Sunday, 27 February 2011

February Round Up

February has been a great month for me for many reasons. I got to go and see one of my favourite bands at the moment- Frankie and the Heartstrings in Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff and I had the best time ever and got to interview the band with my friend Emma. Sorry to everyone who follows me on Twitter because I haven't stopped talking about the band but I really do love them, you can check out my fave song by them here. 
I've been offered more hours at work which takes me up to pretty much full time hours now which I'm so happy about because it means more money for dresses and going to more gigs :) As you can see from the (dodgy web cam) picture above I also got my fringe cut back in. I hope March is even better than this month and I can't wait to see what happens!

 
Here is my round up of the month-
  • Loving: My job. I'm so happy where I am at the moment, it's such a nice place to work and my colleagues are all lovely. I'm also well into nail art thanks to Charlene and Sarah. I'm loving the Champagne shade of Models Own polish that Sarah sent me, so metallic and doesn't chip!
      
  • Listening to: Frankie and the Heartstrings new album that was released on Monday, Robyn and some old favourites like Morrissey and New Order.

  • Wanting: A day away to visit some castles in Wales or go to Hereford, I really want to go on a road trip.

  • Reading: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink and Generation X by Douglas Coupland.
     
  • Making: Not much this month, no baking because I'm cutting back, I lost 11.5 lbs last month. Feeling a lot more confident.
  •  Watching: The Runaways (which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be) Being Human series 1&2 which I now totally love, I got the box set of both series for about a tenner which is a bargain.
     
  • Buying: Loads of dresses from Peacocks

  • Planning: To go to more gigs. I want to see Metronomy when they play in Cardiff soon and I'm planning on going to see Pulp and go to Greenman Festival in the summer.

  • Writing: I'm writing more letters and making time to send thank you cards. The Pen Pal Exchange has gone very well and I can't wait to send more letters out :) 

Everyone have a great February? What are your plans for the next month?
Is there anything you think I should check out in March, new books, bands or places to go?
xx 





Gemma
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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Night In

I had a rare evening off from work this week so I decided to make pitta pizzas with my brother and have a DVD night in. The pizzas are easy to make and I was so lazy I didn't even make dough. All you need is some pitta bread, passata and your choice of toppings.


I spread passata and a little bit of mixed herbs on the pitta bread and then had fun choosing what to put on top. Because they are small you can make lots of different varieties. It can be difficult making a pizza for friends when some are veggie and some hate mushrooms etc so these are a great way to have some fun and keep everyone happy.


The ham and cheese pizza was my favourite and I served it with a side salad, yum yum!

This was the selection of entertainment for the evening-
I picked up the Dance on Broadway game for £10 in asda which I thought was a bit of a bargain and it's got songs from Hairspray which is one of my favourite musicals so I was very happy prancing around my living room to You Can't Stop The Beat.
I did a very bad job of painting my nails with this lovely pillar box red Nails Inc polish, I spent ages tidying it up with a cotton bud and nail polish remover after I took this photo.
I had my hair cut yesterday and went to the best gig ever and interviewed Dave from Frankie and the Heartstrings. I'm still in a fab mood today even though I'm hungover and in work. I will post some photos of the gig tomorrow.

If you are bored in work or having a lazy weekend and want something to read I recommend reading Rosie's blog. She studies at a uni very close to me and wears some fab colour combinations and and mixes patters and prints to create some great looks.

Hope you are all having a fab weekend
xx

Gemma
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fat Frocks Unflattering Dress

Blogging and taking photos can be very useful, I now know that I won't be wearing this dress again unless I find a better way of styling it. Too booby and the stripes do me no favours around my waist. It is a very pretty dress but it was only £7 in Primark and has an elasticated back, there isn't much structure in the dress so it doesn't fit very well. I tried it on in the fitting room but sometimes you need to take a dress home and try it on with your own things.

Dress: Primark
Cardigan: asda
Belt: Peacocks
Leggings: Evans
Shoes: Evans

The frills and buttons in the bust area are very pretty, I'm going to try and style the dress a little differently and see if it can be more flattering. It would be a shame to wear a dress just once.


I saw these earrings in Dorothy Perkins and thought the letters on them were very cute and oh so apt because of the Pen Pal Exchange I'm co-ordinating, couldn't leave these little beauties there for £2.


I've not had the time to try out any more nail art this week but I bought this Mushroom shade from Barry M and I love it. I think it's quite chic and an appropriate shade to wear to work.

I've spoken about how much I love libraries and how we need to support them in a previous entry which you can find here. I've found a two new books in one of the libraries I work in which I think might inspire you to go and check out your local library. The DIY fashion book is great for a girl on a budget, I especially loved the tea staining tip to crate a vintage look with white fabric and the macarons book was beautiful to just look at but I really want to try and make some myself but I don't have a food processor and there is nowhere in my town where you can get food colouring paste....


Have you baked or attempted any diy fashion recently?
xx

Gemma
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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Outfit post, Nail Art and In Aid of Vintage

I've been blown away by the response to my last post, so many people have joined up to the Pen Pal Exchange. There are 30+ participants so far and you still have plenty of time to join up.
I've got another work outfit post for you today. It's not a very smart look even though I'm a library assistant. The 'librarian chic' look is not very practical and a lot of our work involves heavy lifting and moving things around so pencil skirts and blouses just would not work for me.


Dress: New Look
Bag: New Look
Cardigan: Asda
Belt: Peacocks
Brooches:Accessorize UK
Necklace: gift


I took these pictures when I got home from work last night at about 11pm so this is what I look like after a day of shelving, issuing and and dealing with enquiries. My brother took the photos for me and he made me laugh so much because he had just showed me this video, and was clicking his fingers like the boy in the video. I love the bit where the lights are flashing. It's a bit creepy but very good.

I recently won a giveaway on Sarah's blog and I was so excited when I received my pink parcel in the post. It was packaged beautifully and was filled to the brim with lots of Models Own goodies.

How lovely is that? I'm going to keep the glittery box to put all my nail varnish in :) Thanks Sarah!

I have been inspired by Sarah and Charlene to try a bit of nail art which is something I've never done before and here is my first attempt-

Gemma
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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Pen Pal Exchange

*
*The Pen Pal Exchange is now closed, I will re-open the scheme in the future so keep on checking back!*

Dear Readers,


I spend so much of my day, sending and responding to emails in work and replying to comments on my blog. But, even though I’m communicating with people, I feel like I don't really know them. Emails don't  convey personailty or idividuality and it's hard to say what you really feel in an email.

I really enjoyed sending my post card to Alice and receiving a lovely hand crafted letter from her so I’ve decided I want to set up a pen pan exchange for bloggers.  I want to return to the long-lost days of letter writing, penpals and handwritten thank-you notes.
There’s something so special waiting for the post man to arrive and seeing a letter in there amongst the bills and junk mail. Who wants to join me in bringing back snail mail?!

If you would like to join in and get to know someone in the blogging community better please leave a comment with your email address. The closing date to join up will be the 28th of February. I will then email everyone who has left a comment, get their contact details and pair them up with a pen pal :)
It would be great if you could tell your blogging friends about it or tweet about the Pen Pal Exchange, the more people that take part the more fun it will be!

Yours Faithfully
Gemma




Gemma
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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Reminiscing

This time two years ago I was just about to board my 24 hour flight to New Zealand. I was reminiscing and looking at photos on the weekend and I thought I would share a few with you. New Zealand is a lovely country, it reminded me of Wales... but with better weather and volcanoes!

I was really fortunate because I got to go to New Zealand but didn't have to stay in hostels the whole time. I stayed with a friend and her lovely family in Auckland for nearly three months. I spent the majority of my time in Auckland but I also visited Wellington and Rotorua. Most people visit NZ and like to go rock climbing and bungee jumping but I'm not an outdoors type so I spent most of my time in the city and Wellington was such a great place, I even considered doing and MA there but I realised I was too much of a mammys girl to live on the other side of the world.


Have you ever been to New Zealand? If you could visit any place in the world what would it be? I would like to go to Boston and back to Berlin again.
  
xx

Gemma
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Monday, 14 February 2011

Another Fab Find in Peacocks


I was supposed to go out today because it's my day off but nobody wanted to do anything because the weather is so bad at the moment or because they have to see their boyfriend even thought they see them everyday. Not even this rainbow could cheer me up, the view from my room used to be amazing before they built lots of houses and blocked off my pretty view. I got all dressed up ready to go out so I thought I may as well share it with you.


Dress: Peacocks
Cardi: asda
Shoes: Topshop
Belt: Peacocks
Bag: Vivienne Westwood
Rings: Evans

 I look a bit manic because I'm trying to hide how annoyed I am, I tried using my brothers camera for a change so it's a bit blurry too. His camera was very good at taking close up photos and has an anti shake thing so I got some great photos of my accessories.
I bought this dress in Peacoks on Saturday and I'm very happy with it. That's twice in a fortnight I've found an amazing dress in there and this one was only £20 and I think it looks a bit like this Dahlia one that is £60. It came with a black stretchy belt with an enamel buckle but I wasn't too keen on it so I bought this belt for £4. I tried on loads of belts in there and they all looked great. I find it really hard to get belts because most shops only do small/medium/large and the large is only about a size 14 so I will be going back to Peacocks to buy up all the belts.
This my favourite purse/bag, I bought it in Harrods about two years ago and I get lots of use out if it. I love Vivienne Westwood and wanted something tartan but because I wear so many floral dresses I wouldn't have used a tartan bag very often to I opted for this brown leather one. It's a great item because it can be used as a purse but you can also clip a strap on to it so it can be used as a clutch.


I thought this summed up my feelings about today rather well-
credit

Hope you are having a great day with your loved one. I don't have anyone (spinster) so I will be taking the dog for a walk to fill up time in my empty life haha
xx

Gemma
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Sunday, 13 February 2011

It's been a slow week...

It's been a pretty busy week for me work wise so that means I've not been anywhere fun. I have tomorrow off but the weather in south Wales in awful so I don't think I will be able to go anywhere, maybe a museum or cinema trip would be a good idea. Anyway, here's my week in photos-

  1. I bought a copy of the NME for the first time in ages this week because there was a nice interview with my new favourite band Frankie and the Heartstrings in it. I can't wait to see them at the end of the month and I'm even more excited because my friend Emma is interviewing them and I get to tag along. Check out my fave Frankie and the Heartstrings song- Fragile here.
    I have no idea what to wear so I might post a few outfit choices and let you decide nearer the date.

  2. The lovely Alice from An Alien World sent me a sweet letter with lots of lovely things inside, I really love the little Naughty Alice card because that's the perfume I wear.Thanks Alice :)
    I'm thinking about setting up a bloggers pen pal exchange thingy... Not sure how to go about it yet but it's lovely receiving post so I thought a few people would like to join in.

  3. I've had my tea collection since Christmas but I forgot all about it so I've been busy trying to sample all my lovely teas. The strong Assam tea is the best in the collection. I'm such a tea fiend, I can drink about 10 cups a day!

  4. I got this Disney Couture necklace from asos, I've wanted it for ages and now its in the sale I thought I would treat myself. It's gold plated to it wont tarnish and I wont be allergic to it but I will probably chance the chain to a piece of ribbon because the chain isn't gold. It's really annoying having an allergy, I can't wear any Topshop/cheapy jewellery.

  5. I spent the morning on the sofa having a cwtch with Sookie because we were both so tired and caught up on Fridays episode of True Blood and Boardwalk Empire.

  6. This week I have been watching My So Called life, it's a great series from the 90s starring Clare Danes and Jared Leto. It's such a shame that it was so short lived and only had one series :(
    I talk about Britney all the time but the documentary For the Record makes me cry, it shows how isolating and lonely it can be to be a star and I recommend watching it if you want to know what Britney is really like.

What are you doing tonight? I'm watching the Bafta red carpet coverage on E! and drinking more tea.
xx

Gemma
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Friday, 11 February 2011

Outfit Post and Charity Shop Find

Another boring work outfit sorry! I have been working a lot in the uni library recently because a few staff have left and I'm doing extra shifts to help out. I've got a few fun things planned soon though like going to see Frankie and the Heartstrings and going to the cinema and for lunch with friends this weekend so hopefully I will have more fun outfits to post.


Dress: New Look
Belt: New Look
Cardigan: George asda
Shoe: Very.co.uk
Brooch:Accessorize 


I found this great dress in a charity shop recently but I'm not 100% sure if I like it and I'm not sure what to wear with it but I couldn't leave it there, it was only £1.99! What do you think?

  
A few fun things to mention Miss P who I mentioned in my south Wales bloggers post is having a giveaway here and there is going to be a south west bloggers meet up and you can find out more details on Bee's blog vivatramp.

Got any exciting weekend plans? I'm working tonight, all day Saturday and Sunday, total nightmare :(
xx

Gemma
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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Cardiff Arcades Project

I came across the fabulous Cardiff Arcades Project on twitter, I saw lots of people from Cardiff mention it so I thought I would check it out. It's a great photography project centred around the beautiful Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades that are located in Cardiff’s city centre.

Amy Davies is using her gift for capturing a truly beautiful photo to help promote the arcades and all the unique shops located inside them. I'm worried that the arcades will be forgotten with huge shopping developments like St Davids 2 dominating Cardiff city centre. I hope this project will succeed in reminding people about all the wonderful independent stores that are housed in the arcades before they become nothing but a memory.

If you are ever in Cardiff please visit the arcades because they have some beautiful independent vintage shops like A Vintage Affair and Looby Loo's Boutique.

I've chosen a few of my favourite photos from the project so far to share with you-



The photos are of the Castle Arcade and the following photos are of the Morgan Arcade.

 I would like to thank Amy for letting me use her photos, aren't they fab? You can check out more of her photos on her Project 365 tumblr.

Lucy Sherriff who did a guest post/interview for me before (which you can find here) has written a great piece about the arcades on her blog which you should go and read because it features some great interviews with local retailers.

Are there any hidden treasures like the arcades in your town? Do you shop at independent retailers?

Gemma
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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Work Outfit Post

Just a quick post today as I've not been anywhere exciting, just been working a lot this week. I wore this to work yesterday and I look really grumpy and tired because it was about 8am when I took this picture, I am soo not a morning person.

 
Dress: Very
Cardigan: Asda
Leggings: Evans
Shoes: style 369

I just booked tickets to see Alice which is a Scottish Ballet production and I can't wait! I've never been to see the ballet before so it will be a new experience for me. The tickets only cost £10 because I'm under 26 which I think is a great incentive to get young people to go to the theatre.

Have you been ever been to a ballet performance? Going to see any exciting theatre productions soon?
xx

Gemma
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Monday, 7 February 2011

Swap Party Outfit

Hello everyone, hope you all had a fab weekend! I spent all day Saturday in work but popped into Cardiff City centre after and picked up this lovely dress from Peacocks. It was £20 which I think is fab as something similar in Topshop would have been about £45.
Dress: Peacocks
Cardigan: Asda
Tights: New Look
Brogues: Peacocks
Isn't the lace collar pretty?
I had a swap party on Sunday with all of my friends and it was a huge success. A swap party gave me and my friends a chance to clean out our wardrobes and swap unwanted stuff with each other. Swap parties are fun and economical way to find new things we want in exchange for things we no longer need - for free. I highly recommend holding your own party especially if you live in halls of residence because there will be loads of people to swap with.

The picture above is of all the things I wanted to swap and the table cloth below them is some fabric I got for £2 in the charity shop, bargain! I came away with lots of sample size make up which is perfect to pop in your bag, a few books and a jumper. I didn't take many photos because we were all having too much fun gossiping and drinking wine.

I got these lovely little Hummingbird Bakery note cards in a fab gift shop called Rossiters in the Royal Arcade in Cardiff. They have four different designs and have recipes on the back. If anyone wants me to post them one just email me at gemmasouthgate@hotmail.com. We could swap postcards and recipes :) Getting mail is so much fun.

 
Did you go anywhere nice on the weekend?
Got any nice recipes to share with me?
xx

Gemma
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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Nature Made Us Beautiful

Rachel and Amy at British Style Bloggers have just launched a body image campaign, asking the media to diversify its representation of women. They want to make a real difference and want people to get involved in Blogger Challenges, the first challenge  to make a collage entitled This Is Me - showing the world who you really are. You can see more information about the campaign here.


This is my poor effort, I have very little skills when it comes to using polyvore or making collages so I did this instead...



The first picture is of me and my best friend Laura on a day trip to Bath, I chose this picture because it was such a fun day. We were talking really loudly on the bus and the old women turned their hearing aids off! haha. We went on a walking tour and visited some of the places mentioned in Jane Austen books.

The second picture was taken on my second birthday and I chose it because I look really happy (probably because of all the presents and jelly and ice cream!)

The next picture was taken when I went to see Britney at the o2 in London. Britney is someone I adore although most of my CD collection is filled with New Order and Patrick Wolf records, not very pop at all. I admire her because she is strong and has overcome difficulties in her life. Seeing her in London was the best live experience I've ever had, even better than The Libertines or Morrissey!

The fourth picture is of my lovely dog Sookie who I talk about all the time, I'm a bit of a loser and have her as the background on my phone and let her sleep at the bottom of my bed. I had her for Christmas last year and she's the best present I've ever received.

The next picture is of some books because in case you didn't already know I work in a library. I love my job and it's what I want to do as a career and not just until I find something else. A lot of public libraries are facing cuts as I have mentioned in previous posts if you want to stop this there are protests on Saturday and you can find out more here.

The cupcakes are from The Hummingbird Bakery which I always visit when I go to London, I usually just get one with a cup of tea but everyone was so fed up of me going on about these cakes all the time so I brought a box home with me.

The little Welsh lady outfit makes me laugh, I had to wear this on St Davids day in school. I was born in Wales and have always lived here. It's very nice, you should pay us a visit!

The final picture is of Elphaba from the musical Wicked which is the best musical EVER and has the best song in it- Defying Gravity. I have seen it a few times in London and I cry when I hear DG, such a powerful song and my all time favourite.

Let me know if you take part in the challenge so I can check out your collage.

Is there anything that most people don't know about you?
xx

Gemma
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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Bag Madness!

I went to see Allo Darlin' on Monday night at 10 Feet Tall in Cardiff and this is what I wore-


I took some pictures at the gig and by the castle but I look awful so I took this one when I got home.

Dress: h&m
Cardigan: Primark
Bag: Topshop

I got this dress from h&m and I'm very happy with it. I didn't know that they went up to my size in the regular range there so when I found out that they did I ordered lots of things, I was a little skeptical because I always remember h&m clothes being quite small but when the dress arrived it was a perfect fit. It's nice and long so I can wear tights with it instead of leggings and it's very comfortable. The best thing was that it only cost £9.99! 
This is a close up of the bag I took to the gig. I don't usually shop in Topshop as I used to work there and had Topshop overkill when I was in uni but I splashed out and bought this bag before Christmas. It was quite expensive and I usually buy vintage bags but I really like it and it's just big enough to fit my camera, phone, purse and powder in, fab for a night out.

Allo Darlin' were fab but I knew that before I went but Sweet Baboo was totally new to me, he had some lovely songs and very fun onstage banter. Sweet Baboo has a few videos on youtube so check him out.



On Sunday I went to the Market and vintage fair but I also popped into Primark and when I got there I went a bit mad and got three bags... oops!
Lots of people have been blogging about this bag and I wanted to see what it looked like in the flesh. It's a really pretty bag and it was a bargain, I think it was about £6. I don't think it's going to last very long though and the clasp is a bit tricky to open but for that price I don't mind too much.


Gemma
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