Swedish clogs hej hej!

Hej hej (hello)! I was over the moon when I heard H&M were collaborating with Swedish Hasbeens last year. These Swedish clogs are based on models from the 70s with a modern twist, giving them a cute retro look. I was suuuper happy about this because a pair of Swedish Hasbeens will set you back around £100 give or take. I appreciate they are handmade and environmentally friendly – but it’s not friendly to my bank balance!

This collaboration happened during my finals and I was back at home revising. To my dismay I wasn’t able to go to the flagship stores in London and get my hands on a cheap pair. I was gutted. But my great procrastination skills paid off, and I was able to find a couple in England, Lotta and Jonny, that sell similar Swedish clogs for half the price tag compared to Swedish Hasbeens. Whoopie!

They are called Lotta from Stockholm. Just like Swedish Hasbeens, the clogs are handmade with natural wood and soft leather, still ethical and environmentally friendly (refer to this blog post). I went for a red peep toe plait pair The Braids and wore them to death last summer, and doing the same this summer.

They are ruddy brilliant!! I really can’t tell you how much I adore these. I may seem a little over enthusiastic, but these tick every box. The heel is perfect height, they are comfortable, they go with just about everything, they’re pretty unique, and they look adorable. The 70s feel to them complements a lot of my charity shop and retro clothes. From my experience in buying these clogs, if you have quite large long feet (very attractive) like me, you’ll want to go for the peep toe styles as it doesn’t show off too much toe (I have big fat toes too). I bought ‘Highwood Open’ in my correct size as the ones I have are actually a size smaller and my toes were hanging out all over the shop!

  Dress, Topshop

 Dress, H&M

 Silk vest top, Charity Shop | Palazzo Pants, Primark

The great thing about Lotta from Stockholm is that they always have a Sale section which they call ‘Sale, Seconds, Sell-off’. Items that quote:

“It is a mixture of genuine reductions where we need to reduce our stock levels,  clearance stocks bought in especially for the purpose of getting you something a bit cheaper and of course we also offer pairs of seconds that don’t quite meet our high standards as firsts”

I bought both of my pairs from the sale and I haven’t seen any problem with quality. I have literally just bought a pair, ‘Natural Peep Toe’ for £38.00. Standard delivery is FREE!! Shmazing. I have had some lovely comments so far…an excuse to buy some more? Yes, soon.

 T-Shirt, Primark | Belt, H&M | Culottes, Charity Shop

M.I.A.

Hello blog. I’m sorry I have been M.I.A. for a while. I really need to be more organised! I have tried to start a new regime where I get up at 6am. It worked Monday, but after reading about lucid dreaming on Monday night, I decided to try it out on Tuesday morning rather than get up :-/ I WILL GET UP AT 6am!!! My excuse this morning was that I’m going to my friend’s leaving dinner tonight in London, and will therefore be going to bed late…so should try not to overdo it. I am recovering from a cold after all…I have read if you stick to it for a month, your body gets used to less sleep. So I will be more determined to get up in the morning to write more!

 

 

StumbleUpon is SO good. Thanks to my friend Nicola who introduced me to it! Such a good way to find out hidden treasures on the internet that you may never come across. The idea is you press the ‘Stumble’ button and it picks a website that it thinks you might find interesting. When you sign up, you select all your interests from a range of things such as animals or computers, and you can either stumble within one interest or at random (but it will only show you things from the interests you have selected). Then if you like it, you can ‘Like’ it and it saves the page for you in your profile. You can also ‘Dislike’ and it will avoid showing you similar pages. I came across this page on High Existence 50 Life Secrets and Tips and found it inspiring. Not that I don’t abide by some of the tips already…but No. 17 is an encouraging point for me right now! (Like I already mentioned) Not sure I’ll be going for 2 hours of sleep per day because I’m not a total freak, but may try out the alternate sleep cycles.

17. Fully adjusting to a new sleep cycle can take up to 21 days so don’t give up if you feel tired after switching to 5-hour nights. The “required” 8 hour/night is for normal people. If you’re reading THIS article on THIS site, you are not normal. So figure out how much sleep YOU really need and adjust accordingly. As enjoyable as sleep is, waking existence is much more fulfilling and efficient. IF this really sparks your interest, check out alternate sleep cycles with which you can be fine off of 2 hours of sleep per day.

Anyway we’ll see…Talking of M.I.A. (Missing In Acton) I have recently been sporting my Nike Air Max trainers, which do remind me of the singer that I love. I’ve had these since I was 14 – no joke. (Yes I’ve had size 7 feet since I was 13) I remember wearing them to Thorpe Park back in the day when I used to go with just one other friend (Hannah from the wedding special photos), we were a gruesome twosome. Bless us loners. But these have had a comeback for the better. I’m wearing a Corduroy Jacket: Gap, Checked Shirt: Charity Shop (my friend Frankie’s), Vest-top: Topshop, Bag: ASOS  Jeggings: Topshop, Trainers: Nike (obv)… and the Bandeau in the last photo is H&M.

 

Thought I’d leave you with this song to reminisce – released in 2003!

Vapiano

Shopping on Oxford Street can work up quite an appetite. When I think of places to eat in that area I am always stuck because you either have go for something quick and cheap (plus unhealthy) i.e. McDonald’s, or quick and/or healthy and relatively expensive. Cafes like Pret a Manger and Starbucks can be tasty but a sandwich and crisps won’t put me in good stead for an energy draining shopping trip. Wasabi offers some sushi and hot food but again it’s either unhealthy and full of oil and sugar (the hot food), or you end up spending a fortune on sushi, which is a bit of a tease. Sometimes it’s just nice to get a reasonable portion of food and a nice seat in a restaurant. Carnaby Street has some nice pubs and restaurants, but most of them are overpriced. Then you have your usual suspects on the side streets like Pizza Express and ASK but they’re not quick. I love a bit of Nando’s but I have that all the time so it’s nice to go somewhere different when you’re in London (if you don’t live in London).

 What I wore shopping: Stripey jacket, Charity Shop Vest top, Triton | High-waisted chinos, American Apparel Espadrilles, Oxfam

I used to walk down Great Portland Street quite a lot when I was living in halls and used to go past this place called Vapiano. I never really understood what it was. From the name on the outside I assumed it was a jazz bar or piano school. WRONG. How wrong I was. I was shopping the other day with a friend and suggested we come here after I had been told by my sister it was actually a really nice restaurant. How right she was. First of all, it has a completely different set up. You are given a card as you walk in. There are no waiters, so this acts like a tab. You have to go up and order your drinks from the bar and food from the pasta or pizza stands. The bar has a good range of drinks, even 3 types of draught beer (good for the boyfriend or if you like beer!). The pasta menu is organised into 4 price ranges A – D, starting at £6.75 for Group A going up to £9.75 in Group D. You get to choose out of 11 types of pasta, which are all made fresh on site (you can watch it being made while you wait).

 Queuing system 

Once you’ve chosen what pasta and sauce you want, you choose a queue where there are chefs waiting for you (in the above photo). After you order it then gets cooked in front of you and takes around 10 minutes. Quick, cheap and healthy. The same idea goes for the pizza, apart from you don’t get to choose a base or anything like that, and it can be a longer wait. Obviously you just choose your topping out of the 4 price ranges. There is also a menu for antipasti and dessert but I didn’t get any so I can’t really say what it’s like. I can safely say the pasta and pizza are a-ma-zing (my friend got a pizza). So I’m sure it’s the same for everything. I went for the Granchi di Fiume pasta: Crayfish, fresh vegetables and lobster sauce from Group D.  Was quick, delicious and fresh. Need I say more?

Granchi di Fiume pasta washed down with some Magners. Yumitiyum. 

I love the decor. It really does complement the style of the food. It’s like a modern, sophisticated cafeteria. You have your own fresh herb selection if you wish to add a few more flavours to your meal. As it is a quick self-service arrangement, there are no bookings and the seating is mostly communal. I’m going to stop here as I am getting very hungry talking about this place and my stomach is screaming at me to go back. Where do you like to eat if you’re in this neck of the woods?

Let’s talk about Neon

I remember the concept of neon being around since the early days of Skins. This was subsequently followed by a number of neon parties i.e. ‘The Secret Skins Neon Party’ or ‘Vodpop Neon’, where people would be dancing along to Calvin Harris’ ‘Acceptable in the 80s’ with neon face paint.  I am guilty of partaking in this neon fest (cringe)…As cringey as that was, neon is trending this year and I’m into it.

Out for my friend’s birthday, I wore this pink neon cropped vest top from Topshop. I was unsure what to wear it with at first. It needed something high-waisted, so I went with my striped pencil skirt from Primark. The belt is Rockit and turquoise bag Oxfam.  I had a matching pink neon lipstick on from Rimmel (620: Coral Queen). I think I’m about to stick two fingers up at someone. Charming.

Crop top, Topshop | Skirt, Primark | Bag, Oxfam | Belt, Rockit

Remember Beki from the wedding? She shows that you don’t have to buy neon clothes to wear the trend. Her neon accessories really do give the outfit a bit of a lift!

At the start of May, I felt I was in need of a summer bag. I wanted a big bag to fit loads of stuff for work and for overnight stays on the weekend. Whenever buying something new I always check the Sale section first. ASOS was my first and last stop. Having previously seen a neon Zatchel bag and liking the look of it, I wanted to get a neon bag but not spend too much money. This pink neon satchel costs £113…

Pink Fluoro Floral Satchel, Zatchel

When I saw this ‘Canvas Contrast Handle Shopper’ from ASOS I bought it instantly. The neon straps are just enough neon, with the neutral beige fabric. I have worn it a lot as it does go with nearly everything. It injects a bit of colour, and even if it’s raining outside I still feel bright and summery.

 

Sleeveless polo neck, Charity Shop | High-waisted skirt, New Look | Sling-back sandals, Melissa | Bag, ASOS

So if you do like neon, but don’t want too much, or to commit to a piece of clothing, I would go for neon accessories. I’ve seen neon jewellery in a few places, but I liked the look of Zara’s necklaces the most.

 ‘Stone necklace with neon touches’, Zara

Wedding Special

It was my friend’s wedding on Saturday. A very old friend, for whom I could not be more happy…and her now – husband!! She looked beautiful of course…one of the best looking people I know, its not difficult! However, what also makes a wedding really exciting is looking forward to see how the rest of us turn out. Everyone looked stunning to say the least. Initially I was after this Floral Pencil dress from Zara. I don’t particularly like my legs, but my silhouette isn’t too bad, so this was the perfect shape. It had an amazing print in the style of Mary Katrantzou. There was a grey tone that I preferred but they sold out of both! There’s a red version out now called Racer Back Dress at £45.99, but the fitting came out slightly different. Not sure if it’s a fault or I put on weight after my holiday…most of the dress zips were ripped across different stores though. So maybe it’s both. (Sorry I have a moody beak mouth in the pic!)

What to wear to a wedding?

I did order some dresses from ASOS but none of them were any good. I was starting to worry that I wasn’t going to find anything…maaah! I really limited myself only looking for pencil dresses. Until I went shopping in Reading last weekend. I found some peplum dresses by Miss Selfridge in House of Fraser. They are perfect for my body shape, whoopie! There were about 5 different types, there are loads more online. I went for this blue one ‘Sporty Peplum Dress’ (£45.00) as it fit the best, even though I wanted coral. But I’m glad I did as there was a lot of coral about at the wedding! I bought these sandals for a wedding 2 years ago, they are H! by Henry Holland for Debenhams. The necklace is H&M (£9.99) and the clutch bag from Dorothy Perkins (£15.00). The collar necklace is a definite must with this type of dress as it could end up looking quite plain.

Next…my lovely sister and I. Doesn’t she look BEAUTIFUL! Her dress is…(drum roll)…Primark! This dress is made out of a lovely chiffon material and suits her hourglass shape…aaaand green eyes (that I have always been jealous of). Her blazer is Miss Selfridge called ‘Apricot Shawl Collar Blazer’ and shoes are Zara. They were actually bought for the Bride’s sister’s wedding in January as the bridesmaid’s shoes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are my very old, good friends, Hannah (right) and Beki (left); beautiful leggy bitches!! These sisters have the best legs known to man. Both looking swell don’t you think? Beki is wearing a dress from Topshop and Hannah’s is River Island. Don’t you love Beki’s church appropriate jewellery?! She also had a rosary bracelet to match; a present from my sister. BLESS.

This is Leanne (on the right obv) the photographer at the wedding. Also a close friend of Beki and Hannah’s. She is my current girl crush. Beautiful on the inside as well as the outside! She is a super cool photographer and has super cool hair to match! I <3

Anyone got any weddings coming up? What will you wear?

Being a dickhead’s cool

 

 

Whenever I wear a neck hanky/blazer, I think I look a bit French. I do admire French style.  The coral woolen top, tapered deep blue trousers and necklace are all Topshop. That collar necklace is so good at dressing things up.  My black and white stitch jacket is Zara but I bought it in a charity shop (surprise surprise). I didn’t wear these sandals to match my outfit, but because of the RAIN!! These red peep-toe, plastic (therefore waterproof) sandals are Melissa. Being half Brazilian, I have always had a pair of these weird but wonderful shoes. They even smell like strawberry laces. Perfect for our British Summer; I was glad to not be squelching around the office. My neck hanky is Florence and Fred i.e. Tesco.

I’m wearing my glasses. PRESCRIPTION GLASSES!!! I got them about 3 years ago to replace my pink metal rimmed Versace ones that I had since school. I thought these were an upgrade, a step into the adult glasses world. Not to mention they were ‘in fashion’ in the glasses world. I need them for watching TV, driving, when I used to sit in lectures and waiting at the bus stop. I wear them when I’m walking around town as I always think I can see someone I know and start squinting at them…then quickly look away when I realise it’s a total stranger that now thinks I’m a weirdo.

But when I wear them, I normally get asked, ‘Are they real?’ It’s fair enough because I don’t wear them a lot. After all, they were quite expensive and I’m scared of losing them. But I know if the ‘Geek Chic’ craze hadn’t happened I wouldn’t get asked so many times! I now can’t help but wonder if people think I’m a dickhead, I have had someone at work say – ‘Oh, I thought they were a fashion statement.’ No, not a fashion statement, just a fashionable accessory that help me see! I can’t help but sing the lyrics to ‘Being a dickhead’s cool’ in my head everytime I wear them…

 

 

My glasses are from Jono Hennessy. They’re in a nice dark green colour which isn’t too harsh on my face.

 

 

I really want to get some like Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) in New Girl. GIVE ME SOME MORE NEW GIRL!!!

 

 

The sun’s out and so are my legs

Finally the sun has decided to come out and tease us for a bit. Thought I’d take the opportunity and wear my new pleated skirt I bought from a charity shop in Windsor; £3.50. I love a bit of St. Michael (old school Marks and Spencers)! As someone at work said, it’s on trend, which is an added bonus. The fact that it’s high waisted with the floral print makes it perfect for summer. Having said that, the colours are handy for winter as well, providing me with yet another work appropriate skirt suited for all seasons. Yessss! The waist is elasticated which isn’t so sightly but that’s what a thick waist belt is for. Mine is a brown leather plaited one from a carboot sale in the Isle of Wight for £1! Breaking the bank here aren’t I?! My vest top is from Gap and my short black jacket is from Primark. My sandals are Topshop .

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many options for pleated skirts on the high street at the moment but there’s one that catches both of my eyes – the Petite Printed Skirt from Topshop. The pastel print is so yum, I can imagine it looking swell with a white tie-up shirt or any sort of plain cotton top as the skirt is the main character which doesn’t need upstaging. I just f-ing love pastels.

 

Petite Print Pleated Skirt, £32

 

Other plain coloured pleated skirts would probably be a better investment as you can mix them up a bit more and they will carry through to the winter. Pleated skirts are such a good buy as they automatically look smart, especially if it’s in chiffon. So they can be dressed up or down accordingly. I love how Taylor Swift’s outfit is simple yet effective. The bright red lips make it pop. I love a red lip I do.

 

Image sourced from http://taylorswift.com/

 

 

Shellac

Today I got Shellac done on my nails again.  I never used to bother with my nails but now I have a bit of spending money it’s definitely worth it! I would usually cut my nails reeeeaaally short…not even file them down.  I know – they did end up looking like a dainty boys hands as they are so large.  I can’t bear to see dirt collect in long nails!  Groossss. One of my pet hates.

Shellac on the other hand, is so great. It cost me £15 in a nail bar in Slough (yes that is where I work, it is the bumhole of Berkshire but I love how cheap it is!!)  It lasted for 2 weeks including the week I was on holiday.  After the 2 weeks there was just a lot of growth – nails always grow really quick in the sun don’t they?  The lady in the jewelers I went into after getting them done even complimented on them.  They are super glossy.  I wasn’t even going to get them done again but then I thought… I’ve got a wedding to attend on Saturday, and if I just get a normal polish they’ll be chipped by the end of the week.

 

Rings from left to right: Set of 4 from Primark, I found the index one, set of 4 from River Island, Topshop

 

I did attempt to remove the Shellac at home. After a bit of searching online, the instructions I found were LOOONG. The salon didn’t charge me extra to remove it (other places do), which was nice of them. And I don’t think they should. They should just tell you how to do it after you get them done. All you need to do is put your fingers in a bowl of hot nail varnish remover. SIMPLES!

Tips on how to remove Shellac:

You will need:

  • A large and small bowl (small bowl that will fit both hands)
  • A nail file
  • A nail buffer
  • Nail varnish remover
  • Boiling water
  • Nail strengthener (optional)
  • Something sharp to scrape it off your nails

Instructions:

1. Boil the kettle. While it’s boiling fill the small bowl with some nail varnish remover (NVR).
2. Once the water has boiled, pour some into the large bowl. Then put the small bowl of NVR in the large bowl of hot water. Leave it until the NVR heats up.
3. Feel the NVR and when it is warm enough (without burning you), take the small bowl and put the ends of your fingers in it making sure you get all your nails in.
4. Leave your nails there for 10 minutes.
5. After the 10 minutes take your fingers out. The Shellac should have started to disintegrate. Start peeling them off with something sharp.
6. With the Shellac that might still be left, get the file and file it away from the surface of your nails. Then go over them with the buffer.
7. Finish with a coat of nail strengthener if you have any as Shellac does weaken the nails. But doesn’t matter if you don’t.

 

What I wore:

 

Here as you can see I’m still going for the ‘comb-over’ look with my hair. I’m wearing my high-waisted, tight, chino-esque trousers from American Apparel. They’re actually called ‘Four-Way Stretch High-Waist Side Zipper Pant’ (bit of a mouthful), mine are in Medium Grey. They feel a bit tight around the crotch area sitting down at work all day :-/ But I do love these trousers because they go with pretty much everything and have a really nice fit. You can wear them smart or casual, whatever the weather, summer or winter. They did dry really quickly after being in the rain, so that’s good!

I thought I might as well wear my jumper tops this week. It’s perfect weather for them. This one is from an Oxfam in Scotland  it cost £2.50! OBV I washed it when I bought it – however I do admit on the odd occasion I have worn unwashed charity clothes :-/ does that make me a mingaa?! Yes. Goooood. Anyway it’s so nice and soft, when I saw it I thought – little hint of pastels, I <3 pastels AND it happens to be trending for the summer. Win win. My waterproof jacket is Regatta but I bought it in a charity shop in Camberwell. It was a desperate, last minute buy before my trip to Brehat in Brittany last year. I was lucky to find this jacket as I really like the colour. My neon canvas bag is from ASOS.

My belt is H&M. I’ve punched extra holes in to make it fit my waist as well.  Everyone should own a leather hole puncher. My shoes are Keds but I actually got them in TK Maxx last month for £12. They are real cute don’t you think? My denim oversized shirt is from Primark that I bought in the sale last year. I actually copied my friend Hannah on this one. It is a staple must. Perfect for the summer or winter. It’s great for creating a layered look. I actually wore it to hide my hips as they are feeling quite large since my all inclusive binge on holiday. Or it makes a nice change from the usual cardi. I love Caggie’s look from Made in Chelsea. She wears the oversized denim shirt really well, looking effortless and laid back. But very sexy and chic at the same time!

Sourced from http://eatbreatheandsleepstyle.tumblr.com/

 

Changing Rooms

I apologise for the cringing mess this blog might turn out to be. I guess it’s a good time to start as I have just moved rooms and had a massive clearout of the old guff I was hoarding in my wardrobe. My sister recently moved out so I’ve moved up to what was her room in the attic, which also used to be my room before going to Uni. Since I moved back from London last year I was sleeping in my old old room which only has space for a double bed and a chest of drawers. I luckily had a ‘walk in wardrobe’ in another spare room to fit all my clothes. This is what it looked like ‘before’ – also see if you can spot the dog in the visual noise… 

 

 

And ‘after’…this is my new wardrobe that my sister left. I like how I can see everything at the same time, make outfits up in my head quicker! I can see what pile is low – what I need to buy more of…I’ve organised work appropriate clothes on the left rail and party/weekend clothes on the right. I am lucky that I can wear just about anything to work; I do like to dress smart and use up the clothes that I’m not so keen on. I hate wasting clothes.

 

 

Now that my sister has gone :( this is my way of showing her what I’m wearing each day. I used to give her ideas and tips on how to wear the clothes she was neglecting or unsure how to style. It will also be a nice way to share this with others that also feel like they want some styling ideas.  The blog is mainly to show how I shop, where I shop (giving away some gems begrudgingly), my attitude towards style and how I create outfits. Hopefully I can inspire anyone that’s interested – you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good. I am a charity shop whore.

So this is what I wore to work today. I’m wearing my hair with a massive side parting because my forehead has got really spotty recently and this is my way of covering it up! I’m not wearing any makeup to let my skin breathe a bit…my hair is naturally very curly but the recent weather has not been kind to it and made it very frizzy and limp – all in all BAD time of month looks wise for me! The bun (I like to think) is a sophisticated way of hiding my pube head – yes I did have this nickname growing up.

I recently got back from Turkey so I want to show off my brown legs! This skirt is from New Look in electric blue, £6 in the sale! – I notice H&M are also pushing this colour forward for summer…

 

 

If you’re thinking of buying something new for your summer wardrobe it’s definitely worth buying something in this colour as you can wear it this season and carry it on to the winter (depending on what it is obviously)…I’ll definitely be wearing this skirt with tights. My long sleeved crop top and white loafers are from Topshop. The necklace was my sister’s (MINE NOW! haha) and my watch is an old Seiko of my dad’s that is also now MINE.

Thanks daddeee. Does anyone else wear their dad’s old clothes/accessories?

I think I took this a step too far when I was 10…