Happy Monday folks, it’s back to work for me after an incredibly relaxing week off with Bob- for once we timed it just right around the weather and really got to make the best of that glorious sunshine bestowed upon us for a few short days.

Life feels pretty damn good right now- we’ve just booked a holiday for July, I’m happy and fulfilled at work and out of work. I’ve just passed my driving theory test (for the third time, I might add) and I have plans, goals and dreams which actually feel obtainable.

Which is why it frustrates me so much that these outfit photos nearly didn’t happen, and nearly didn’t make it on to the blog. With so much going right at the moment it really gets me down that my body is my enemy and my confidence is at an all time low. Having had an eating disorder since I was 15 I suppose it’s inevitable that these demons will be the last, and the hardest obstacle to overcome, but I feel like I shouldn’t be as fixated as I am right now, nor as governed by stupid rules and rituals. I’ve been dragging my feet at this “almost there” weight for so long. I’m past the half way mark but can’t seem to make myself go that bit further. Oh to have freedom from this brain of mine for just one day.

Rant over,
on to the outfit, and to a dress which has been sat in my wardrobe for the last 6 months since I bought it- it’s taken until now to think up a way to wear it that doesn’t involve dressing up and going out.

Dress: Thunder Egg | Shoes: Converse at ASOS

I’ve featured Thunder Egg on the blog before and they still remain one of my favourite online shopping discoveries. As soon as I saw this velvet, constellation print dress I knew I needed it, and although it’s hung neglected for so long in my wardrobe now I’ve broken the “it’s a going out dress” barrier and started to treat it as the slightly more glamorous older sister of the humble t-shirt dress I think it’s going to get a lot of wear.

I hope everyone has a great start to the week, I’m on the birthday count down now (five days) and my next few weekends are full of fun filled plans and time spent with loved ones- all involving things that a year ago I didn’t think would be possible to do and enjoy.


Old English Company Haul and Review

I’m a big fan of shopping small businesses where possible and I have an entire favourites file on my laptop dedicated to my first ports of call when seeking the perfect gift- for a loved one or for myself. High up on that favourites list is the Old English Company- known for their hand letter-pressed wares, it’s one of those sites where you are guaranteed to find something for everyone so when they got in touch asking if I would like to collaborate I wasted no time at all in sending my reply.

All items c/o Old English Comany

I was pretty much given free reign of the website and allowed to pick out some products to review and keep. The decision process was a lengthy one, there were (and are) so many items I love and narrowing it down was near on impossible.
My Mum and I both collect enamel pins and the Old English Company do an impressive selection for £7.00 each. I had to go for the coffee for life pin for myself- coffee IS life, every one who knows me is aware of this and waits until I’ve had at least one cup before attempting any kind of interaction.
I picked the Number 1 Mother pin for Mum as she’s been a bit stressed out lately and I wanted to remind her how much I appreciate her. I seem to barely see her these days between work and spending time at Bob’s so I’ll take any chance I can to make her feel special and remind her that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.
As well as collecting enamel pins I also hoard mugs- I have a vast selection at home, and at Bob’s- and his collection is growing rapidly thanks to me as well. The Old English Company sell many, many mugs with tongue in cheek, motivational and sentimental statements on them- perfect for gift giving (and budget special at a tenner each, not bad for something so personal to the recipient). I chose the “good morning my love” mug to give to Bob as it’s the first thing he says to me each day- in a terrible Bristol accent, and as soon as I saw this print it made me smile. Of course I went coffee themed again for myself. It’s become a new fixture on my desk at work, where my dependence on coffee is now a standing joke.
Finally the stationery addict in me couldn’t resist adding this planner (sparkly pen from Typo) to my notebook collection. I’m a list maker, it keeps me grounded and on track and this planner has no dates on it so it’s perfect for ad-hoc use at any time during the year. It would be great as a bullet journal platform as well, and a great gift for any one who is in to their organisation. It’s £11.95 which may seem pricey, but any fan of a good note book will know and appreciate that some times it’s just worth paying that bit more- with it’s chic black cover and pearlescent print, this is as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical- it also comes in several other colour ways.
As you can probably tell, the Old English Company certainly didn’t disappoint and I hope this post serves as inspiration and encouragement to shop small businesses. Take a look at the website and let me know in the comments what your favourite products are- I’m desperate to add more of their homewares to my life, and I’m pretty sure Bob won’t notice if a sneak a few to his until we get a place of our own…


My 9-5 Style

Ok, so I don’t know where the last week has gone but I want my time back! Every time I thought I’d get a minute to sit down and blog something got in the way and at one point I’d convinced myself I had already written and published this post!

Now I’m working 9-5 it’s been harder and harder to get motivated to do any outfit photos, all of my favourite, casual outfits barely see the light of day, and with one exception there’s not much in my work wardrobe that I want to be showing off- and by the time I get home from work I’m usually do dishevelled that it’s not worth photographing. I did finally get my bum in gear though and took this outfit with me to a weekend at Bob’s purely for photo purposes- it ties in nicely with how I’ve been wearing my Zadig & Voltaire watch I featured the other week and whilst my working wardrobe is still a work in progress, this is the kind of style I’d ideally be sporting every day.

Shirt: Monki | Trousers: Monki : Boots: Banana Republic | Ring and Watch c/o watchshop.com

Monki wasn’t the first shop that sprang to mind when I thought about work wear, but on a shopping trip for some weekend clothes (jeans, mission aborted) I ended up grabbing two of these shirts and these trousers instead. I’m not really a shirt or blouse person but these hang so nicely, and are a great length- I got two in the end, this one and a black and white pinstripe one and I highly recommend them. The trousers were very reasonable at £30 and fit like a dream. I love culottes, prefer them over full length trousers to be honest as I can never quite find the right length in not cropped styles. I’m definitely going back for a black pair as well, they are hugely flattering, and whilst I’m not a trouser person these days due to ever expanding waist line these don’t make me feel anything other than a little bit smart and refined.

Sadly since taking these photos my beloved Banana Republic boots have died a tragic death and are no longer in circulation. I’m yet to find the perfect pair to replace them- this is not the time of year to find yourself in the market for a new pair of boots- if anyone has seen any that may bridge the gap do let me know…

I’m constantly seeking inspiration for my work wardrobe these days as I spend the majority of my life there so I would love to know where everyone shops and what styles they are loving at the moment.

That said, I have a week off next week and I am hugely looking forward to breaking in to denim dresses and trainers and kicking back for a while.


Degustabox- The March Edit

Cliche as it sounds, it seems like I’ve barely blinked since I wrote my February Degustabox* post and yet here I am with the March edition. This month’s box looked full of promise with a mix of products I was vaguely aware of as well as some I had no idea existed.
It’s actually Easter Sunday as I write this post, with a belly full of roast dinner I’m still finding the lure of these Smarties and Milkybar mixed mini eggs almost impossible to ignore. In my eyes nothing beats the original mini eggs (recipe change and all) but these come pretty close- the bag claims to be perfect for sharing but I’m finding it hard to be generous with these. By the time you read this the chances of finding these will be slim to none, but if you do see a reduced price bag then grab them- and keep your eyes peeled for next year.
This limited edition flapjack from “Hafervoll” sounded absolutely delightful. Lebkuchen is one of my favourite things ever, and being hand-made without any added sugar, cheap fillers or chemical additives these are undoubtedly better for you. I’ve not been able to try this due to nuts, and I’ve never seen the brand for sale in the shops near to see if they do any other flavours, but if I’d certainly be tempted to try one despite the hefty £1.99 price tag.
As you can see from my photo, these noodles from Mr Lee’s arrived damaged and therefore I didn’t take the risk and try them. I’m absolutely gutted though as I adore noodles and these would have been perfect as a lunch snack. Again, I haven’t seen these in the shops near me- and at £2.99 I’m not sure I’d pick them up if I did- but if I had the chance to try them I’d jump at it.
I’m not, and never have been a big fan of milk based drinks but this one certainly did appeal with it’s fun and fresh packaging. I don’t like the taste of milk, but disguised with chocolate and knowing I could do with a boost of calcium (and the fact it’s free of nasties like refined sugar) I’d pick this up on the go when I needed a snack but didn’t have the chance to actually stop and eat something. I’m a convert.
I’ve pretty much given up energy drinks having found myself relying a bit too heavily on them. Still, it would have been rude not to try Tenzing Natural Energy- it contains just six natural ingredients and has 55 calories per can- definitely better for me than sugar free red bull, and I can stomach liquid calories when I know they come from good, honest ingredients and not a tonne of sugar and additives. It’s not my favourite energy drink ever, but it’s not half bad.
What can one say about a jar of pasta sauce? Well, for starters this is Cirio pasta sauce, and being a big fan of their entire range of products I knew this would be good. This makes for the perfect quick and healthy post-work dinner served piping hot with some wholewheat pasta- at £2.00 per jar it’s more of a luxury than a store cupboard staple but one I’d like to keep around.
I’m all for a bit of nostalgia- it’s a long time since I had a carton of drink like this, but having grown up on a diet of ribena and Roald Dahl how could I resist? I might look a bit odd with one of these at my desk when I’m almost 31 years old, but I don’t care, these are really very tasty little drinks and contain nothing suspicious or artificial- now, where’s my copy of the BFG?
As I mentioned above, I grew up drinking Ribena so I was excited to see a new variant in their no added sugar range. Pineapple and Passionfruit is every bit as fruity as it sounds, deliciously tropical, I finished this bottle in a couple of days and I’m now impatiently awaiting for it to hit shelves locally.
I don’t know if I ever mentioned before, but Bob and I are obsessed with hot sauces, obsessed. We usually buy from independent retailers- at markets and the like and find the bottles you get in supermarkets just don’t live up to the extra hot claims (having survived the experience of the world’s hottest chilli flakes most things now seem a bit tame). We were both impressed by this Encona Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce, it’s not the hottest we’ve had by any means but it certainly packs a punch. At £1.49 it’s a fraction of the price we usually pay too, and so it’s become a new staple to our kitchens. Heat loves rejoice- and those with a more delicate palette, approach with extreme caution!
Another battered box (my delivery driver clearly wasn’t in a great mood when he dropped this month’s box off)- shreddies max granola. I haven’t been able to try this as there are nuts listed in the ingredients which is a shame as it sounds delicious. I love granola and could easily eat half a bag at a time straight up- let me know if you’ve tried this and what you thought.
There was also a coupon in the box to pick up a Cheestrings Snack Mix which I totally failed to do- I used to love Cheesstrings though and these do look tempting so I will do my best to source one and pop up a mini review on Instagram.

For those who don’t yet know, Degustabox* is a monthly food subscription box that gives you the chance to try new and exciting products on the market whilst providing amazing value for money.
On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this as you can see if you do the maths.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £5.00 off of your first box (making it just £7.99!) 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.

Zadig & Voltaire at WatchShop.Com

My obsession with watches is well documented on this blog – I might only be able to wear one at a time, but I can never resist adding a new time piece to my collection, and this is further fuelled by a great working relationship with a leading watch retailer. I was recently sent a stunning new piece by Zadig & Voltaire, they have long been a brand I have admired so the news they are now stocked at WatchShop.com was both welcome and dangerous.

Watch c/o Zadig & Voltaire at WatchShop.com | Ring c/o Karl Lagerfeld at WatchShop.com

WatchShop.com also very kindly sent me the Karl Lagerfeld watch of my dreams, which I recently featured in a wish list post so right now I feel like the luckiest, and best accessorised girl around. The ring is everything I hoped it would be, and more…and the watch, well despite owning countless styles at this point, all of which I love, this one has 100% reached it’s way to the top spot and hasn’t left my wrist since it’s arrival. The attention to detail in this watch is incredible and it just looks so classy, and yet a little bit badass too.

I’ve got an outfit post coming later this week showing just one of the ways in which I’ve been wearing these pieces, and also gives a glimpse of what I wear during my 9-5 life.

In the meantime, let me know which watches you are most coveting right now, and which designers just seem to get it right every damn time.