Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 - One things for sure we're all getting older

2012 in photos

1. Cumberbatch met some of his Cumberbitches *swoon*
2. Clwb Ifor Bach with Harri, demanding that the DJ plays Marina and Britney.
3.Marina and the Diamonds at the Cardiff Coal Exchange. I ♥ Electra Heart.
4. Florence and the Machine with The Horrors and Spector at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff
5. BBQ with all the lovely French friends we acquired.
6. Birmingham with some of my favourite bloggers (I did share the pitchers)
7. Bestival photobooth fun with Sarah, Char and Alex.
8. Reading Festival, spreading the love and glitter with everyone we met.
9. Leamington Spa with the Where Are My Knees girls.
10. Trip to Paris
11. Trip to Manchester with my best friend to see Maximo Park.
12. Frankie and the Heartstrings supporting The Cribs at Swn Festival
13. ARTHUR DARVILL aaaargh, stage door after going to see the play Our Boys.
14. Clothes Show Live
15. #SWBXmas with Claire.
16. Boardgames and wine night.

2012 has been the most amazing year, just want to say thanks to everyone who made it so special.
xxx

Gemma
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Friday, 28 December 2012

Favourite Outfits of 2012

I wanted to create this post to see if my style has changed much this year, it really hasn't. I'm still drawn to dresses and quite feminine shapes. I'de like to think I take more risks though and I don't think I would have worn a hat like the one I wore in October or a leather skirt pre-blogging. I'm going to reflect more on my 2012 and all the things I have been lucky enough to experience this year in my next post. Here are my favourite looks from 2012:

jan, feb, march 2012 outfits
January, February, March
april, may, june 2012 outfits
April, May, June
july, august, september 2012 outfits
July, August, September
oct, nov, dec 2012 oufits
October, November, December

I'm quite fond of June, what about you? I have good memories of wearing that dress over the jubilee weekend. I get quite attached to dresses and associate them with events, songs and situations. The October dress will always be the dress I met Arthur Darvill in and the April dress will always remind me of Marina and the Diamonds - Bubblegum Bitch.

What have been your favourite looks this year? Would love to see some of them so leave me some links below.

Gemma
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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Nadolig Llawen

I hope you guys all had a very merry Christmas. I'm currently on the sofa feeling a bit sick and have been in my pjs for most of the day. I could get used to this! It's been a fairly quiet Christmas for me, I don't have a big family so spent yesterday at home watching all my favourite films with a box of chocolates in my lap. I was spoilt rotten even though I asked people not to get me presents this year. I posted some photos from the day and my very special present over on instagram (fatfrocks).

It's tradition for me and my school friends to go out on Christmas eve to our local pub and get rather merry. This year was a little more subdued than normal but I still had a great time and loved getting dressed up and see people who I don't get much chance to hang out with. Seeing all my school friends definitely makes me feel very immature when lots of them are settled down and do very sensible things. Although I do feel very lucky not to have a mortgage and be able to do fun things.

My Christmas eve outfit (tad over dressed for the pub):

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Dress: ASOS
Shoes: Daisy Street
Necklace: Dorothy Perkins
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington

statement necklace

I picked up this necklace in the Dorothy Perkins sale for £6 and I've already worn it loads, such a good impulse buy. Have you seen any good accessories sales? I'm looking to get a few statement necklaces.

impress nails

My favourite false nails by imPress

sookie christmas

We don't have any children in the family so we totally spoil Sookie rotten and shower her with presents and gifts at Christmas. Look at her in that little jacket, so adorable! We wrap all her presents and let her open them, we are a bit insane...

Off to watch Dr Who for the 5th time now, see you later in the week for some 'Best of 2012' type posts.

Gemma
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Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Kings Arms, Pentyrch, festive menu review

I was recently invited to sample the Christmas menu at the Kings Arms in Pentyrch. I took my friend Katilea with me and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves even though we got lost on the motorway for an hour trying to find Pentyrch...

When we finally arrived I thought that the Kings Arms looked like a typical country pub from the outside but I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in. I didn't manage to get a snap but the restaurant area was a mixture of modern white and original features with the most beautiful fairy lights and branches on the ceiling.


The Christmas menu, which is available throughout December was a great blend of traditional and something a little different. Turkey and Christmas pudding were both on offer along with Chick pea, lentil and parsnip terrine and chesnut and whiskey cheesecake.


I chose the sweet potato, squash and coconut soup to start as I thought it would be the lighter option, leaving more room for my main meal but boy was I wrong. You got a huge portion of soup with some lovely warm, fresh bread. The soup would make a great lunch on its own, very tasty and all the flavours worked together well.
Katilea chose the Arancini –deep-fried Hafod cheese and parsley risotto balls- with red chilli crème fraiche. The presentation was great and Katilea enjoyed the texture of the risotto balls but found that these cheese flavour wasn't very strong but the chilli crème fraiche made up for this.

soup, homemade bread, kings arms Cardiff

For my main I chose the Pan-fried Salmon with cockles and laverbread butter, wilted baby gem and truffle mash as I wanted to go for something a little different and I'm not a big meat eater. I've never had cockles or anything with truffle and I loved both. The mash had a hint of truffle that wasn't over bearing and I loved the salmon (such a large portion) which had a nice skin but was beautfully cooked on the inside.
salmon, truffle mash, cockles

Katilea went for the more traditional roasted silverside of Breconshire beef with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce. We both loved the fact that the meat on the menu was Welsh and that a lot of the vegetables came from local farms. Katilea loved the thick gravy and the seasonal veg was cooked perfectly. She thought it could have done with some parsnips and we only realised that there were supposed to be some parsnip crisps with the meal once we had already both finished.

beef roast dinner

We both finised with the Lemon and lime tartlet with clotted cream and chocolate coulis. We both enjoyed it but thought that there was a tad too much lemon and lime filling. I wish I had tried the assortment of white chocolate, coffee and praline ice creams a lighter way to end a very filling meal.

lemon and lime tart, clotted cream

The Kings Arms Christmas menu is a very reasonable £22.50 for 3 courses. If you don't have time to visit in December I highly recommend you pop in on a Sunday for a roast dinner or pop into the cosy bar for a drink. It's located just on the outskirts of Cardiff and  is easy to find as long as you can follow directions (not like me and Katilea). I really enjoyed my visit to The King Arms and hope to visit again in the new year.

(Don't worry, I wont be making a move into food blogging. Don't think I'm particularly good at this type of thing)

Gemma
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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Oasis Check Dress

I treated myself to this dress in Manchester a couple of months ago now and it has become one of my favourites. It's from Oasis and I don't normally shop there as the clothes tent to be a tad small and on the expensive side. However, I saw this in the window, tried it on and fell in love. They had a 20% off promotion at the time and even though the dress was still expensive I convinced myself I needed it.

I think this is the perfect dress for those days in work when I need to look smart, I wore this for an interview and I'm going to wear it again tomorrow with some lipstick and heels for an after work party. I love the leather detail on the waist and neckline and I can really feel that the dress is good quality and I love the lining underneath. 

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Dress: Oasis
Cardian: Primark
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood via UO

IMG_0830

As you can see from the top photo the house renovation is really coming along now, the wallpaper, flooring and lighting are all finished and the skirting board and staircase are being finished this week. I'm really looking forward to Christmas in a home that isn't covered in dust and one that doesn't have bare concrete floors. It's the simple things in life ey?

I bet you're all really busy this week, how have you been enjoying the festive period so far?

Also, I now have Instagram because I ditched my old broken phone and bought a new one wooo. You can find me on there by searching 'fatfrocks'. I also use tumblr (mainly Manics and Dr Who related stuff on there) which you can find here.


Gemma
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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

#SWBXmas

On Sunday I attended the South West Bloggers Christmas Party at The Birdcage in Bristol. Not only was it a great opportunity to hang out with some of my favourite bloggers we also got to raise some money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

There was cake, a dog in a jumper, presents, live music and a quiz. Don't think I've ever been to such an action packed bloggers meet up, it really was great fun. Here are some of my highlights from the day:

#SWBXmas

My dress is from Topshop and I'm wearing my Daniel Wellington watch, Daisy Street boots and my nans ring.

There was so much to look at in the venue, it was such a pleasant place to hang out in. Lovely open space with great murals on the wall, some pretty light features and comfy sofas. Will definitely be heading here for more chocolate cake on my next visit to Bristol.

#SWBXmas 2

The lovely Lyzi read out some of the quiz questions, I was pretty rubbish at the quiz. I had no idea that ANTM has over 20+ different versions. We all got to take home a little parcel from underneath the Christmas tree, mine contained some lovely hair products.
Maria and Sarah's team won the quiz and collected their prizes which contained some Crown and Glory vouchers, lucky ladies! We were also treated to two great sets from local bands Jilk and Baskerville.

Photo of the day (nicked from Claire)

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I Claire, I mean that. I was so excited to see Claire, I had a big smile on my face all day. I think Claire, Maria, Sarah, Rosie, Rai and all the other ladies should come and hang out with me in Wales every weekend.

It was my final blogging event of the year and the pefect way to round it all up. I've really made some lovely friends through blogging and if you're reading this and have never been to a meet up before I urge you to take the plunge. For those in the South West head to the facebook page South West Bloggers and get to know some bloggers in your area. W're all a friendly bunch, I promise.

All that's left to say is a big thank you to Lyzi, Bee, Gina and Hayley that put the event together. It really was wonderful.

Gemma
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Monday, 17 December 2012

Winter Boots

It's soooooooooo cold! I know you're probably fed up up of people making this statement. I wake up to it on twitter everyday and I've seen more than a few frosty photos on instagram but us Brits do love to talk about the weather. If staying indoors in the warm in my pjs was an option I would do it but I have to go out to work to fund my expensive shopping habits.

The recent cold snap has taught me two things:

1. My dog looks cute in a coat (photo evidence)

2. Ballet pumps are not appropriate footwear when there is ice in the mornings and you will slip flat on your backside at the station in front of your commuter crush (true story)

It's not enough to just put on some thick tights and hope for the best, my feet are practically blue by the time I get to work so I'm on the hunt for some sensible boots that will keep my feet warm and help me to avoid any further bruises to my ego.

I've picked a selection of my favourite sensible but stylish winter boots from Clarks:

First up are these lovely lined boots, don't they look nice and warm? I love the buckles which gives them a bit of a rock edge and the heel looks super sturdy. I think a lining would make a huge difference and help to keep my toes nice and warm.


My second pick are a a lot like boots I already have but they are made from real leather so they would last all year. I would probably wear these with some of my favourite frilly or glittery socks poking out of the top for extra warmth or just with tights in the Spring. 



These classic knee high boots from Clarks are pretty timeless. They have a riding boot feel and I think they would look great with my Barbour jacket if I want to create a bit of a country look. They are real leather so they would last for ages and would look amazing once they had been worn in and battered a bit. Definitely boots you could bring out each Winter.
These aren't practical but I need them because they are leopard print. They also have softwear cushioning and sensible mid heel so I could dance all night in these, amazing.
Are you braving the cold in pumps or do you have more practical shoes?


*Post written in collaboration with Clarks



Gemma
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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Clothes Show Live - Echo Falls

As I mentioned in my last post I headed up to Birmingham on Saturday for my first ever Clothes Show Live experience. I had never been before so I had no idea what to expect, my only experience of it was watching some coverage about it on C4 and I knew Caryn Franklin was involved.

I arrived at Birmingham New Street and had to make my way to Birmingham International to get to the NEC. I didn't have to worry about getting lost because there were thousands of well dressed 16 year olds leading the way. How do all these teenagers look so nice? I never work make up and wore a band t-shirt with purple corduroy trousers. Maybe I was just a really uncool teenager.

The Clothes Show was full of stalls selling clothes and accessories, plenty of hair and beauty demonstrations going on and the highlight of the day was a live catwalk show hosted by Henry Holland.

clothes show 17

clothes show 16


clothes show 12

clothes show 10

The show was a mix of fashion and dance and there was a great energy in the arena, there was even a short performance by one of the bands that got to judges houses in the years X Factor (would have preferred Union J though...)

Even though all the festivities and clothes were lovely the best bit of the day was hanging out with some of my favourite bloggers and eating a few too many of Sarah's amazing cakes.

cupcakes

There was lots going on at the Echo Falls wine bar which proved to be a great place to relax away from all the crowds of teenagers. There were some great talks by bloggers giving fashion and blogging tips, interviews with designers and big names in fashion and Sarah did a talk about nail art. If you didn't manage to catch any of these over the course of the Clothes Show Live you can watch them all online here.

essbeevee

IMG_0804

Me, Sarah, Aisling, Steph and Sarah.

models own

I didn't come away from the Clothes Show Live with a case full of clothes like some but I did treat myself to two sparkly new nail polishes from Models Own and got a free bag of goodies including a red lip liner which a really needed and  some eyeliner which I can't wait to try out all for £10.

Did you visit the Clothes Show Live? what did you think?

Gemma
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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Leopard Print Dress - Zalando

I was lucky enough to attend the Clothes Show Live with a few other bloggers on Saturday and hang out at the Echo Falls wine bar and take in all the sights. Will do a full post on this later in the week but this is what I wore to the clothes show:

OASIS leopard print dress Zalando

I also wore a biker jacket, scarf and gloves and a few pairs of socks under my boots because it was so cold when I set off at 7.30 in the morning but it was boiling inside the NEC and I had to strip off all my layers.

Dress: Oasis via Zalando
Cardigan: Primark
Necklace: Topshop
Shoes:Clarks boots c/o Spartoo
leopard print

The dress was provided by Zalando which has a HUGE selection of dresses from brands like Oasis, Darling and French Connection. They also have free delivery and returns which I will be taking advantage of in the future. I've also worn this dress in a night out with my Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoes, clutch bag and red lipstick. It's a great length for the day but is sassy enough to wear on a night out.

Gemma
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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Joules Jumper

I feel like a bit of a yummy mummy type in this outfit but I love it. It's much more weather appropriate and practical than I would normally wear. Nice thick and warm jumper with a waterproof coat, the perfect attire for the local town fete which I attended. (Rained the whole time I was there, luckily you could pop inside for tea and cake).

The jumper contains a mix of cotton and Angora so it's super soft and I was impressed that the sleeves and body of the jumper were long enough. I hate my stomach poking out when I reach for the top shelf. I've also worn this with a plain white blouse underneath for an extra layer because it's been so cold lately and tucked into a skater skirt so its pretty versatile.

joules stag jumper

Jumper: c/o Joules
Jacket: Barbour
Jeans: New Look
Shoes - Low top trainers, Converse c/o Spartoo

I had a hard time choosing this jumper because Joules have so many pretty floral dresses but I've got a wardrobe full of dresses and fancied something a little different. I also think the design is pretty festive.
Joules, joules jumper, stag jumper

I've had a bery busy week going to both London and Birmingham for blogger events but I will report back on those next week. Hope you're all enjoying the festive period, I've got my first Christmas party next week which I'm looking forward to.

Gemma
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Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas Wishlist

All my Christmas shopping is done now, hurrah! Trawling through the internet for the perfect gifts for friends and family has meant that I've now got a pretty bit Christmas wishlist of my own. I think I probably spent more time looking at things thast I would like rather than gifts for others...

christmas wishlist 2012

1. I always want a Yankee candle, my brother has a few and I only ever buy the little sample ones but they don't last very long. It seems a tad indulgent to spend £19.99 on a candle but it's Christmas so why not!? I must admit I'm pretty jealous of Elton John and his candle room.

2. Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash £14.45. I was given a sample of this when I was loitering around the Origins counter in John Lewis, sniffing all the bottles. (Origins things smell so good) and I love it. It leaves me skin feeling so clean and fresh but doesn't dry me out. This would be an ideal Christmas present for me. (Hint hint little brother)

3. It's no secret that I love Vivienne Westwood, I have a few items now and they are things that I save up for or get for special occasions like my 21st birthday.  These orb earrings are completely different to all the other items I own from Vivienne Westwood and I stumbled upon them on Cruise when I was looking for the Melissa shoes with hearts on and I fell in love.£63 is on the expensive side but I think they are something I would get a lot of wear out of.

4. I would love some more film for my instax camera. I take it to all the parties and weekends away I go on and I've captured some of my favourite photos on it this year. I've got a few shots left for Christmas day but I've got a feeling I will want to get snap happy on New Years Eve.£24 but £14 on eBay.


5. I love leopard print so these shoes must be mine. It's ok to wear a leopard print dress, shoes and coat all at the same time right? They are from  Moda in Pelle and court shoes are perfect for work, a little bit of height but I can still walk to the train station in them and they would jazz up a plain black dress. £59.99

What's on your Christmas list?

Gemma
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

2003-2008

A little twitter chat on Monday night with Eloise and Claire sparked loads of faded memories of bands I loved, college friends and my time at university. I never really had a live journal or blog before this but if I did all my teenage ramblings would have been about bands not dresses. I'm not as eloquent as other bloggers so I'm just going to share some photos of what the college and university years of my life (2003-8) meant to me.

Here are some of the tragic photos of me from my teenage years, try not to laugh too much.

2003-2005

Old myspace photo // after the student media awards // summer ball at the end of my final year // me on 6Music with the Queens of Noize // at karaoke in Soho // night out at an indie disco with friends //  my 18th birthday

It was all about the big fringe, I think I thought I was a mix of Karen O an Kate Jackson.

The tweets that ended with me emptying all my crates of records and CDs on the floor and digging out all my old mix tapes.

twitter screenshot

I don't think my generation ever had its defining moment or movement. My older cousins had Brit Pop and my mum grew up with Motown and miners strikes. I clung on to all those post-punk bands in the early to mid 00s like The Strokes, The White Stripes, Maximo Park and Interpol. I thought Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out was the best song I had ever heard and went on my first trip without my parents to London to see them play three nights in a row at Brixton. I read The Master and Margarita because bands referenced it and poured over the NME every week and stuck cuttings of my idols all over my bedroom wall. I worked behind the bar in a rugby club and spent all my wages on CDs and gig tickets, I wish I had that disposable income now.

Most of my favourite bands were from up North but a few exceptions creeped in like The Maccabees and I even listened to a bit of Brand New (South Wales had a rather unfortunate scene where people loved a bit of Brand New and Taking Back Sunday)

2005-8 uk music indie

I think Morrissey sums it up very well:

"Unfortunately nothing else ever in your life will affect you like music did in your early teens, and it puts you on a certain course. It’s like a love affair. It widens your taste and it broadens your view on everything"

Gemma
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Monday, 3 December 2012

Colour of the Trap - Peter Pan collar dress

Finally, a day off! I've been really busy the past week cramming lots in before Christmas, nights out, shopping after payday and planning lots of gathering. I'm already making plans for the new year like another trip to Manchester and I've got tickets to see Two Door Cinema Club and for the NME tour. Lots to look forward to and a full diary which is what I like to see.

I wore this Simply Be dress to do some shopping and get my hair cut earlier today. (This is pre hair cut, had a fair amount chopped off.)


collar dress

Dress: c/o Simply Be
Shoes: flat shoes Clarks c/o Spartoo
Necklace: eBay

I'm not sure that the shape and high neckline is too flattering on me but I love this dress. It's great for work but the detail on the collar and shiny buttons also makes it perfect for the weekend too.

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Got a rather busy week ahead of me, I'm reviewing a restaurant tomorrow which I've never done before, heading to London on Thursday and then to Birmingham on Saturday with Echo Falls for the Clothes Show. Any of you going to the Clothes Show this week? I've not been before and don't know what to expect.

Gemma
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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Simply Be Party Dress

I'm very hard to impress when it comes to finding the perfect party dress. I don't like glitter, diamante or sequins. I don't want to pay £80 for something that I will wear once and then ends up in the sale for £20 on Boxing Day and I like to find something that I can wear for more than one situation.

This Simply Be dress ticks all my boxes. It's demure enough to wear to my Christmas party at work, nice and high neckline and not too short. It shows a bit of personality with the bright colours and it has a cut out at the back but it is high enough to wear the dress with a bra. (Why are there so many open back dresses at the moment? this girl simply can't go without a bra!)

I've styled this with some black wedges and a studded clutch which is how I would wear it for my Christmas party at work but I would add some red shoes and red lippy if I was going to wear this out with friends or a blazer and some pumps if I wanted to wear this to work.

simply be party dress

Dress: c/o Simply Be
Shoes: eBay

I probably could have sized down to a 14 in this dress as the cut is pretty generous but I think the extra room is handy considering how many chocolates and drinks I consume over Christmas. I feel really comfortable in this dress and the little capped sleeves mean I can wear this without a jacket or cardigan.

Can you find your perfect party dress with Simply Be?

Gemma
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