Friday, 31 August 2012

Dreaming of Another World

I don't want to sound like a moaner but I'm so tired after a hectic summer. I've really made the most of my summer since the Jubilee weekend and I've managed to have plenty of weekends away, visit new cities, celebrated lots of birthdays and even gone to a few festivals. I still have Paris and Bestival to go and I'm exhausted even thinking about it. A new term starts soon and all the students will return to the university that I work at and I feel like I've not had a break all summer.

Next year I'm going to skip the festivals (unless I get tickets to Glasto) and mini breaks and combine lots of leave so I can have two weeks in the sun. I just want to lie on a beach, read and sip on cocktails. No getting coaches and buses around the UK, camping or staying at a travelodge. I want full blown luxury, sophistication and style but on a budget!

I'm planning on saving and getting a last minute deal next year or trying to book early for a good price.
I've got a few destinations in mind like Bulgaria and Turkey but I think Tunisia and South of France are on the top of my list at the moment. If I have a year to prepare I can pick up bits in the sales and on eBay so my holiday wardrobe doesn't cost a fortune. I tend to waste money on things I don't really need and maybe knowing I have a holiday to save and pay for would stop me doing this.

I've got a few picks here for things I will be keeping an eye on throughout the year-

tunisia

I've seen a few lovely dresses lingering in the sales that would be perfect for a summer holiday. I'm going to be looking for dresses in bright colours with cut out details perfect for the Tunisian heat like these AX Paris and Topshop ones. I don't own any sandals and I can't really take converse on holiday so I will also be looking for some of these. I wont wear them often so I can pick up a cheap pair and not worry about quality too much. I don't think I will be able to resist the book themed passport cover as a library assistant, I wonder if there is a matching luggage tag... Tunisia is at the top of my list because it is exotic and safe at the same time. There are beautiful resorts but also some amazing ancient ruins and Islamic architecture to explore.

south of france

You can't go on holidays without a case and this leopard print New Look one is just up my street. It is the right balance between Kat Slater and chic and you're going to notice this print on the carousel at the airport. No holiday would be complete without the perfect swimsuit. I can't scrimp on this item as I'm looking for retro style plus size swimwear with underwire and support. I'm going to be looking for discount codes and sales for these as they cost around £40+ I think some retro cat eye sunglasses would be the perfect finishing touch for my chic French holiday wardrobe and I would also pack lots of navy and white stripes and broderie anglaise for a fresh summer look France is at the top of my list because I'm hoping my French pals will meet up with me after not seeing them for ages and  also be my unofficial guides.


Going to leave you with this Mystery Jets song which has me dreaming of another world and in the mood for a lazy holiday...



*collaborative post


Gemma
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Hawaiian Facy Dress Ideas

When my friend announced that she wanted to have a Hawaiian fancy dress theme for her birthday I went into a panic. I had images in my head of coconut bras and grass skirts and broke out into a cold sweat. I'm a pretty confident person but I wouldn't go as far to bare my flesh on the streets of Cardiff. Some of my mates are going down the traditional route like the photo below but I suppose I get a lucky escape because it's hard to find plus size party dresses for fancy dress as they tend to be 'one size'. I want to not be a bore and get involved in the theme so I'm going to find some items that are more 'me' but still mean that I will fit in with the group.

fancy dress 1

I'm going to get involved with the theme by getting some garlands which I have picked up cheaply on ebay and I'm looking for some floral hair clips and I've found some pretty ones in the sale on Crown and Glory. I'm sure I will use the hair clips again, I hate buying things just for one occasion.
I decided to buy a tropical print dress from Primark which fits in with the theme but would also be perfect for a summer party or it take on holidays. I love the bold print and bright colours and I think I'm going to enjoy wearing something other than black for once on a night out.


fancy dress 2

The earrings would be a fun touch and you can pick up ones like there for a few pounds in places like Claire's Accessories. The shoes are so fun and bright and are a bargain at under £20 from New Look, you can get them lots of different colours like pink and orange. I'm going to dig out some blue eyeliner and pink lippy and go a bit mad on the make up too.

If money was no object I would have got a vintage inspired dress like this. I love the rockabilly look and I would feel a tad overdressed to go out in this normally but a fancy dress night out is the perfect excuse to get a little mad isn't it? I will share some photos of my final fancy dress look next week. They might be a little blurry eyed as I suspect a few cocktails will be involved...

Do you dread fancy dress nights out or do you fully embrace them?

*collaborative post


Gemma
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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Are you Welsh? No? Have some glitter anyway!...


I went to my fifth Reading Festival this year and I think it may be my last. I'm about 10 years older than most people there and I'm not sure my old aching bones are cut out for any more camping. If it really was my last Reading then I went out in style and crammed in everything I could. I've said it would be my last festival every time I go though...

I got the coach from Cardiff on Thursday with my mates Emma and Harri (which was full of people who just got their GCSE results) and pitched up the tent in the green camping area by the G4 road where I usually camp. It's close to the site entrance and arena which is perfect for lazy people like me. We decorated the tent with some bunting which is pretty useful once you've had a few beers because all tents look the same in the dark. I spent Thursday night getting to know my camping neighbours around a campfire. I spent most of the night selling Wales as a tourist destination to Aussies, I always get so patriotic when I go away!

Friday was the day that I manged to catch the most bands and acts and made sure that I got into the arena pretty early to catch the Cardiff band Future of the Left.. I caught the end of Chris Ramsay on the Alternative stage and a few other comedy acts before watching Spector and The Hives on my favourite stage, the NME/Radio1 tent which has a great atmosphere. I have seen Fred from Spector in a few bands over the years and even though he divides opinion I really like him and I was so happy to see the tent packed out for their set. Fred reminds me of Vice magazine and all the annoying things about East London types but it was pretty heartwarming to see him with a huge smile when people were singing along to all his bands catchy tunes. 'Never Fade Away' was my highlight of the set and event the stewards and event security were singing along.

I saw some Alt-J on the Festival Republic stage and Kate Nash and Felix from The Maccabees were also in the crowd. The Maccabees are my favourite band at the moment and I was trying to play it cool but squealed 'OhmyGodit'sFelixfromTheMaccabees'
and nearly fainted when he walked past me my mates. Such a fan girl, he has such shiny hair... swoon. I managed to cram in Bombay Bicycle Club, Graham Coxon and The Courteeners (Liam Fray was looking HOT with his new quiff) before going to see The Cure headline on the main stage. I only stuck around for a few songs because The Maccabees were headlining on the NME stage and I wasn't going to miss that for anything even a classic band like The Cure. The Maccabees set was beautiful and almost brought me to tears playing First Love, Precious Time and Can You Give It in a row. They are such a sincere band and if you get a chance to see them live you really should.

reading festival 1

Saturday was the most fun I've had in a long time. I was lucky enough to be able to have a shower in a mates hotel room, nothing beats clean hair and feeling fresh. I then headed back to the festival site to watch Mystery Jets and Santigold (she was amazing!) before going to the tent for some wine. After a lot of wine from a box and perry from a can (classy) I ran into the arena for The Vaccines and proceeded to annoy about 2,000 people. I was so loud and larey running around the crowd with Harri looking for Welsh flags and spreading glitter over unsuspecting strangers and all over my hair and face.
The heavens opened when Florence and the Machine came on and I got soaked. I love her but it wasn't her best set, the play list was a little dull. I preferred her in Cardiff a few months ago but she gave a great performance.
Harri and I lost the rest of our group and decided to go and watch Feeder who played to a packed out tent. I loved this band so much as a teenager and it was great to see them play a set full of fan favourites. I think that watching them was the highlight of Reading for me and I had a blast dancing and singing with Harri and a few people we met from Essex. There is nowhere else in the world where I would go and see Feeder and dance with people I just met like I've known them all my life.

reading festival 2

After the excess and madness of Saturday I took a more relaxed approach to Sunday. I managed to see The Joy Formidable, Kaiser Chiefs (2004 all over again) The Black Keys, The Horrors, Two Door Cinema Club (highlight of the day) and then saw a little of all the headliners Justice, Foos and Less Than Jake. I'm so glad I went to see The Futureheads do their acapella and acoustic set, talented guys!

I didn't take many photos because I was just having too much fun but I wore my Barbour jacket and wellies for most of the weekend with denim shorts and checked shirts like most people there. I'm hoping to take more festival fashion photos at Bestival and will be dressing up a bit more there.

I can sum up my Reading 2012 experiences with the following points:

1. I'm old now, it has taken me two days to recover
2. Liam Fray looks good with a quiff
3. 16 year olds should not wear hotpants. I do not want to see your cheeks.


Gemma
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Monday, 20 August 2012

CaravanClub2012

I had so much fun in Torquay last year that me and my mates decided to go again. It was so relaxing to have a few days off with no work to worry about and without religiously checking emails and twitter. I'm so jealous of people who live near the sea, it really was beautiful down there.

dip dye jumper, spike necklace - Copy

I wore my new Primark jumper, a F21 ring and New Look necklace on the way down. The forecast wasn't great so I packed loads of jumpers and we got there at it was 20+ degrees so I was boiling hot all weekend. We got there and went for a huuuuge meal and then went to the club house and joined in with the karaoke. Everyone there was 60+ so we thought it would be appropriate to sing the Spice Girls with full dance routine and we also sang the Tom Jones version of Kiss.

We went for a nice day on the beach in Torquay, I spent the most of my weekend in my spongebob pjs because it was so warm and we had a huuuge fry up on Saturday morning. I swear I consumed about 20,000 calories in pringles and minstrels this weekend.

torquay, english breakfast, spongebob

We stayed on a great site with some very interesting caravan neighbours, went quad biking and had a bbq before getting out the board games and watching series one Community. It really is the simple things in life that are so nice. The weekend away cost next to nothing, the weather was lovely and I had amazing company. Perfect.

torquay 2012 - Copy


Why can't all weekend be this lovely? I'm already looking forward to going back to Torquay next summer. I'm off to Brighton for the day tomorrow and then Reading Festival this weekend so I hope you all have a lovely bank holiday and I will be back soon :)


Gemma
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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Given to the Wild

I'm really excited about the news that Vivienne Westwood will be opening her first ever store in Cardiff. This is great news for Wales and the South West as currently you can only buy Vivienne Westwood accessories in Cardiff at Urban Outfitters and shoes in Pussy Galore so I can't wait to be able to browse the full Gold, Red and Anglomania ranges in the flesh and not just online. The store will be opening in October in the St David's 2 in the Hayes opposite John Lewis. Vivienne Westwood is my favourite designer and I love how all her designs have a really British feel, drawing on Saville Row tailoring traditions with a punk edge. I've had my eye on the fulfilment dress for ages, I think the people in store are going to get fed up of me going in and trying things on....

Here are some of my favourite Viv items-

vivienne westwood, orb, anglomania


It's meee with my clutch bag.
SANY6198


I was looking for shoes after I saw Sophie's lovely pair and I fancied the Vivienne Westwood Melissa flat shoes but I stumbled upon this bag and it had to be mine. I opted for a patent bag over tartan because it will go with everything.

Moving on from designer and onto budget now, I've got some great bargains in the past few weeks.

studded bag, topshop playsuit, topshop shirt


I picked up the playsuit in the Topshop sale for £20, it has lace around the waist and edge and the clutch in Select for £8 and got student discount on both. The shirt is from Topshop but cost £2 on ebay,can't argue with that price.

warehouse jumper, marian keyes, dawn french
I picked up this jumper in Warehouse, I've had my eye on it for a while because it's so soft and has lovely flecks of different colours in it. When I walked past the shop last week they had 20% off that day so I HAD to get it. The books were both 25p in my local charity shop and I will be reading them tonight instead of going out because I'm saving money for Paris. Feeling rather sorry for myself being in tonight.

Gemma
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Friday, 10 August 2012

Bestival Wildlife fancy dress ideas

I'm very lucky to be going to Bestival with Sarah at the beginning of September(courtesy of Echo Falls), I'm really looking forward to it as I've never been before. I'm excited about everything: getting the ferry to the Isle of Wight, camping, seeing New Order (one of my all time favourite bands), hanging out with Sarah and I'm REALLY excited about the wildlife fancy dress theme on Sunday.
I'm pretty safe when it comes to my outfit choices so I'm going to use Bestival as an excuse to let my hair down and get carried away with the wildlife theme. My first google search for fancy dress and wildlife just led me to those 'sexy bumblebee' type outfits, not for me at all! I'm going to keep it subtle with some animal print and hair clips and maybe get some face paint and body glitter out.

Here are my top bestival picks:

bestival fancy dress, butterfly,

The gorgeous butterfly headbands are both from Crown and Glory and I just can't decide which one I like more, going to see how much I have left on payday after bills and treat myself to one of these. If I'm a tad skint I can opt for the New Look version in the sale, not quite as pretty though. The beetle earrings are from New Look, they would fit in great with the wildlife theme but I would also wear them again.

bestival fancy dress, bird print, butterfly print top

The butterfly and leopard print top are both from ASOS and again I think they are a subtle way to get involved in the fancy dress theme without buying a fancy dress outfit that you would never wear again. Getting into the spirit of things without going over the top. The bird print cover up is from AX Paris and I'm thinking of wearing this with a skater dress and will cover my shoulders if it's sunny (wishful thinking) The tie top is another New Look item.

bestival, fancy dress, nail wraps
The temporary tattoos are a good way of adding the wildlife theme to your look and I LOVE the lashes, how gorgeous are they? The wig reminded me of Katy Perry at the end of her Wide Awake video where she is wearing lots of flowers on her dress and there are butterflies, I think this is the look I will be going for.



Of course you need some sturdy shoes for a festival and the obvious choice are Hunter wellington boots. Practical and I like the croc effect. My final pick is the owl t-shirt from New Look which I might buy and not even take it to Bestival. It's only £7 and I can't resist.

Have you seen any lovely wildlife themed clothes that I could get for Bestival? I'm not very creative!

Gemma
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Monday, 6 August 2012

La tristesse durera toujours

A rather sad title but lots of lovely things to report on. I took a week off work last week for my birthday and tried to cram in as many days out as I could and sample plenty of cakes. Sadly the week I chose to have off work was filled with downpours and I couldn't go camping like a planned but I still managed to have lots of fun.

caterpillar cake, brit pop cd, bute park


Last Sunday I went for a mammoth walk around Cardiff and picked up a tasty Indian breakfast at the Riverside market and headed towards Bute park for a relaxing afternoon. I've seen the NZ football team and Brazilian teams train in the park recently and saw the GB team leaving Cardiff after their defeat on the weekend :( Cardiff has been buzzing with Olympic fever this week, nice to feel part of it all even though I don't live in London. I had a mid week birthday meal with friends because a few of us have birthdays in the same week. My friends know me very well and got me a caterpillar cake and Brit pop album. You can't beat a night in with the girls.
I went for lunch and cocktails and spent a small fortune on new jumpers, make up and clutch bags. Once I get started I just can't stop... I got a GOSH eyebrow pen and have been playing with it this week but I've not quite got the hang of it yet (major scouse brow)

birthday cake, pastel cake, coctails,


I had a joint birthday celebration with my friends Jack and Harri on the weekend and we went for food at Mezza Luna which was a great little place on City Road in Cardiff. We had some Moroccan food and there was even a belly dancer, we all got roped into belly dancing but I have no rhythm at all so wont be taking that up as my new vocation. Emma made a ruffle icing, pastel layer cake masterpiece which tasted great, I think she should make me one every weekend. YUM.

1D, Bristol bloggers meet up, IMpress


I went to see a band called Mowbird in my new favourite venue Gwdihw (Welsh for owl) and got some great shots on my instax camera. I ate even more cake, this time with some comedy 1D decoratoins which Rosie would appreciate. I tried out some IMpress nails which looked fab and were so easy too apply, great for a night out.
I went to Bristol yesterday for the Bristol Bloggers Meetup that Kim and Steph organised, they did a geat job and it was good to see them again along with the lovely Lily, Hannah and Sammy. It was also lovely to meet some new people like Amie , Chloe Lee and Sophie. I always enjoy meet ups but get a little nervous and babble so I'm sorry if I went a little off topic. It was a great way to round off my my birthday week off.

I wish all weeks could be like this!




Gemma
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