy to chuck on and perfect for layering! I think I’m up to five now, perhaps six as I’m sure one is still missing- organisation is not my strongest point in some areas of my life!

Dress: New Look (direct link) | Top: New Look (similar) | Boots: ASOS

Sorry the pictures are terrible in terms of light- Mum and I left it far too late in the day to get photos but wanted to make the most of the dry weather so we just did our best to dodge the worst of the sun glare with varying degrees of success!

I couldn’t resist the colour of this dress in New Look, and I totally didn’t break my shopping ban for it either as I was lucky enough to have it bought for me! If you look on the website you’ll see it’s also available in about six other colours and I’m wondering if I can justify adding the khaki one to my basket any time soon. I was pleasantly surprised by the length of this as New Look tend to come up on the short side, it’s so nice to be able to walk around confident that I’m not flasking my knickers at all and sundry.

I’m still obsessed with my ASOS ankle boots which are once again out of stock. I’ve been wearing them with so many different things so despite my initial worries about what on earth they would go with they proven themselves surprisingly versatile.

What wardrobe items are you bulk buying this winter? Pinafores and roll neck jumpers are my achilles heel.


Jazzing things up with Pimps & Pinups

Up until now I’ve managed to resist the trend for adding pastel colours to my hair. I did have a brief foray in to ombre a few years ago but the ensuing damage of a DIY bleach job was enough to put me off attempting it again- that and not wanting to commit to anything permanent. All of the temporary fixes I had come across involved yet more peroxide and knowing I’m somewhat phobic of hairdressers (although I did brave a cut and colour last week, yay!) I decided it was in my best interest to just steer clear.

That was until I was introduced to Pimps & Pinups and their high voltage hair pop paint (available from their London salon and on ASOS).

*products c/o Pimps & Pinups*

These sprays have a unique wet to dry formula and come in seven intense shades (I managed to fail to picture the blue and green ones, oops!). You simply spray these on to your hair- either directly or in to the palm of your hand first and wait literally seconds for it to dry. These are non-permanent and take to any hair colour, from icy blondes to deepest auburns. They are also rain resistant and stain proof and simply shampoo out, damage free.

Now, I have experimented with coloured hair sprays in the past including ones which claim to take to any hair colour and have been less than impressed with the results. I was slightly dubious that these could live up to the hype but always willing to be proved wrong I used Panther Pink and Purr Pull to colour the ends of my hair.

As you might have gathered by now I am somewhat inept when it comes to my hair so the result isn’t the neatest it could be but as you can see the colours did indeed take and this was with just a small amount of product. Because it dries so quickly the colour could easily be intensified by adding another coat or two on darker tones.

The only issue I had with these paints was going it alone (also explains the dodgy selfie) as things did get a bit messy (although it must be noted that not a trace is left on our white bathroom suite). I think that with a helping hand, or even a steady hand some really spectacular effects could be produced. As promised the colours washed out really easily although it did take a couple of washes to get the last traces of purple out!

On the whole I think these are fantastic, and at £7.99 per colour aren’t going to break the bank either. I’m looking forward to using them again especially in the run up to the festive season where it’s always fun to experiment with bolder looks. They are also an excellent way to test out if a certain bold colour will suit you before taking the plunge with bleach and actual hair dye.

What’s the wildest colour you’ve ever dyed your hair?


Handmade Gift Guide: Bumble & Moss

This year as part of my Christmas gift guides I really want to pop an emphasis on the small businesses that I love and support. This week I’m kicking things off with a shop I have a huge amount of adoration for- Bumble & Moss (who I featured earlier in the year too). I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Tina, the brains behind it all twice now at a local craft market and I can never resist a purchase from her stall!

Specialising in botanical style jewellery worthy of a fairytale (with a dash of Poldark inspiration thrown in for good measure) Tina’s pieces make for the most wonderful gifts. I’ve popped together a little collage featuring some of my favourites but please do check out her Etsy shop to see the full scale of what she can do.

If you live in the North Somerset area as I do then also make sure to check out the Bumble & Moss facebook page as there are lots of local markets and events happening in the run up to Christmas. I shall be popping along to the next HAVE market to see what’s new from Tina- keep an eye on my instagram for a look on the 20th November!

Don’t worry if you’re not based in the UK by the way as you can have your items shipped internationally- there are a few botanical pieces winging their way to America as I type.


Mae Reviews: Cat Packs

My feline friend has been getting spoilt rotten lately with a variety of boxes dropping through the door for her. Her latest treat came via CatPacks who got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago to introduce themselves and kindly offer Mae and I a box to review.

CatPacks source high quality food, toys and health care products from independent manufacturers and aim to enhance your pet’s physical and mental wellbeing. A CatPacks subscription box costs £15.00 for a single box or £13.00 for a recurring plan, plus £3.50 p&p. There is no minimum subscription term and your plan can be cancelled at any time!

Each month the box is seasonally themed in some way, this month celebrates Black Cat Day (October 27th FYI!).

There was a fantastic selection of foods all of which my little fuss-pot devoured with gusto. The sachet from “almo nature” was a particular favourite, she wolfed that down so fast and was so full she could barely move! Thankfully there were two brilliant toys in the box too so she could work off some of that fullness…the black fluffy…thing (for want of a better word) was a particular hit and I’ve been getting a work out dragging it around the house for her to pounce on.

The other toy was a little bag stuffed with valerian and catnip. I think this was an especially thoughtful inclusion for a box at this time of year as between halloween and bonfire night things can get pretty stressful for pets. Valerian is excellent at soothing and calming cats down and after a few minutes playing with this little pillow of comfort Mae is out for count! Between that and the few remaining cat cafe treats we should be in for a fairly chilled out time.

The other thing I really loved was the inclusion of a gift for the pet owner too. This came in the form of a cat shaped cookie cutter, perfect for baking up some gifts in time for halloween or bonfire parties! I’ll be whipping up some black cat biscuits in the very near future.

So there we have it, another subscription box for cats that really hits the mark. I love the care and thought that goes in to picking out the products for CatPacks, using independent companies and really taking the health and wellbeing of your cat in to account. But then what would you expect when CatPacks comes from a lovely lady named Jenny who also runs Chequer Trees Cattery in East Sussex?


Posted in cats, Mae, review


The October (2016) Degustabox and £7.00 discount!

I was taken by surprise last week when I had an e-mail informing me my latest Degustabox had been dispatched. It’s time playing tricks on me again as it feels like only a week had passed since my September one arrived. No complaints though, who’s going to turn down a food packed box of goodness turning up at their door?
The October box was packed full of Autumnal treats and although I feel I say this most months now this is 100% the best box Degusta have sent out in a while in terms of suiting my personal tastes at least. Curious to find out what was inside? Just keep reading…
First up we have Beloved Date fruit hearts (RRP 75p per pack). I’ve tried these before and loved them. Made from 100% cold pressed dates and a hint of natural flavouring these are a delicious way to get one of your five a day and great for a mid-afternoon energy boost. They are also gluten free and suitable for vegans and the orange ones are especially good!
Only a few weeks ago I would have turned my nose up at pasta and sauce as it was something anorexia convinced me I couldn’t eat. Thankfully I’m coming on leaps and bounds and have been experimenting with some truly delicious home made pasta dishes. It was with genuine excitement that I unpacked the Heinz kid’s dry pasta shapes and pasta sauce…the pasta made with 50% whole wheat is super cute and perfect served piping hot with a dollop of the smooth tomato sauce. I’m making up for lost time and eating as much pasta as possible right now! (RRP £1.19 for the pasta and £1.55 for the sauce)
Oddly chocolate has never really been a “fear food” for me and as much as I appreciate a decent dark chocolate I also freely admit to loving the white stuff too. Hershey’s cookies ‘n’ creme is a particular favourite and this king size bar (RRP £1) is perfect for sharing- or not as the case may be.

I’m rubbish at drinking enough water although it’s something I’m trying to change so these little portable squashes from Robinsons (RRP £2.49) are ideal for me as I can easily pick up a bottle of water when I am out and about and add some of this making it less of an accessory bottle and more something that’ll do my body some good! There’s no more than 3 calories per serving too so ideal for anyone watching their weight.

I’ve tried JimJams 83% less sugar milk chocolate spread before and loved it. Is there anything more comforting than a hot cup of tea coupled with toast and chocolate spread on a cold Autumn evening? Nope, not in my eyes! Thankfully for my teeth this has a lot less sugar than my usual spread of choice…try it on crumpets and you won’t look back! (RRP £2.59). Another chocolate treat came in the form of Pitch Choco Bar (RRP £1.40). These are brand new and proving extremely popular in France- essentially a brioche roll with a bar of solid milk chocolate in the middle these just beg to be a part of an indulgent weekend breakfast.
There were two products in the box which I haven’t actually tried yet and these were a Levi Roots smokey BBQ coat ‘n cook sauce (RRP £1.00) and some fusion noodles from Maggi (RRP £1.39 each). I’m leaving these for someone else in the house to try as neither are really my thing- let me know if you’d like individual reviews of these at a later date.
One of my favourite things about this time of year is the return of soup weather. I’ve become a big fan of these high protein soups from I AM SOUPER (RRP £1.49 each). Both are full of flavour as well as having the added punch of a protein boost to keep you fuller for longer. The pulled pork and jalapeños was a particular favourite and I’ll be keeping an eye out in the supermarkets for the rest of the range.
I’ve reviewed Yushoi Snapea rice sticks (RRP £1.99) before on the blog and they’ve featured regularly in my cupboards ever since. Although the concept of green pea based snacks seemed odd you just have to trust me when I say these are highly addictive and utterly delicious.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £7.00 off of your first box (making it just £5.99!) by entering the code 6HZJ8 at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.