Re-discovering Debenhams*

During a shopping trip in to Broadmead with my mum recently we were musing over how before Cabot Circus was opened nine years ago the highlight of any retail therapy spree was undoubtedly Debenhams. Back then it was this huge, glamorous department store that we could spend hours in. We often did actually, starting with the beauty counters at the bottom and working our way up to the children’s department at the top, along with a pit stop in the restaurant. These days we often neglect to pay it a visit, tending to stick to the Cabot Circus end of the shopping area but every now and again we venture in- lured by a window display or special offer and wonder why we don’t make our visits more regular.

Not only does Debenhams stock it’s own in house brands (Red Herring was a frequent label seen in my adolescent wardrobe) there are also concessions galore- the likes of Oasis, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins. Add in to this the many designer collaborations such as H! by Henry Holland and the well stocked beauty hall with all of our favourite brands under one roof as well as the extensive range of homewares (again in-house brands, designers and well known brands alike) and you realise you really do have it all in one place.

Of course then there are the promotions, regular discount events in store and online (and often discount codes on top of that such as those found at https://www.discountpromocodes.co.uk/debenhams). I really do need to stop neglecting the shop so much and make a conscious effort to give it more custom. It’s one of the longer surviving shops on the Great British High Street, so with it fresh in my mind I’ve popped together a wish list or two to remind myself- and my readers what there is on offer.

Beauty wise I could have gone on forever as there are so many amazing looking products out there at the moment. The Urban Decay Moondust palette is a long standing fixture on my wish list, joined now by these two sets from the KVD x Toofaced sets that I’ve seen popping up on beauty blogs lately and am totally smitten with. It’s been a while since I fancied a new perfume and whilst I have no idea what it smells like (a reason to visit Debenhams next time I’m passing) I love the bottle for Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Kiss- he always produces the most beautiful packaging.
Fashion wise I am diggin’ the embroidery trend right now so this dress by Red Herring and the trainers from the Nine by Savannah Miller collection were both immediate additions to my wish list. I’m also having a backpack revival right now and this H! By Henry Holland metallic number caught my eye instantly. Lastly I’ve already made mention of my desire for a leather jacket and whilst my budget definitely doesn’t stretch to the real deal this Miss Selfridge biker style jacket is currently 30% off and a steal at just £34.30.
Whilst I was browsing I couldn’t resist putting together a little homewares wish list too (I’m seeing it as a mood board of sorts for when I move out again). It’s unashamedly girly and had to feature my dream kitchen gadget on there even if I might not get to own one for a good few years- or decades yet.
I’m feeling some serious love and a sense of nostalgia for Debenhams right now, do any shops provoke that kind of reaction for you?

Dear Debenhams, humble department store and icon of my youth, I do promise to stop neglecting you from here on out…am I forgiven?

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Valentines Looks with Ego Shoes

Honestly, up until a few years ago I didn’t get Valentines at all. It was just a reminder that I was single and alone and I was generally a bit bitter about it all. Then I fell in love and started to see the appeal- things come full circle though and now I am firmly out of love and flying solo again and to be honest I thought I’d find Valentines day a bit depressing this year.

What’s actually happened is I’ve gone to the other extreme and have several days worth of girl dates booked in with my nearest and dearest- not Valentines as such I suppose, but any excuse for a get together and some gossip therapy right?

Ego Shoes recently sent me a couple of pairs of their shoes to style up with some Valentines outfits so with my plans in mind I’ve popped together a day time and evening look that would work perfectly for both my girly social time OR for a daytime/evening date if that was where I was at.

Jumpsuit and Top both from New Look | Esmme Heeled Mules c/o Ego

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get on the mules bandwagon as these are so comfortable and easy to wear – so much so that shortly after they arrived mum hopped on to the Ego website and ordered herself the hot pink colour way. This is exactly the kind of outfit I wear when I go shopping or out for coffee (with my friends or potentially on a date) and I realise now that I kind of failed at getting decent photos. In my defense, it was freezing cold outside and by the time I realised didn’t have many pictures it was a) raining and b) I had run out of time. Blogger fail!

Dress: New Look (this one) | Elise Velvet Floral Heels c/o Ego

For this outfit I had dinner/drinks in mind. I would say dancing too but given the dizzying height of the heels on these and my clumsy nature I don’t think it would be advisable. I couldn’t resist them though- velvet, embroidered and oh so pretty these are the shoes my dreams are made of and I am determined to get some practice in so I can actually wear them without fearing breaking my ankle.

I love how the embroidery detail just so happened to go perfectly with this dress from New Look, a cheeky purchase with the last of my Christmas money and a 25% off voucher. I’m all about the midi lengths at the moment and this little number could happily go from desk to date with a simple change of shoes.

Just a little note on sizing- I’d say with Ego shoes if you’re between sizes then go for the larger rather than the smaller one as they do come up perhaps a little small. I’m usually a 7 or 7.5 but went for the 8 and they are perfect.

How would you have styled these shoes? Do you have plans for Valentines or do you just ignore the day entirely as I used to do?

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Valentines Treats and Giveaway with Holly’s Lollies

Ah, Valentines day…I’m not a huge believer in having a specific date for showing someone that you love them but I’ll admit there is something a little bit magical about it whether you’re in a relationship or just want an excuse to round up your best girlfriends and have some fun.

This year will be my first Valentines day spent single in a while and whilst I once assumed I’d be bothered, I’m really not. I actually have some really fun plans for the week with some of my favourite people and I’m more excited about that than I am worried about moping around on the 14th Feb.

If you’re looking for a gift idea for your loved one then may I point you in the direction of Holly’s Lollies (read this post to find out more about Holly and her magical creations). Holly has come out with the most beautiful selection of boozy love themed treats that are perfect for showing your partner, or your best friends just how much you love them.

Heart Shaped Lollipop duo* | Trio of Boozy Lollipops* | Prosecco and Elderflower Rock Sweet Jar*

Holly very kindly sent me a selection of the Valentines Range to try out- so far I’ve only tried the prosecco and elderflower rock sweets (which might just be my new favourite sweet, ever) as I want to share the lollipop love with my friends and family but from previous experience I can assure you that anything you buy from Holly’s magic kitchen is going to be an absolute winner.

Speaking of winners…Holly has also offered up a trio of boozy lollipops (worth £11) for one of my readers/followers to win- with delivery in time for Valentines Day too! If you fancy your chances then just follow the simple steps below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UK only, giveaway runs from 2-2-17 until 9-2-17 and winner will be picked and contacted by the end of that day. If no response within 24 hours a new winner will be selected and contacted.

Good Luck!

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Brand Lust- AllSaints*

In my mind the high-street exists in three distinct levels: affordable (Primark, New Look, H&M, Monki and the like), places to shop when I have some money saved (Topshop, Zara, Oasis, ASOS, Urban Outfitters) and then the “in my dreams” shops (Cos, AllSaints, Kurt Geiger, Reiss, Whistles etc). I can count on one hand the number of items I own from the latter category- in fact it’s just one, a pair of shoes from Kurt Geiger. The others are left strictly for wish list only…they aren’t quite designer but at the same time they aren’t affordable for someone like me unless I wanted to go wild and run up a heck of a lot of debt on a credit card which isn’t my style.

The one brand that gives me the most “I wish I was rich” feels has to be AllSaints. It’s a shop I both love and hate to browse in. I love it because the minimal designs and beautifully cut pieces appeal to me immensely but hate it because I know that whatever I find will remain just out of my budget reach (well, far out of it actually even with a cheeky discount code which you can find here https://www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk/allsaints-voucher-codes)

I’m forever coveting other blogger’s outfits that feature AllSaints items, particularly their signature leather jackets which is what first drew me to the brand in the first place. With time on my hands as my sick leave continues and a strange desire to torture myself one morning by having a good old browse I thought I would share my current wish list- honestly, when I’m back earning money I’m going to have a dedicated “quality over quantity” savings fund and start building myself a capsule wardrobe of beautiful, minimal basics that will last and last.

Knitwear is definitely an area in which I want to invest as I do spend the vast majority of winter in some variation of chunky knit jumpers or cardigans. What I really like about this AllSaints piece (and you can’t see it in the picture come to think of it) is that it has cut out elbow details which add slight edge on an otherwise plain piece. No wish list of mine would be complete without a pair of ankle boots on it and despite wearing flats 90% of the time I was instantly drawn to this heeled biker boot. They cost almost £200 but are a timeless design that I could see lasting for many, many seasons and could be worn with everything from jeans to dresses. Which takes me swiftly on to this dress- I love AllSaints dresses and how they drape so elegantly. This “oil black” coloured one could be worn quite easily for work and play and it would also take you from season to season with endless layering potential.
I don’t have any particular reason for including this khaki green jacket on my wish list. It was just “I love it purely for how it looks” and that’s that! The trousers however would be the perfect addition to my work wardrobe for when I am in the office. I much prefer culotte style trousers to full length ones, they just feel more me…how great would they look with those ankle boots above? And of course the leather jacket- I could probably write an entire wish list post dedicated to AllSaint’s leather jackets as there isn’t one I don’t like. But I picked this one over them all, and at £328 it is never going to be mine but I will continue to dream.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who categorises shops like this? If someone gave you £1000 and one hour to spend it where would you be heading?

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Nail SOS with Essence

My nails aren’t one of my strongest features. I’ve always envied anyone that can grow their nails or who have nails that hold their shape once filed. Mine seem to last less than a day after a manicure and break once they get to a certain length. They also are generally dry and ridged and if I had it my way I’d have a constant shellac manicure to cover them up!

My high-street hero makeup brand Essence have launched a range of products to care for and repair your natural nails- from hardeners and strengtheners to nourishing cuticle oils…and nothing costs more than £2!

They kindly sent over a selection of the products for me to try out and I had high hopes having yet to be failed by any Essence product…could they live up to the hype once more?
The first product I tried was the SOS Nail Detox* (£2) which is a water based polished/base coat infused with algae extract and vitamin B5. It actually has quite an aquatic scent to it and with regular use I can definitely see and feel an improvement in the hydration of my nails. It also gives natural nails a lovely glossy shine when worn as a clear polish so I’m planning on stocking up.

The second product was one of the colour & care strengthening nail polishes* in the shade “I care for you” which is a gorgeous pastel pink. These polishes come in 5 pretty shades (£2 each) and are enriched with natural ingredients to do good whilst looking good.

My nails are feeling so much stronger from using these products and at these prices I really do recommend hot footing it down to your local Wilko if you’re in need of a bit of a nail detox after the festive season. I’m also really liking the 4 in 1 nail file* (£2) which is perfect for essential maintenance on the go.

Have you tried any of these products? Or do you have any nail care top tips to share? Leave them in the comments below…

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