Tagged: Shopping

Armadillo, Armadillo, Armadillo!

Photo of a gold coloured necklace with an armadillo

How cute is this armadillo necklace from Elsie Belle?!

Elsie Belle have little stalls at St Nicholas Market and the Harbourside Market, which is where I first discovered their cute, vintage inspired jewellery.

Photos of jewellery on a market stall

I fell in love with this unusual necklace before Christmas, but decided that I couldn’t justify getting it for myself. I thought about it on and off for over a month, and still wanted it. So as soon as I saw their stand at St Nicks last week, I made a bee-line for it and hunted out my favourite! It was £13 on the stand, but it seems they are a pound cheaper online (though bear in mind P&P is £3.50).

Photo of an armadillo necklace

Its such a sweet little necklace, I don’t regret buying it at all. It adds a bit of fun to everyday outfits without being too over-the-top. Adorable.

Have you bought anything from Elsie Belle?

Coming in From The Cold

Photo of a garden covered in snow

It snowed today! I woke up to a blanket of snow covering the garden at my parent’s house. It’s snowed on and off all day, which has made me all wistful for cosy gloves, scarves and blankets. I love going for cold, bracing walks and then coming in and cuddling up under a duvet and watching a film while I thaw out. Heaven! (‘Fargo’ is my favourite film for this activity).

Getting into the spirit of warming up from the snow, here are six beautiful and cosy ideas for keeping warm on Etsy!:

Images of winter-themed hand-made items from Etsy

1. Arrow print jersey scarf, £20.60

Although I do love wool, it can be a bit itchy around the neck. This jersey scarf solves this problem! It wont be quite as warm, but it does look cool, no? You can buy this scarf here: Jersey Scarf with Graphic Arrows on Etsy.

2. Mittens with pearls, £37.34

These are such pretty and simple mittens. The little pearls are such a sweet touch! You can buy these mittens here: Mittens with pearls on Etsy.

3. Colourful crochet blanket, £51.51

I’ve fallen in love with this gorgeous crochet blanket. I love the colours and the shapes. The neon pink is just perfect. You can buy this blanket here: Colourful crochet blanket on Etsy.

4. Antique vintage quilt, £146.32

This is such a perfect quilt, just the right mix of clashing fabrics. I love how the bright yellow fabric sings with the red chevron print. I want to snuggle under this quilt right now with a cat and a big mug of tea. You can buy this quilt here: Spectacular double wedding ring antique quilt on Etsy.

5. Totoro hat, £19.32

Such a cute hat! What Totoro fan wouldn’t love to wear this beauty with pride?! The ear flaps are great for keeping out chilly winds… I think I need to make something like this for my upcoming Iceland adventure. You can buy this hat here: Totoro grey crochet hat on Etsy.

6. Scandinavian socks, £21.98

Handmade socks are one of life’s ultimate luxuries. These Scandinavian styled socks are simple but beautiful and because they are made of wool, will keep feet toasty warm. These are also in a sale at the moment, so they are a bargain. You can buy these socks here: Handmade knitted knee high socks on Etsy.

Have you found that the snowy weather has made you lust after cosy goodies too?

January Nails

Photo of nails painted with polish and sparkly tips

It’s January. Arguably the most boring of all the months, no? I’ve been lusting after the simplicity of nude nails, just plain and simple and clean. But, in the same breath, I’m not ready for no glitter. These nails mourn the passing of the glitteriest festival of the year, Christmas, and welcome the remainder of winter.

This is Essie’s ‘Sugar Daddy’. Five coats of Sugar Daddy to be specific. The tips are painted with Models Own ‘Juicy Jules’ – just a light coat. Finished with a top coat of No7 clear polish.

All of the other Essie polishes I’ve tried have been fantastic, but this one is pants. Five coats. FIVE. And its still transparent. £7.99 is too much for a polish that takes five coats to achieve not very much.

Photo of nails painted in Essie Sugar Daddy and Models Own  Juicy Jules

Black, White & Burgundy Ethical Outfit

Photos of clothing items in black white and burgundy colours
Monochrome shirt dress with obi belt, £124 (was £155), by Outsider

Burgundy leather bow handbag, £22 (was £30) From Rockit

Vintage ’70’s Genie Lamp necklace, £14, from ASOS Marketplace

Vintage ’90’s patent bow flats (size 7), £19.99, from ASOS Marketplace

I’m a big fan of raiding second hand shops and charity shops looking for interesting clothes and shoes. I love the thrill of finding something completely different and unexpected – you can’t go vintage shopping with a shopping list as such, you have to roll with what you find which is why its fun.

Although I’ve spent years rooting through charity shops and junk shops looking for goodies, I’ve not really shopped online for vintage before (minus a few eBay related disasters). I spotted a competition running on a new site called Style-Is, asking bloggers to post an ethical outfit, so I thought this was an opportunity to have a look!

Style-Is wants to encourage people to shop for clothes in ethical ways, and promotes brands who produce goods that are better for the environment and/or humanity. Its a really great idea for a fashion site and its pretty new so it has potential to become much bigger. They have some really neat clothes and accessories on the site you can buy (don’t be put off by the really expensive items it lists by default though like I initially was!). I found a super cute cat tea towel I may just have to buy…and these gold-tone mouse earrings!

I love the dress I found on the ethical clothes site Outsider – it reminds me of a grown up version of Wednesday’s dress from the Addams family, only its also work appropriate! The black patent flats look comfy and cute, and the necklace is really unusual, and adds a bit of charm and interest. I really like the burgundy bag from Rockit: it has a sweet bow detail on the top.

Where do you shop for ethical clothes? Have you visited Style-It? Are you taking part in the Style-Is ethical outfit competition?

Hitting the Sales

Photos of toiletries bought in the Boots sale

I’ve hit the sales today, and picked up some tasty bargains! Here is my run down of what I have picked up today. Today is the only day I am sale shopping, as I am starting saving for a very special trip from now on… more on that another day!

Boots

I’ve had my eye on the Liberty – Hello Kitty collection for several months, but somehow I have resisted until the sale. I really wanted the blue wash bag to make up a set (I got a mini and a big one last year) and this one is just the right medium size for travelling. It had sold out online on Boxing Day, so I went to town to see if I could find it, I did, and I ‘found’ some other goodies while I was there…

Hello Kitty Liberty Wash Bag

Photo of a blue patterned wash bag and contents

The wash bag comes with body butter, body scrub, bubble bath and one of those net scrunchie things (given to my Mama to clean her greenhouse with!).

Hello Kitty Liberty Make Up Bag

Photo of the contents of the Hello Kitty make up bag

This make up set comes in a little pencil case featuring the pink paisley Hello Kitty design. There is a lip gloss, lip tint and a mini palette of eyeshadows. I’ve not swatched these yet, they look OK though (if you ignore the bright turquoise one!). I want the case to use for my work make up bag (to keep my emergency items close at hand).

Hello Kitty Liberty Brush Set

Photo of a set of make up brushes

This was an impulse buy… With sets like this the brushes tend to shed a lot, but we’ll see. If they do, I will put my existing brushes in the pouch. I’ve been getting really frustrated with how dusty and dirty my brushes get when I’m travelling and I cant fit them in my normal make up bag. I’m hoping this little set will help sort out this problem. I like how the brushes have a little plastic cover over them to stop bits getting to them.

Here is a detail shot of each of the Hello Kitty fabric designs:

Photos of Hello Kitty Liberty fabric

Other goodies:

Photo of a set of lipsticks
Soap & Glory Wowed Mouth lipstick set, half price

Photo of a f.c.u.k diary set
FCUK The Date Planner Set, half price

Fox and Feather

This is a tshirt I have lusted after for months and months it seems, and I found it reduced in the Fox and Feather sale!
Photo of a tshirt with large lettering saying Smitten with Kittens

And finally…

I’m working on my 30 before 30 list on this one. I have ordered a new Canon 60D DSLR! I shopped around and asked for some recommendations, and I found a great deal 🙂 My Christmas bonus covered it *just* so it really is more like a Christmas present to myself. I am stupidly excited about it arriving and getting to play with the HD video and all the different features it has compared to my 400D.

Photo of a Canon 60D

So that’s my sale haul! Seven items in total, there could have been more, but I restrained myself. Have you been to the sales?

L’Oreal Dress Up In Diamonds Gift With Purchase

Photo collage of the L'oreal dress up in diamonds gift set

Here is a quick post about L’Oreal’s current gift with purchase available at Boots. You can get this box of goodies when you spend £15 or more on any L’Oreal makeup. According to Boots it is worth £28, so it’s quite a bargain! Boots also have gift with purchase deals on No7 and Max Factor.

This box contains:

  • Volume Million Lashes Diamantissime mascara in ‘Black Diamantissime’ – Full size
  • Color Riche 325 Lipstick in ‘Ferric Fuchsia’ – Full size
  • Color Riche 820 Nail polish in ‘Crystalissme’ – Full size
  • Revitalift Total Repair Moisturiser – Sample size tub
  • True Match Foundation in ‘Golden Beige’ – Sample sachet
  • Nude Magique BB Cream in ‘Medium’ – Sample sachet
  • PLUS: a voucher to save £2 off True Match foundation in Boots

I went into Boots to get another L’Oreal Caresse lipstick after I bought a really ridiculously bright one (Impulsive Fuchsia) by accident – I loved the formula just not the colour. When I saw this deal was on, I immediately chose two of the lipsticks so I could get this little box. Is it just me that always falls for this sort of deal?!

Anyway, I needed a new mascara so this made it worthwhile and the lipstick and nail polish are going to be stocking fillers for my sisters.

Have you got one of these boxes, or maybe you got the No7 or Max Factor ones? Maybe you are better able to resist these deals?

Indie Shop Love: 7th Sea Bristol

Photo collage of views of 7th Sea

This is the second in my series of posts about wonderful independent shops, you can read the first about Portabella here.

7th Sea

Address: 198 Cheltenham Road, Bristol, BS6 5QZ
Website: www.7thsea.co.uk
Twitter: @7th_Sea_Bristol
Facebook: 7th Sea

Photo collage of Christmas decorations at 7th Sea

7th Sea is a little treasure-trove of hand-made goodies made in Bristol by local designers and crafty types. At the moment it is brimming with Christmas decorations and gifts. The shop is just a couple of doors up from Portabella and Cox and Baloney on Cheltenham Road – so its really worth making a visit to this corner of Bristol to take all three shops in.

Photo collage of things for sale in 7th Sea

7th Sea sell lots of different hand-made items, including jewellery, cute softies, clothes and art work. Most of the the things they sell would make perfect gifts. Some of the soft toys they have are just BEYOND CUTE – like the owls and the little monsters. Who wouldn’t want to have one of these little chaps in their lives?!

Photo collage of items for sale at 7th Sea

They also sell some very sweet hand-made clothes. I especially love the skirts and shirt collars they have in pretty retro fabrics. They have a range of t-shirts that are hand-printed too. I’ve picked up a lovely grey t-shirt with an amazing print on it:

Photo of a grey tshirt with a drawing of a yeti and a bigfoot o  it
This t-shirt is hand printed by Katy Christianson Illustration. Isn’t it awesome?!

Have you been to 7th Sea? What did you buy?

The Twin Peaks Look in 2012

I’m a huge Twin Peaks fan. I’m an addict: I watch both seasons at least twice a year. If you’ve not seen it, I can’t recommend it enough and its on Netflix, so there really is no excuse not to check out this David Lynch masterpiece!

For those of you who are unfortunate enough not to know about Twin Peaks, its a TV show from the late 1980’s that follows the investigation into the murder of a teenager called Laura Palmer. Its full of dark humour, surprising twists and scary moments.

One of the things I have come to love about Twin Peaks are the ’80’s costumes. The female leading characters really rock knitwear: think fitted jumpers nipped in at the waist, the chunky sweaters and manically-patterned cardigans, worn with knee length skirts, brogues and low heels.

Audrey Horne

Collage of pictures of Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks
Audrey Horne is one of the most glamorous characters in Twin Peaks. She really rocks the fitted jumper and skirt combo, in fact she makes it an art form! She’s always perfectly made up with cherry lips and porcelain skin, like a 1950’s movie star.

Donna Hayward

Collage of pictures of Donna Hayward from Twin Peaks
Donna Hayward isn’t as glamorous as Audrey, but she certainly has an extensive sweater collection! Donna has less fitted clothes, opting for looser and longer jumpers, and fitted shirts. She wears darker, plummy lipstick and shadow to frame her eyes.

Getting Audrey & Donna’s look for 2012

I’ve been looking for some up-to-date versions of the clothes the Twin Peaks ladies wear, and I have struck gold with one of my all-time favourite brands this season – Louche. Louche are available from several smaller boutiques in Bristol, including the wonderful Fox and Feather on Gloucester Road, who are currently stocking these awesome Twin Peaks-like clothes:

Gianna Cardigan by Louche

Photo of a red and black cardigan
Available from Fox and Feather £39
I *adore* this cardigan so much, I’m going to struggle not to rush up the road and buy this – its so perfectly Twin Peaks! Even the pattern plays homage to the Red Room.

Eden Skirt by Louche

Photo of a black and white skirt
Available from Fox and Feather £39

Juno Top by Goldie Boutique

Photo of a white blouse
Available from Fox and Feather £35 (ON SALE NOW!)
I can just see Audrey wearing this, while she wafts around the Great Northern Hotel causing trouble.

Sheri Skirt by Louche

Photo of a skirt with red hearts on it
Available from Fox and Feather £39

Luca Penguin Cardigan by Louche

Photo of a cardigan with penguins on it
Available from Fox and Feather £48
This is a Donna cardigan with a modern twist – I can’t see Donna wearing a cardi with penguins on it, but the shape is perfect.

So what do you think of this modern take on the Twin Peaks look? Are there any TV shows you’d like to emulate with contemporary fashion?

Indie shop love: Portabella Bristol

Photo of Portabella Bristol

I feel really lucky to live where I do. Bristol is such a vibrant city, there is so much to see and do. I don’t think there is anywhere else in the UK I’d rather live. I’m fortunate to live right next to one of the most thriving independent streets in the UK: Gloucester Road, which has a fantastic selection of interesting shops and boutiques.

I personally believe that its important to support local shops and independent retailers. They give us variety and a sense of community we cant get from chain stores. They also provide employment, often on more flexible and understanding terms than large companies can. Many independent shops support young designers and producers, and help them on their way. Without this step up, many interesting designers would probably struggle to get exposure or the patronage they need to actually start a career.

With this in mind I want to give a bit of blog love to some of my favourite indie shops and boutiques. Most of these have online shops too, so even if you don’t live in Bristol, you can still enjoy them! I’d love it if you could share the love for your local independent shops too, why not join me and share your favourites with the world?

First up is a special favourite of mine, Portabella on Cheltenham Road.

Portabella

Address: 186 Cheltenham Road, Bristol, BS6 5RB
Website: N/A
Twitter: @PortabellaShop
Facebook: Portabella
Collage of images of the interior of Portabella

Portabella is a gorgeous little boutique, just a minute’s walk from the end of Gloucester Road. It has a great selection of womenswear, accessories and jewellery. What makes the shop special for me is a combination of the stock they choose and their fantastic service. I have bought two of my favourite ever dresses from Portabella, and I get asked where I got them from almost every time I wear them.

The clothes they stock are beautiful and follow trends but not laboriously so. Their style is classic and quirky combined. They manage to blend a variety of looks together, and they always have strong colour themes which excites me when I shop in there. They only stock a small number of each item, and once its gone, its gone – so its worth checking in there regularly as stock changes all the time.

They have excellent service too. Alex is lovely and runs their Twitter account and is really helpful without being pushy or ‘salesy’ if you know what I mean! I spotted a fox jumper on their Facebook page today, Tweeted them, and went in and picked it up this evening after work. I got to the shop late but they stayed open for me and let me have a look around: now that is what I call good service!

Have a look at what I picked up on my latest visit to Portabella (I’m still coveting a dress with foxes on…Santa?? Haha):

A rather foxy jumper by Sugarhill Boutique

Collage of pictures of a jumper with a fox on it
Such a cute jumper! Its a lovely fine knit that’s really soft and light. I’m really into my novelty knitwear so this was a great addition to my growing collection. £45

Burgundy tunic for winter by Influence

Collage of pictures of a burgundy tunic
A simple burgundy/oxblood/claret/whatever coloured tunic I’ll be layering this winter. Its very soft and finely knitted. They are in bright blue and black versions too. £12

Grungy dress by Influence

Collage of pictures of a jersey dress
A grungy dress that sits just below the knee. I liked the simplicity of the shape of this dress and the textured pattern with the splashes of turquoise. £26

Please share your favourite indie shops and boutiques with me!

Give them some love in the lead up to Christmas!

Nail Pop Flake Glitter Nail Polishes

Photo of two glitter nail polishes
Superdrug in Bristol city centre has just had a major make over and have installed a fantastic new range of beauty products. One of the new brands that have been introduced are Nail Pop nail polishes by Look Beauty. They have also (finally!) installed a proper display for MUA and Essie, and also re-stocked their Sleek make up stand too. The range and display of the products has improved immensely, and the whole shopping experience is heaps better. Anyway, enough about that, lets look at these wonderful flake polishes!

Photo of Nail Pop's Sequin Effect nail polish

Flake polishes have the ability to magically transform plain polishes. They have a few benefits over normal glitter polishes: firstly, they don’t have a rough, gritty texture, and secondly, they have a more even spread of glitter particles so they’re less likely to have bald patches on finished nails.

Nail Pop’s Sequin Effect polish is very similar to Andrea Fullerton’s flake polish, and China Glaze’s Hunger Games flaky polish ‘Luxe and Lush’. It has a golden look about it, compared to Pearl Effect which has a blue look. I cant wait to try Pearl effect over a navy blue polish – I think it will really pop!

Nail Pop polishes cost £5 each at Superdrug or on the Look Beauty website. At the moment they are part of Superdrug’s brilliant 3 for 2 offer on all cosmetics.

Have you tried Nail Pops yet? What did you think?