Monday, 29 April 2013

Festival Fashion

Festival fashion doesn't have to mean wellies and denim hotpants. When did this hotpants thing at festivals start anyway? We live in the UK, you need a jumper and tights!! Glastonbury is only a month away and this got me thinking about the start of festival season.  This years line up is a very British affair with The Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons and Arctic Monkeys set to take the stage. With this in mind I've gone for a bit of an equestrian/traditionally British look for Glasto. The riding boots make a nice change from wellies and cost less than a pair of Hunter wellies and you can wear them all year round. I invested in a Barbour coat for festivals last year and it has been one of my wisest investments. When the heavens opened at Reading last year I stayed dry and when the sun went in at night at Bestival the jacket gave me just enough warmth.
glastonbury festival fashion



Mark Todd Boots:equestrian clearance  - Jacket: John Lewis- Jeans: ASOS  - Shirt: boohoo.com


The Benicassim Festival is much more than just a music festival; over 100 acts perform over 4 days - over 4 stages, with 8 days free camping.You can laze on the beach sipping cocktails by day, and as the sun sets you can enjoy music by night. Benicassim is near Valencia, on the beautiful coastline of Spain which has much more appeal than a soggy field in the UK somewhere... You definitely need a hat when the sun it beating down on you all day and ditch the wellies in favour of some short boots. Sandals might seem like a good idea but someone is bound to step on your toes in the croud, ouch! I'm pretty jealous of anyone going this year as both the Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane are playing, my faves.

benicassim festival fashion

Boots: Spartoo - Hat: Topshop - Dress: H&M - Sunglasses: New Look

Also remember that style isn't the most important thing at a festival, you're going to have a few too many drinks cover yourself in glitter and run through the crowd like a loon... or is that just me?

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Me and Harri at Reading festival last year.

Are you heading off to any festivals this year? I've already got my tickets for Bestival but I'm hoping to go to a few more.




*collaborative post

Gemma
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Sunday, 28 April 2013

#CDFmeet

I had such a lovely day yesterday thanks to  Chantele, Georgina. Leanne and Laura the organisers of a Cardiff Bloggers meet up (#CDFmeet) It made a nice change not to be involved in any organising of an event in Cardiff and I managed to relax, chat to everyone and not worry about anything. It can be stressful trying to get a group of people together so thank you girls, much appreciated.

We all met in The Brewhosue Cardiff where we indulged in some 2 for 1 pizza and cocktails. The poor barman must have made over 50 cocktails in the space of an hour.

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The Lush ladies came along and did some demonstrations for us I'm currently sporting a face full of the Cosmetic Catastrophe facemask as I write this post which I was able to take home with me.

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It was lovely to catch up with everyone and meet some new local bloggers too. Always love s catch up with Amy from Bonjour Cupcake who is pretty similar to be but maybe less in love with David Tennant.

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I was a but rubbish and didn't get many photos so here are a few of my favourite instagram snaps from the day. I wore my strawberry dress which in hindsight was a tad inappropriate but it was nice and sunny so I wanted to wear something summery.
I got to hang out with Charli and Leanne who have one of the best blogging stories ever. Charli is going to be bridesmaid at Leanne's wedding and they met through blogging, brings a tear to my eye! My Samsung Ace finally died so I splashed out and got a new HTC One, it's such a silly phone. You can change the channel on your tv with it and all other manner of ridiculous things. Been playing with it all day and haven't even found out half of what it does.

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Laura also made her first ever vlog yesterday about the meet up which you can view below.

If you've never been to a meet up before I highly recommend it, don't worry if you're shy because there will be someone there like me who doesn't shut up and tries to talk to everyone. If there aren't any meet ups in your area, organise one!



Gemma
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Friday, 26 April 2013

Dreaming of another world - Missguided summer collection

When these gorgeous photos landed in my inbox I was instantly transported to Summer. I don't normally share images like this but they really perked me up and I think you will love them too. They were taken in Barcelona and feature the hottest swimwear, fierce street style’s and coolest dresses from the Missguided Summer collection.This shoot is making me crave a trip to a warmer climate so I get a chance to ditch my black opaques and scarf, sigh.

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The photos reminded me of one of my favourite bands Mystery Jets who always provide the soundtrack to my Summer. They are playing a few small UK festivals and supporting Mumford and Sons at the moment so if you get the chance you should check them out.



Anyone up for a trip to Spain? I would settle for Barry Island and an ice cream right now...



Gemma
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Sunday, 21 April 2013

When I say I'm in love, you best believe I'm in love, L-U-V

I had such a lovely day yesterday. The weather was perfect for a stroll so I headed to Newport to do shopping and walk around the lovely Belle Vue park. It was the first time in ages I've been able to go out without a huge coat and scarf. I even got to wear my sunglasses (£2.99 in New Look, bargain) because it was so bright, such a gorgeous Spring day.

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Dress: Topshop
Boots: New Look
Jacket: George, Asda
Sunglasses
: New Look
Bag: Vivienne Westwood (part bought with credit c/o Spartoo)

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It was Record Store Day yesterday and a great band called Paper Aeroplanes were playing in my local record store to celebrate it so I headed down and couldn't resist making a few purchases. The Suede record is new release especially for record Store day and has a new song on it called Barriers and their classic song Animal Nitrate. I also picked up a record by my favourite girl band the Shangri Las, they were so sassy. I buy a lot of records all year round, not just on record strore day. I think it's really important to pay for your music. Music is that artists life, their job and love. It takes them time, money and effort to record it and it's only fair that you compensate them for it. Bit preachy...

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Diverse Records in Newport is also where they filmed my all time favourite episode of Dr Who, Blink. Not sure why you would ever pass through Newport (bit grim) but if you are you really should pop into this shop. I also had time for a spot of tea with a friend on her lunch break and spent about an hour in Waterstones chatting to the staff and getting some book recommendations. The perfect Saturday.



Gemma
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Friday, 19 April 2013

Zatchels 50% OFF EVERYTHING FLASH SALE

Pretty excited about this news... Zatchels are having a 50% off everything flash sale to celebrate their 2nd birthday. It's only running for 24 hours so you need to be quick.

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I keep on putting barrel bags on my wishlists posts but with 50% off now might be the time for me to take the plunge.I'm going to wait up until midnight tonight to get these two beauties, a barrel bag and a pastel saddle bag but I have no idea which ones yet because there are so many nice colours to choose from. Zatchels are all handmade right here in the UK which makes me love them even more.




Gemma
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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Things I love - 2013 - Part 1

I thought I would start doing little review posts every 2-3 months to share some of my favourite buys with you. My blog is mainly outfit/fashion based posts (and some photos of nights out) but most of my monthly wage goes on beauty products, records and eating out so I thought it would be great if my blog reflected that.

First up is my new miracle moisturiser, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream:

Kiehl's facial cream

I was given a small sample of this at a John Lewis beauty event a couple of weeks ago and was eager to try it out after hearing that Kiehl's is a great brand from a few of my friends. I take very strong antibiotics for my acne and one of the side effects is dry skin. I have a real problem around my eyes, mouth and nose and struggle to apply make up on top. I have tried a variety of moisturisers and balms to help with this but none have worked.

I tried the sample of the Ultra Facial Cream and and the results were instant! All my dry patches were gone, and my skin was left hydrated all day. My make up glided on over the top and my skin felt much softer. I had to buy a full size tub because I was so impressed. It wasn't cheap at around £43 but it really is perfect for my skin. You can get a 50ml tub for £24 but mine is the 125ml tub. You only need a small amount so I'm sure a small tub would last for a long time.

Kiehl's

Kiehl's describe the product as:
  • 24 Hour, light-textured hydrator
  • Reduces moisture loss
  • Continuous water replenishment throughout day
  • Not tested on animals
'Inspired by our beloved Ultra Facial Moisturiser, this light-textured, 24-hour hydrator helps to retain moisture within the skin, leaving skin feeling comfortable and well-balanced.
Apply to clean facial skin day or night as needed to combat moisture depletion.'

I would 100% recommend this to anyone with dry skin, you should pop to a Kiehl's counter and ask for a sample. I REALLY like this product.

Next up is a mini review of the album In Love by Peace. I saw this band on the NME Tour earlier this year and fell in love. They remind me of early 90s Manchester, which if you have read my blog before you know I would have loved to have been involved in that whole scene. It's has a mix of influences like early Blur, Happy Mondays and Stone Roses but songs like Follow Baby also have a My Bloody Valentine/shoegaze vibe. Some of the songs one the album are a little weak but there's enough quality tracks on there to make it worth a listen. Even though they borrow heavily from the past they have managed to make something quite unique.

Peace In Love


I love the book by Joe Dunthorne, the Movie which was directed by Richard Ayoade and I'm a huge fan of the soundtrack by Alex Turner. I really love everything about Submarine. The Submarine soundtrack is a collection of five and a bit tracks by Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys fame. Even though I love the Arctic Monkeys I think, Turner's finest moment is still the Last Shadow Puppets' 'Standing Next To Me' (whose video was directed by Richard Ayoade) and this EP is reminiscent of the work he did with Miles Kane on that album.
It has a few lilting ballads and a couple of mid-tempo pop tunes that can be compared to Richard Hawley. It's brief but beautiful and fits the film perfectly. Turner tried to capture moments rather than retell the script in a song and I think he portrayed adolescence very well. Craig Roberts, the actor on the cover of the EP is from the town next to where I live and I saw him in Tesco once and hid behind some baguettes like a loser...

submarine

What have you been loving recently?



p.s. selling a few bits on ebay

Gemma
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Sunday, 14 April 2013

My home - Before and After

We have been renovating my house for over two years now which has been a slow and painful process. My mum and her partner have done all the work themselves whilst holding down full time jobs which is why it has taken so long. After my parents split we moved to a horrid house that was owned by an old lady, had a weird smell and ugly carpets after living in a nice new house that didn't smell and had neutral carpets. It was quite the culture shock. The downstairs is now about 90% finished and we just need finishing touches like coving and a handrail up the stairs.

The following photos are of my family room/living space which comprises of a kitchen and living room. We have a more formal sitting room at the front of the house and a utility room at the back of the kitchen for all of our appliances. You can see some other posts about some other rooms and progress here

There really want a kitchen before we moved into the house, the old lady had a couple of units, a sink and a cooker in the small utility room out the back but there were no fitted units at all!

Before

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The living room and kitchen were separated by a long, dark corridor which we knocked down and we are now left with one big open plan space. It was hard to try and capture this in a photo.

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I picked up the lovely silver cushions at the Next event last week and they match the curtains perfectly.

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Can you see what I was watching on TV? I love the wallpaper here, we were going to go with a bold print but I'm glad we with with a neutral grey. It has some fine silver stripes running through it, so nice up close.

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My lovely Fiji diffuser from Next which fills the room with a lovely and summery coconut scent.

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The place mats were sale bargain in Wilkinsons, the tumblers are from Next and the lovely purple vase in the middle was a charity shop find.

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My lovely Sherlock themed Baker Street sign c/o Out There Interiors

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Sookie! We got the kitchen units and granite sink for a bargain price from Focus DIY when it went into administration a few years ago along with the bathroom suite.The bathroom had a total transformation, the green carpet tiles and bathroom suite are long gone and have been replaced with white and natural shades. We changed the layout completely and it works so much better now. All that's left to do in the bathroom is find a shower screen and some art for the wall.

bathroom before and after renovation
Spending time at home is much more pleasurable now that the work is coming to an end and I'm really enjoying hunting for some finishing touches to make my house a home. It's my family home so the decor isn't to my taste, my room is a mix of old furniture, records and books everywhere with clothes flowing out of all of my cupboard but my family prefer a more modern and streamline look. 

I would love some links to places that sell unusual and unique accessories for the home, any suggestions?



Gemma
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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Next Homeware Event

Last week I attended a rather fabulous event hosted by Next where I got to take a look at their new Summer collections. We were guided around their huge store in Leckwith, Cardiff and were talked through all the trends in homeware this season. The collection was split into five main themes:

Good Life
, Scandinavian inspired with a  palette of soft yellow, ochre and putty shades with 50s inspired furniture and nature motifs and crochet.
Blossom and Bloom
, contained hand painted organic prints taken straight from the catwalk and translated into beautiful watercolour designs for bedding, wallpapers and cushions. Lots of raspberry and turquoise tones were featured
Boat House Salvage was a modern twist on the nautical theme including porthole mirrors, rope lanterns and vintage style clocks. Grey, blue and red were dominant in this collection.
San Diego felt quite homely and used lots of reds and burnt orange and featured a mix of natural wicker and luxe sequins.
Elegant Twist was certainly my favourite trend with plenty of greys and lilacs it fitted in with my tastes perfectly. There were architectural prints with a Parisian flavour and was a mix of modern and old at the same time.

I loved how the store recreated rooms so you could see how the items would work in your own home and a lot of the items were very reasonably priced. You could completely change a look of a room with £100 to spend in Next. Paint a feature wall, add couple of cushions, a lamp and voila!

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Homeware photos were taken by the lovely Rosie

Later in the afternoon we headed down to the St David's hotel in Cardiff Bay to watch the first Next TV advert dedicated solely to homeware. If you've seen the new add can you guess who the song is by? We had a fantastic view and I really enjoyed chatting to all the lovely South Wales based bloggers that attended.

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All watching the advert starring an adorable Scrambles the dog.

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Cake and a manicure, Next you really did spoil us!

I was a tad windswept and had come straight to the event from work but managed to get a quick outfit snap out on the balcony.

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Dress: Vero Moda
Ladies Boots: Blink c/o Spartoo Shoes
Jacket: Topshop
Bag: Vivienne Westwood c/o Spartoo

I was allowed to pick a few things from the new collection to take home with me which I will feature in a post about my home later in the week. My house renovation has made great progress now so I can't wait to share the photos with you.
Are you a Next homeware fan?




Gemma
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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Yours Clothing Review

I was recently sent a few items from Yours Clothing to try out and share my thoughts on them. I wore Yours Clothing bodycon dress when I went to the Making of Harry Potter tour and I loved it, I wouldn't normally wear anything tight but I loved this dress and there was plenty of room in it which meant that I didn't feel uncomfortable.

I've also been trying out this rather lovely animal print tunic which is very me and I've been wearing it to work and on the weekends quite a lot. I love the print, the pleated detail on the front and the lovely bow on the back. It was a tad chilly to pose without a cardi on so you can see the detail on the back here.

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This dress has been through the wash a few times, hasn't lost its shape and still looks great. What I love about this dress is that it isn't too short. Everything on the high street at the moment seems to fall just below you behind which isn't a good look for work unless you wear leggings super thick tights. I'm wearing a size 16 here but possibly could have sized down as I found there was plenty of room in this dress. Yours Clothing also seem to offer pretty good value for money, some plus size clothing is sold at a bit of a premium and this dress retails for £35 while the bodcycon dress was only £23.

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Dress: c/o Yours Clothing
Belt: ASOS
Scarf: eBay
Cardigan: Primark
Boots
: Blink c/o Spartoo Shoes

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If you fancy 10% off your first order with Yours Clothing and free delivery use the code HELLOTHERE at the checkout.



Gemma
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Sunday, 7 April 2013

22 grand job In the city it's alright - Weekend in Birmingham

This time last week I was feeling a little worse for wear in Birmingham and this week I'm feeling a little worse for wear in Cardiff, some things never change... This is only going to be a brief post just to say I love blogging. I've been doing it for about three years now and I've got to do so many wonderful things because of it and I'm super grateful. The best thing to come out of blogging is all the lovely friends I have made. I know lots if lovely local bloggers but I'm now mates with people all over the UK and get to spend my weekends in different cities with some very cool ladies.

I spent last weekend in Birmingham with Kim, Katy, Emma and the birthday girl Claire. I spent my day doing my favourite things, shopping eating cake, posing and dancing to indie tunes like it's 2005.


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Posing in our super luxurious budget Ibis hotel.

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Posing in Snobs, love the guys in the background!

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Just wanted to say a big thank you to anyone I've ever spent time with at a blogger meet up and all my blogging freinds. Love you guys!



Gemma
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Thursday, 4 April 2013

SunglassesShop.com giveaway

I know it's really cold out, but it's making me think about Summer and my possible holiday to Malta (eeek). If you're a follower of my blog you will know that I like to travel, trying to get away from home as often as possible to see exciting places. Well, I say exciting but I mainly go up north... The most important travelling companion (aside from a passport and a fun friend), is your sunglasses. If I go away for a weekend I'm typically partying and sunglasses are essential to hide the bags under my eyes after a little too much wine and also make me feel like a celeb. They really help to add a little glamour to your look with minimal effort. When it comes to sunglasses I think the bigger the better and this pair are something special






The lovely people at Sunglasses Shop are giving you the chance to win a gorgeous pair of studded Guess sunglasses.

All you need to do is like their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sunglassesshop and post on their wall 'Enter Fat Frock's Give Away' with a link to this blog. It's also open to international readers so anyone can enter.

Use the rafflecopter form below for extra entries:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Gemma
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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Wish Want Wear

I was recently asked by Wish Want Wear if I would like to trial their designer dress hire
service and after taking a quick look at the dresses on offer on their site I was looking forward to giving designer dress hire a go. I had never tried this service before and the idea had never crossed my mind. Hiring a dress, madness!
I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to find anything to fit as I'm a UK size 16 but they stock sizes 6-18. With labels like Alice Temperley, Halston Heritage and Badgley Mischka there is plenty of choice to help you look glam for a party or wedding or even just dress up for a night out with friends. You get sent two sizes in the post so you will end up with something that fits and if you are struggling to choose a style or are worrying about the fit you can speak to one of their online stylists who can give you some advice.

You don't need to worry too much about spills as all dresses are dry cleaned upon return and all you need to do is pop the dress into a prepaid envelope un-ironed and post it back to them. You get to keep your outfit for 4 or 8 days, paying a charge based on the value of the dress and the length of time you need it for.


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Dress: All Dressed Up c/o Wish Want Wear
Bag: Select
Necklace: Topshop
Boots: Bullboxer c/o Spartoo Shoes
Jacket: Topshop

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AAAAAARGH my legs are on display

I wore the dress on a night out with friends and after an initial worry about being too dressed up I forgot all about it and felt thoroughly glamorous. It was nice knowing that nobody else would be wearing the same dress as me that night and I felt a little Sara Luxe in this all black ensemble. I did swoosh the skirt around a lot and try and pull off a pouty, moody goth look but that lasted all of ten minutes after a couple of drinks and plenty of dancing.I really enjoyed the experience of hiring a dress and I'm considering hiring a Chanel bag for a wedding next year. If I had a Chanel bag for the weekend I would be stroking it like a nutter and frolicking around with it...

Would you consider hiring a dress?





Gemma
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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Ladies Night 2013

After having such a great time at Ladies Night last year I was really looking forward to going again. Ladies night involves fashion must-haves, makeovers, pampering and a fun party atmosphere. Most stores in St David's offered 20% off and there was plenty of free candy floss and Pimms in the shopping centre too. 

I bought some new Estee Lauder make up in John Lewis (with a very handy 10% discount) and enjoyed the beauty showcase that was happening there. We all know you can never have enough shoes so I also got a classic pair of ladies trainers by Converse. We were treated to goody bags, canapes and cocktails. All very fancy!

I met up with bloggers Leanne, Charli and Cowbiscuits and we did a little shopping and had fun in the photobooth. I think the hat with horns really suits Charli, what do you think?


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Bloggers and press also got to enjoy a reception at Wagamama's thanks to Grayling with some bubbly and tasty food. It was nice to catch up with Laura and Mia and all the other bloggers at the event. I don't get to see them often enough sadly, we need more impromptu meetups girls!

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I kind of wish I had done more shopping with the discounts but as anyone who as met me will know, once I start talking I don't stop and I was way too busy chatting to all the bloggers there to be looking at clothes. Did you go to Ladies Night?


Gemma
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