Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Pan Am Glam

I'm ill, cold and fed up(whinge) and I long for some glamour and sunshine. I blame Pan Am for the hours I've spent today looking at holidays in various exotic locations. I'm loving the show so far, it's no hard hitting drama but it's fun and oh so pretty.There is something for everyone: handsome pilots, gorgeous vintage fashion, espionage and exciting locations like Monaco and New York.

credit credit

I then started to plan what I would need for a perfect early 60s inspired holiday (yes really, I don't have a life)
I found the perfect plus size swimsuit with a retro feel. I want to lounge around the pool with my Jackie O glasses on, drinking a martini and listening to all those amazing bands from the 60s.

I went out today (after faffing on the internet for hours) and was inspired by Christina Ricci  (doesn't she has lovely big eyes?) to create a 60s inspired make up look and this is my attempt-

I suppose I should I have gone for nude lips but nevermind. I used my Lancome Art Liner, MAC Russian Red lipstick and Avon brow pencil. I was trying to get the Liz Taylor eyebrow look but it ended up a little more scouse brow.

Are you dreaming of a holiday in a warmer climate? Do you spend hours online when you should be doing something more important? Tumblr is a total life stealer, I love looking at Harry Potter/Mean Girls photos.

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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Little Black Dress

After spending nearly £200 on a folding shower door for my new bathroom (can you think of anything more boring to spend money on?) I have been skint all month. I really want some new clothes because most of my old ones are too big for me, my leggings fell down yesterday! good job I hadn't left the house or that could have been rather embarrassing.
No money + no clothes that fit = Gemma goes rummaging in suitcases under the bed for old clothes that fit again.This is the result of my rummaging...

Dress: H&M - 5 years old
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins - 8 years old!!
Shoes: New Look - New
Belt - Dorothy Perkins - New

My brother was the official photographer and there were poeple doing work on the church next door, staring at us. Sookie my dog was not impressed and barked at them, a lot. You can't help but laugh at my dog, she has such a silly face.

Stopped laughing, serious face!

It's amazing what you can find when you have a look through your old clothes, this is a really classic little black dress. It has a lovely round neck which is quite Joan/Mad Men and there is no way I would get rid of it. While I love a good sort out and really relish giving a sack full or clothes to the charity shop it pays to keep hold of simple items like this that you can wear over an over again.
I've bought a few plain dresses since September and I'm going to try and wear them more often, switching cardigans and belts to create new looks. I really don't need any new clothes if I can forget that I own dresses like this for over three years!

Just because I haven't posted a photo of Sookie for a while...

 She is the Chistmas present that just keeps on giving!

What do you do to create looks on a budget? What have you got lurking in your cupboards?!

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Friday, 25 November 2011

South Wales Bloggers Christmas Social

Right, I said I would organise a little gathering so we could all have another chance to meet each other before Christmas and I have now decided on the date! We will be meeting at 8pm on the 7th of December (Location not yet decided) for some food and drinks in Cardiff. 
If that wasn't exciting enough, the lovely Chantele has worked with Baci Lingerie to organise a fabulous blogger exclusive, lock-in event. You will get to see the items they have to offer, partake in some cocktails and canapes and get a 20% discount on anything you buy on the night. Sounds amazing right?!

I had a fab time at the last event and it would be lovely to see you all again and meet some new people. If you haven't been to a bloggers event before, why not? they are loads of fun.

Where would you all like to go for food and drinks? I'm open to suggestions, I know it's just before Christmas so I was thinking of somewhere cheap with 2 for 1 vouchers like Pizza Express.

If you want to know about any more events in Cardiff before Christmas you should check out Liz's blog - bambi the style hunter because she is full of useful tips and Cardiff knowledge.

Don't forget there is also a Cdfblogs meet up on the 6th of December and there is going to be a event in Bristol on the 16th.

Are you coming to the christmas blogger meet up? Click for details!

Are you going to be at any of these events? I'm excited for all the blogger fun in December.

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Thursday, 24 November 2011


Don't normally write posts like this but I found it rather interesting...

I really wanted to try the perfume Shalimar since watching the documentary , Perfume on BBC4 a while back. I found it's history really interetsing and I did a little bit more research in to in. Popular for 90 years, Shalimar was created in 1921 and re-released in 1925 in a bottle designed by Raymond Guerlain. Apparently Shalimar was created when Jacques Guerlain added vanilla to to Jicky (another Guerlain perfume), just to see what would happen and the result was Shalimar.
Jacques Guerlain was inspired by Mumtaz-Mahal, the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built.
Indian Emperor Shah Jahan's love for Mumtaz-Mahal, his favourite wife, was so great that he built her the Garden of Shalimar in Lahore (and indeed, the Taj Mahal). Shalimar means the 'Abode of Love' in Sanskrit.

While browsing the internet to find out more about Shalimar I found all these gorgeous images that have been used to advertise the perfume over the years, I love the progression.

In the 1950s, the illustrations created for Shalimar were by some of the major illustrators of the day, such as Lyse Darcy and Cassandre.


The perfume is a really odd, but odd in a good way. I'm always lured in by pretty bottles and like something light and floral for the day but this perfume is perfect for the night as it is more heavy and warm. It has notes of bergamot, lemon, jasmine, rose, iris and vanilla. I have the fragrance Shalimar Initial which has the jasmine removed and is slightly more subtle, I think it might be aimed at a younger audience who will then mature to wear the original Shalimar.

What do you look for in a perfume and what are your favourites? I wear Britney perfume all the time even though its a bit cheep and cheerful, I love it. (Not just because I'm a huge Stan/Britard). I really like Vivienne Westwood - Naughty Alice and I'm getting Trésor Midnight Rose for Christmas which smells of raspberries mmm.

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Christmas Gifts Part 2 - Parents

Here is part 2 of my gift guides and this time it features ideas for parents. I think people get stuck buying parents the same gifts every year, I always get my dad cigars and sock YAWN! My mam always gets a new CD, slippers and jewellery. These guides have given my lots of good ideas and a reason not to be so boring with my gift giving.

I love the bread bin with the Welsh for bread on and the site also has a tea towel with the Welsh cake recipe on, well worth checking out. I couldn't pick my favourite piece from the Kirstie Allsopp range, they are all so nice. The green glass cake stand and stamp kits are very pretty and affordable so they are going on my shopping list.

  1. Kirstie Allsopp Range at M&S
  2. Welsh 'Bara' Bread Bin
    3. Jamie Oliver Italian Cooking Set
    4. Monsoon Cake Tin
Here are a few more gift ideas for parents, even though I've split them up into mum and dad I'm sure they would work well for either parent. (maybe not the Kirstie Allsopp range)

I think the camera kit and rounders presents are great fun and something that you can use together. I usually take the dog for a walk on Christmas day and try and walk off some of my dinner but a game of rounders would be just as good!

Have you got your parents gifts sorted yet? I've been thinking about what to get my mam for ages and still don't have a clue. She doesn't really like to cook or use expensive beauty products so I may take her out for dinner and to see a show. I've got 34 days to make up my mind!

P.S. I did some gift guides last year which you can see here and here which might give you a few extra ideas.

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Friday, 18 November 2011

Games Night - Do they have a beard?

It's been another really busy week for me, I've been working until 9.30 most days and even went to a conference on my day off. The conference was about using social media to promote libraries so it was rather interesting. I got some great news on Tuesday, I got the job I applied for which means I will be working in the day at a higher grade rather than in the evenings and weekends on a lower grade. Hopefully this will mean more time for outfit posts, going to blogger events at weekends and most importantly, more time to hang out with my friends!

Despite the past two weeks being hectic I have had the past two Thursdays off and this is what I've been up to-


I went to my friend Sarah's house (top left) and five of us managed to polish off a tin of roses and loads of mini sausage rolls, I feel sick thinking about it now! I had a total blast playing Dreamphone, Guess Who and Jenga and catching up with the girls over a cuppa. We need to make games night a regular thing. I'm going back to Sarah's tomorrow (to eat all of her food again) and have a quiet DVD night in and then I've got a gig on Sunday night so no rest for the wicked this weekend.

I spent all of my day off yesterday cooking for the week and putting portions of food in the freezer. I spend waaay to much on lunch for work and end up popping in M&S a few times a week so I'm trying to save money and eat less salty, processed food. I made a carrot and ginger soup, feta butternut squash and spinach lasagne and a beef stew.

I've already put the carrot and ginger soup recipe on Where Are My Knees?  and the other two will go up on there next week. All super healthy and filling foods, perfect winter warmers.

What do you like to do on your day off? Go wild at the weekends and hit the shops? or are you more of a home girl like me and stay in?

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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

South Wales Bloggers Christmas Social

I had such a good time at the South Wales Blogger Meet up and I always enjoy the Cdf Blogs events so I thought it would be nice to have a quiet Christmas social before the end of the year. No big event or goody bags just go for a meal and hang out (probably lots of cocktails involved)

So who is up for that? I was thinking of meeting at around half 6 in the city centre sometime in the week beginning the 5th or 12th, possibly on a Wednesday because there are lots of 2 for 1 cocktails deals on that night. Pica Pica, Peppermint and Henry's all do fab food and cocktails but I would love to hear if you have any other suggestions.

Please spread the word!

I'm also going to the Bristol Bloggers Christmas Party there are going to be lots of lovely ladies there and we are all going to stay the night and have a bit of a party. Who is going? If you aren't going, why not?! It's going to be lots of fun.

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Saturday, 12 November 2011

Christmas Gifts Part 1 - Friend

There are only 42 days until Christmas, aaaargh!!! The Christmas lights were switched on in Cardiff this week and the Winter Wonderland ice skating has set up home in the city centre and I hadn't really put much thought into Christmas until I saw all the glistening lights. My mum has a saver card in the supermarket and gets this years cards in the January sales but I'm a lot less organised and leave everything until the last minute. I've made an uncharacteristically early start by looking at presents way before Christmas eve as I've got a few Secret Santa's and friends to buy for this year. Here are some of the lovely things I found on my search for the perfect Christmas presents-

I always find buying for male friends so difficult, I'm sure they don't really need another mug or scarf so here are some fun gift ideas.

Do you know any great independent retails were you can get great gifts? I love a bit of 3 for 2 in Boots for cosmetics but I do like to give more unique gifts to my loved ones.
Is November far too early for you to be thinking about Christmas or did you buy this years presents in July?

Need to find a gift for someone but no idea what to get them? give me a few details about the person you are buying for and I can give you some suggestions (men are always the trickiest)

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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Caru: Blogs I Love Pt 2

I did a post waaay back in January about some of my fave bloggers who are Welsh or based in Wales and I thought it was time I did another. I've met some fantastic ladies in blogger events across Wales and the South West recently and I wanted to introduce you to a few of them.

First up is the lovely Mia who is a 20 yr old Journalism Student at Cardiff Uni, President of Cardiff Uni Fashion Society and always a fab vintage events in Cardiff. This girl is super busy! Her blog is a mix of what's hot in Cardiff, great photos and seriously stylish posts.

Next is the ever so sweet Kate Lousie who I met at the Bristol Blogger Meet Up and she came along to the South Wales event that I organised. Her blog is a mix of positive posts, reviews and photos of yummy food. I like to read a mix of blogs and not just outfit posts and Kate's blog is great for that.

And last but not least is Chantelle from Daisy Dayz. Chantelle and I planned the South Wales Blogger Meet Up together, I was so lucky to work with her because she is way more organised than me. Chantelle has so many jobs, I don't know how she does it. She works in a pub, writes for various publications and blogs. Her blog has lots of outfit posts, collection previews and reviews.

I really enjoy meeting other Welsh bloggers and reading about things going on in my area, do you read many blogs by local bloggers? Or do you mainly read niche blogs such as beauty or plus size?

If you are a blogger in South Wales or you think I would enjoy reading your blog please leave me your links, I'm always on the lookout for lovely new things to read.

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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Sunny Sunday

This week has been so much more relaxed than last week! No concerts or awards, just some days off and working in the library. I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow, want to try something new but will end up just having a trim, anyone else do that? I'm seeing Los Campesinos! on Wednesday and I'm not doing much else, it will be nice to have a week of calm before the mad exam period starts in the uni and before Christmas.

This is what I wore to work today, a little less formal than usual because it's the weekend-

Dress: New Look
Cardigan: H&M
Belt: Peacocks
Headscarf: Peacocks
Brooch: Accessorize
Boots: New Look

Make up:
MAC blush- Pink Swoon
MAC Cremesheen Glass- Just Superb
Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Coverage Foundation

All this make up is pretty new, got the MAC things at my makeup consultation before my friends wedding. They are really wearable colours and even though I'm not a huge lip gloss fan I really like the cremesheen, loads of colour and doesn't dry out. I am in love with my new foundation that I bought in the week. I have seen so many bloggers rave about it so I thought I would give it a go as soon as my old foundation ran out. I went for the maximum coverage because I have a lot of scarring on my face, it covers so well and lasts all day. LOVE IT! It has quite a dry texture and is a little darker than I normally wear but it blends well.
What products have you tried recently?

Doesn't Newbridge look lovely today? Took this snap as I was catching the train to work this morning. It usually has a very bleak ex-mining town vibe but it was pretty in the sun today.

Having to work on Sunday is pants so I packed an extra tasty lunch which is pretty high in points on the Weight Watcher plan but it is good to have a little of what you fancy. You can see how I'm doing on the plan, find great recipes and inspirational posts over on Where Are My Knees?

How are you spending your Sunday? Jealous of everyone who is having a roast and watching TV!

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Thursday, 3 November 2011

John Lewis Event and Giveaway Winners

Lasts night I attended a rather wonderful John Lewis Christmas preview, which was hosted in Peppermint on Mill Lane, Cardiff. The John Lewis team picked out some fantastic pieces to showcase. I loved all of the matte sequin details and the amazing Kurt Geiger glittery shoes. I'm on the lookout for a sequin item for my work Chrismas party now, maybe a sequin blazer?
The Origins ladies were very nice and I wanted to take the Nars make up stand home with me, so many lovely things there. My favourite part was definitely the home ware collections, I do tend to get carried away with my table settings at Christmas and I got a lot of inspiration for table centrepieces.

I got a chance to hang out with Louise and Mia again and drink some very strong cocktails in jam jars. I only had one and I was a little blurry eyed!

Here are my highlights-

This is what I wore to the event-

Dress: H&M
Scarf: Peacocks
Shoes: New Look
Bag: Miss Selfridge

My house is still not finished, we moved here in July and it is driving me mad now. Bare walls downstairs but my room has now been painted and I will have a shower next week, no more washing my hair with a jug. Hurrah! I really hope we have the kitchen fitted by Christmas, it would be awful if we can't have a roast dinner. We are doing all the jobs rather than hiring people which is much cheaper but also really slow. (I say we, I mainly watch and tell my brother that he's missed a bit)

My giveaway finished on Monday night an I drew the winners on (no idea how you get a little screen capture photo thing)

Congrats to from Hayley from

 and Rosie from

who both won a prize in my giveaway :)

Have you started thinking about Christmas yet? I don't really like to think about it all until at least late November!

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